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site: operator for multiple sites - is there a syntax?

     
1:21 am on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hey,

Does anyone know if the site: operator can be used to specify multiple sites at once (not just *.example.com)? e.g. some way to combine searches like

[google.com...]
[google.com...]

into one set of results. I've tried things like:

site:pets.com,about.com ( [google.com...] )

site:pets.com;about.com ( [google.com...] )

site:pets.com+about.com ( [google.com...] )

site:pets.com site:about.com ( [google.com...] )

site:pets.com;site:about.com ( [google.com...] )

But no good for any of them. I've googled for this :) and had no hits either.

- Ben

5:25 am on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No, I don't think there's any syntax to combine domains in the site: operator results. You could create a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) [google.com], but for a one-off search that's probably more work that you want to get into.

It doesn't seem that there is any meaningful oreder to site: operator results these days, so I'm not sure that there would be any big value out of combining the results in one search -- even if it were supported. you might as well just copy the results from two separate queries into one big Word file and massage as you see fit.

5:37 am on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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To my surprise this seems to work

( site:example1.com OR site:example2.com ) widget

5:41 am on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@daveVk: That didn't work for me -

(site:about.com OR site:pets.com) dogs - [google.com...]

That just shows results for about.com. Good idea though.

- Ben

5:47 am on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@tedster: manual combining would be fine for once-off searches, but I want this to be a regular thing. And it's for a site where the owners don't want ads displayed on search, so a CSE isn't any good.

I could create a Google Site Search, but the amount of sites they want to search makes creating one for each group of sites somewhat expensive (I can restrict the results to just one site within a Google Site Search easily, just not multiple sites - it's all or one). Thus why I was looking for a solution where I could specify multiple site:s in one search.

7:28 am on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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How do I create a CSE without ads?

You have two opportunities to disable ads on your Custom Search Engine. You can select the Do not show ads option when you first create a Custom Search Engine, or you can follow the steps below to disable advertising on your existing Custom Search Engine:

[google.com...]

9:17 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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@tedster: it's the "(for non-profits, universities, and government agencies only)" bit on that page that restricts me in this case. The site's owners aren't in those categories - they're a private company - and while they're happy to pay for a Site Search, they'd prefer not to pay for 4 or 5 different ones to achieve the groupings they want.

Hmm, I think in the end I may just recommend either going down another path altogether and using something like mnogosearch or just doing on site at a time. Thanks for the comments so far, in any case :)

9:38 pm on Dec 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

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To my surprise this seems to work

( site:example1.com OR site:example2.com ) widget

This worked for me! pretty cool

12:17 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Can you guys who reckon "( site:example1.com OR site:example2.com ) widget" works for you give me a concrete URL? Because I still can't get it to work.

Here's what I find:

site:imdb.com star wars - works. [google.com...]

site:en.wikipedia.org star wars - works. [google.com...]

(site:en.wikipedia.org OR site:imdb.com) star wars - fails: only returns results for en.wikipedia.org. [google.com...]

If I reverse the sites and do (site:imdb.com OR site:en.wikipedia.org) star wars, it only returns results from imdb.com - i.e. it's only taking the first site: param.

another example:

site:pets.com beagle - works. [google.com...]

site:about.com beagle - works. [google.com...]

(site:about.com OR site:pets.com) beagle - fails: only returns results for about.com. [google.com...]

12:44 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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try

site:en.wikipedia.org OR site:imdb.com star wars

while brackets worked in example I tried, this example seems to work better without them.

[edited by: tedster at 4:02 am (utc) on Dec. 9, 2008]

12:49 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Because I still can't get it to work.

The OR is case sensitive.

This query works fine...

site:en.wikipedia.org OR site:imdb.com star wars

Results 1 - 10 of about 197,000 from en.wikipedia.org OR imdb.com for star wars.

1:30 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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yes, those searches return results, but...have you actually looked at the results? They're all from one site.
1:46 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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[google.com...]

They are from both sites. If you don't get the query just right, it doesn't work.

But... have you actually looked at the results?

Of course I did.

But... have you actually performed the "correct" search query? ;)

By the way...

Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

2:01 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Wow, OK, my bad. *embarrassed* I had worked out that the OR was case-sensitive, but I'd missed that the results were actually from more than one site; I'd just been clicking on lower pages at random and evidently I just missed it. @pageoneresults: thanks for the URL, that's confirmed it.

Also, it works for three sites:

[google.com...]

And it works for four and more sites as well.

Well, I reckon that's solved it - use OR :) Thanks all for the brainstorm!

By the way...Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

Hehehe, thanks :)

2:07 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do a search for Google Search Operators and you'll find some goodies.

Also, be careful in how quickly you perform advanced search queries. You'll find yourself getting a temporary search ban for behaving like a rogue bot. :)

4:06 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well, I reckon that's solved it - use OR

Yes, that definitely does it. And now we return this thread to our usual policy of no specific searches - thanks, all.

4:55 am on Dec 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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And now we return this thread to our usual policy of no specific searches

Ahh, I wasn't aware of that, sorry. I should make it clear that the examples I've given don't in any way reflect the searches I'm actually trying to perform :)

 

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