Google results have become better and better over the years, but it’s still hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Many times, when you search for something on Google, you’ll get a mix of relevant and completely irrelevant results.

Excluding words from your searches is a quick and effective way to dramatically improve the quality of your results.

To exclude words from your Google Search results, you just need to learn how to use a couple of search operators.

Search operators are symbols and expressions you can use within your search query to refine the results you get from Google.

If you’re in digital marketing, learning how to use search operators can help you:

  • Get insight into your competitors’ SEO strategy
  • Find massive business opportunities
  • Estimate market size and competitiveness
  • Make decisions about your content marketing strategy

All of it for free! No need to pay for expensive research tools.

Sidenote: If you’re getting started with search operators, download our free cheat sheet of operators and tactics below and keep it around as you get familiar with them.

[Cheat Sheet] How to Use Google Advanced Search Operators

How to Exclude Words From Google Search

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to use the minus (-) sign operator. Plus, we’ll throw in a couple of bonus tips so you can use the minus sign like a pro.

Minus (-) sign

The minus (-) sign allows you to remove results that contain a specific word or term.

For example, let’s say I want to buy an electric scooter to get to work. Your Google Search results might look something like this:

When you check the pages listed there, you realize a lot of those include lists from 2019, which might be out of date.

If you use the minus sign, you can exclude the term 2019 from your results.

It’s as simple as that.

Quotes (“”)

If you surround a term with quotation marks, you’ll exclude results that contain exactly that term.

For example, you might use this if you’re looking for vacation ideas but want to avoid a specific destination.


If you want to avoid getting results from a specific website, you can do that with the site: operator.

For example, if you’re looking for a coffee table but want to avoid, your search could look something like this:

That’s it!

Now you know how to exclude words from Google searches. If you want to take this further, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to use Google Search Operators for SEO.

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