It turns out very few people are aware of advanced search operators provided by all the major search engines. Fewer still actually bother to use them.

However, in certain situations, they tend to be very handy.

If I want to find out who is linking to my blog, for example, I just have to use the link: operator. I can ofcourse search within this set of pages by adding search terms to the query.

If I want to see who all are linking to an entire domain, there is the linkdomain: operator.

Want to search the set of pages that provide RSS/Atom feeds? Use the hasfeed: operator.

Then there is ofcourse the site: operator, that lets you restrict a search to a specific site.

There are many more - see this page for a complete list of operators currently supported by MSN / Windows Live Search.

Ofcourse, many people are probably too lazy to type in an operator while searching for something. But sometimes, they help you get the result you are looking for faster, rather than repeating searches with various keyword combinations. There is also the macros feature I wrote about in my last post that lets you save away search modifiers for convenient reuse and sharing with friends.