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What are Google dorks? Google dorks cheat sheet and guide

The phrase “Google dorks” might sound misleading, but it actually refers to a clever way of refining your Google search results. Learn how Google dorking works and look up the relevant dorks in our cheat sheet to get targeted search results.

What are Google dorks? Google dorks cheat sheet and guide

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

What are Google dorks?

Google dorks, or Google hacks, are specific search queries that you type in the Google search. In return, Google presents you with targeted search results. With Google dorks, you can search for key phrases or topics in specific websites, find specific file types, cached versions of web pages, and more.

Google dorking, known as Google hacking, is a more efficient way for searching for information online. Without Google dorks, you would need to sift through numerous search results to find the same information.

Security researchers and authorized staff that carry out penetration testing sometimes use Google dorking to uncover specific information or vulnerabilities on the web by crafting advanced search queries. While the Google Search Console helps website owners optimize their sites for better search visibility, Google dorking can help to identify potential security risks or sensitive information unintentionally exposed on websites.

How does Google dorking work?

Google dorkinging utilizes custom queries that use advanced search operators (specific symbols or words) to fetch you targeted search results. All you have to do is type in the custom Google dork query in the Google search bar.

When the Google search engine crawls the web, it indexes many parts of websites, some of which may not be readily available to regular internet users. Google dorking enables you to see some of that information by using more precise search queries.

Google dork examples

One of the most common Google dork examples is the double quotation marks. If you put the phrase you’re searching for in double quotation marks (“common Google dorks”), the Google search engine will return results for the exact phrase instead of some combination of the individual words in the phrase. The double quotation marks are an example of the specific symbols, called special operators, used in Google dork queries.

Another Google dork example is using “site:” to search for information on a particular website. For example, you can type in “ wifi” for Google to return search results from the website that mention Wi-Fi. The first result will take you to our blog post on how to find your Wi-Fi password:Google dorks example

But for Google dorking to work, you have to use Google dork operators and search parameters.

Search operators and search parameters in Google dorking

To better understand what special operators and search parameters are, let’s analyze the search query “ Wi-Fi”:

  • “site:” is the special operator, restricting the search to the specific website.
  • “” is the search parameter for the “site:” operator, indicating the website to search within, so that Google doesn’t search in a random website.
  • “wi-fi” is the search parameter, specifying the topic you are searching for in the NordVPN website.

If you want to use Google dorks, you have to know the specific search operators and their functions. You can look them up online or use our Google dorking cheat sheet.

Google dorks cheat sheet with the most frequently used operators

You can find many special operators for Google dorking online. To save you some time, here is a Google dorks cheat sheet with the most common Google dorks to use for advanced searches. We’ve divided the dorks into categories according to their functions.

Scope-restricting dorks

Scope-restricting dorks help you specify the target range of websites and data types. You can add additional query items to these dorks for more specificity, like in the “filetype:” example below.

Keep in mind that when you want to restrict search results to an exact phrase, you have to enclose the phrase within double quotation marks.

Searches only within the specific website will search the website
Searches for the specific file type. You also need to specify the website address and the words it should contain
filetype:pdf “google dorking” will fetch PDF files from the website containing the phrase “google dorking”
Restricts the search to a particular social platform@facebook google dorking
Returns definitions of a word or phrase
define:“google dorking” will show results that define what Google dorking is
Provides results about the specified movie
Returns results on the financial activity of a particular stock

Informational dorks

Informational dorks specify the type of information you are looking for and work best without additional query items.

Retrieves the cached version of a website will find cached versions of the website
Returns web pages linking to the particular domain will find web pages linking to
Finds websites that Google considers similar to the specified website
Finds a map of the given location
Finds the weather forecast for the location
Finds pages that contain information about the specified parameter

Text dorks

Text dorks are useful when you’re looking for pages containing specific text strings.

Restricts the search to web pages where the specified term appears in the text
intext:vpn returns pages that contain “VPN” in their text
Requires that all specified terms appear in the text of the pages returned
allintext:“threat protection” returns pages where both “threat” and “protection” appear in the text
Finds web pages with specific words in the title
intitle:cybersecurity returns pages that have “cybersecurity” in their title
Requires that all specified terms appear in the title of the pages returned
allintitle:“cybersecurity tips” will return pages where both “cybersecurity” and “tips” appear in the title
Restricts the search to pages where the specified term appears in the URL
inurl:cybersecurity finds web pages with “cybersecurity” in their URL
Requires that all specified terms appear in the URL of the pages returned
allinurl:“cybersecurity tips” would return pages where both “cybersecurity” and “tips” appear in the URL

Search-refining operators

This is a list of operators that help you refine your Google search:

“ ”
Searches for an exact phrase
“vpn on router” will find web pages that mention this exact phrase
OR, |
Searches for either of the query items
Amazon OR Google returns the same number of results as Amazon | Google
( OR )
Parentheses group terms together to control the order of operations in complex search queries (black OR white) hat hackers returns results from the NordVPN website containing mentions of either “black hat hackers” or “white hat hackers”
Excludes search results containing the word or phrase after the hyphen
apple -Inc. searches for “apple” but excludes results related to the company Apple Inc.
Finds pages where the search terms are within a certain distance of each other, indicated by “N”
data theft AROUND(3) impact returns pages where the terms “data theft” and “impact” appear within 3 words of each other
AND, &, +
Indicate that both terms must be present in the search results
data AND theft, data & theft, data + theft all return search results that include both “data” and “theft”

Mathematical operations

Here is a list of operators you can use to perform mathematical operations on the Google search engine:

2 + 5 give the result of 7
2 – 5 give the result of -3
2 * 5 give the result of 10
2 / 5 give the result of 0.4
% of
2% of 5 give the result of 0.1
Square root
sqrt(2) gives the result of 1.41421356237
timer for 5 minutes sets a timer for 5 minutes

Is Google dorking safe?

Google dorking is safe as long as you use it responsibly and ethically. Attempting to exploit security vulnerabilities in the configuration and code of websites without authorization is against the terms of service of most websites and might lead to legal consequences.

Even though Google dorking is legal, you should apply this method responsibility and adhere to the legal guidelines of websites. Misusing Google dorks for breaching security and accessing unauthorized information is illegal.

Google dorking is also called “Google hacking” for a reason — cybercriminals sometimes use Google hacking as a form of passive attack to find and exploit security vulnerabilities and access sensitive content on poorly protected websites. Hackers might carry out cyberattacks to get hold of usernames, passwords, and personally identifiable information by using advanced Google dorks. So be careful what Google dorks you use and never abuse them for accessing private information without proper authorization.