How to Discover Related Keywords Using Just the Google Homepage

There’s a lot of tools out there for discovering keywords, keywords related to the keywords, building up a keyword network strategy, and so on. Here, you can do all of that for free using some Google search operator hacking.

We start with the tilde operator (~). (Ask a nearby Linux geek to find it on your keyboard if you’re stuck.) The tilde means “synonym” to Google; it will highlight the synonym words in bold when you use this. Next, we use the dash operator (-).
The dash means “opposite” to Google; in other words, leave out all pages which contain this exact word.

Can you see where this is going? Let’s start with a simple word like “dress”. Without quotes (leaving out quotes all the way through this), dress returns (currently from our neck of the woods) 184,000,000 results. “~Dress” returns 1,220,000,000 results – and right away, we see that “wedding” is one of the top keywords associated with “dress”. Others include “clothing”, “fashion”, and “wear”.

Now what happens when we look for pages containing synonyms for “dress” without using the word dress? “~Dress -dress” returns 8,870,000,000 results, and again we see related bolded terms such as “wear”, “fashion”, and now “outfit”.

Let’s go back to the big related keyword and force it. Putting something in quotes tells Google “search for this exact text match”. So “~dress” (unquoted) “wedding” (quoted) produces all of the keywords associated with wedding dresses – “gown”, “attire”, and so on.

Using these operators in combination, you can uncover some dusty pages out there with some very odd results. Have fun!