How to Exclude Words From Google Search

Have you ever searched with Google and gotten results that you aren’t looking for?

Are your search results sometimes irrelevant to your expectation?

Here’s a simple and quick way to filter your search results to exclude a specific word or words.

And the trick is done in the basic Google search bar, so you don’t need to go into any browser settings to change or update anything.

And you don’t need to download any browser plugins.

How Do You Do It?

Use a minus (-) character with the word or words you want to remove.

For example, let’s say you search for:

best cupcake recipe

And you see results like this:

cupcake recipe google results

What if you don’t want or need a vanilla cupcake recipe? Yet, the top results you get are for vanilla cupcakes?

Here’s an easy way to exclude words from Google search.

How to Use the Minus (-) Sign in Search

So using the example above, and if you don’t want vanilla cupcake results, you would do this:

best cupcake recipe -vanilla

Type the minus character and then the keyword you don’t want in your Google search results with no space between the minus and your word.

So now the results will not show website pages that have the vanilla keyword. And the results are a little more diverse.


google cupcake

Using the minus sign connected to the word you don’t want to see in results removes it from search results.

How Else Can You Exclude Words From Google Search Results?

Use quotes. Putting quotes around a phrase you don’t want to see can filter Google results.

In the previous example, we were excluding one word, vanilla. But here’s how to exclude a phrase (or two or more words), which is slightly more advanced.

For an example, let’s say you are searching on Google:

amazon prime reviews

And you get a bunch of results on page one like:

amazon prime reviews

What if you don’t want Amazon Prime Video reviews and want more reviews about the Amazon Prime service?

Here’s what to do to filter out those results.

amazon prime reviews -“prime video”

Using the minus sign combined with the search phrase you don’t want to see in quotes will filter out the phrase you don’t want to see.

Advanced search modifier example:

That way, you can narrow down your Google search results to better reflect your original intention of your search.

That’s It!

Now you know how to use a couple search operators to exclude words and phrases in Google search results that you don’t want to return when searched.

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