Updated: June 9, 2023.

Learn how to exclude websites from Google Search to become a more efficient and effective SEO.

As an SEO, it’s important for you to have control over the search results you receive for a given query.

The easiest and quickest way to do this is by using Google search operators, specifically the site: operator.

You guessed it. It’s the -site: operator.

In this article, you will learn how to exclude a website from Google search, why you might want to do so, and advanced tips on using the operator.

How to exclude sites from Google search

How to exclude a website from Google search: 5-second summary

All you need to do is type your query and use - and site: search commands together.

Here is the formula:

query -site:websiteaddress.com

Here is the example where I want to exclude my site in the search results for “SEO audit”:

seo audit -site:seosly.com

How to exclude websites from Google search: the details

As you can see, this is very straightforward if you are looking for the basic functionality of simply removing a specific URL from search results.

However, there is more to it, and you can do more advanced searches and tricks with this search operator.

Why exclude websites from Google search?

There are several reasons why you – an SEO – may want to use the -site: operator in Google search:

  1. Refine search results: By excluding websites that you know are not relevant to your search query, you can refine your search results and get more accurate information.
  2. Exclude duplicates: If you’re searching for specific information and have already visited a website in your search results, excluding that website can help you avoid seeing duplicates and save time.
  3. Research a different perspective: If you’re conducting research on a specific topic, excluding websites that you’re already familiar with can help you get a different perspective and discover new information.
  4. Monitor Featured Snippets: By excluding the website currently occupying a Featured Snippet position, you can see which website may be next in line to occupy that spot, and track changes in the Featured Snippet over time.
    This method used to work like charm, but it is no longer as effective.
  5. Monitor SERP Features: By excluding websites that occupy specific SERP features, such as featured snippets or images, you can track changes in these features and see how they may be affecting your search engine rankings.
    This is one of my favorite use cases of the -site: search operator.
  6. Analyze Search Engine Rankings: By excluding websites that rank highly for specific keywords, you can get a better understanding of the competition and see which websites may have the opportunity to rank for those keywords in the future.
  7. Research Local Search Results: By excluding websites that aren’t relevant to your local area, you can refine your search results and get a better understanding of the local search landscape for your target keywords.
  8. Track Brand Mentions: By excluding websites that you own or control, you can track mentions of your brand on other websites and monitor your online reputation.
  9. Evaluate Keyword Targeting: By excluding websites that target specific keywords, you can get a better understanding of the search engine results for those keywords and identify potential opportunities for your own website.
  10. Monitor Search Result Fluctuations: By excluding websites that are known to experience fluctuations in search engine rankings, you can track changes in the search landscape and see how they may be affecting your own search engine visibility.

A lot of the above tasks can be achieved without -site: by simply browsing the search results but adding those exclusions saves a lot of time.

How to exclude websites using the -site: search operator

So, how do you exclude websites from Google search using the -site: operator? It’s actually quite simple.

The -site: operator allows you to exclude specific websites from your search results.

For example, if you want to search for “SEO audit” but exclude results from the website “seosly.com,” you would use the following search query: SEO audit -site:seosly.com

How to exclude a website from Google Search

This would exclude any results from the website “seosly.com” in your search results.

Best practices for excluding websites using the “-site:” operator:

  • Use quotes around the website name: If you’re excluding a specific phrase or name, it’s a good idea to use quotes around the website name.
    Example: SEO tips -site:"example.com"
    This would exclude only results from the website “example.com” and not results that include the word “example” in a different context.
  • Combine with other operators: The -site: operator can be used in combination with other operators, such as intitle:, inurl:, or filetype:, to further refine your search results.
    Example: SEO tips intitle:-site:example.com
    This would search for pages with “SEO tips” in the title and exclude results from the website “example.com.”

    Related article: How To Search for PDFs on Google
  • Use specific subdomains: If you only want to exclude specific subdomains within a website, such as “blog.example.com,” you can use the -site:subdomain.example.com syntax to exclude those specific subdomains.
  • Exclude multiple websites: You can also exclude multiple websites by using multiple -site: operators in your search query.
    Example: SEO tips -site:example.com -site:example2.com
    This would exclude results from both “example.com” and “example2.com.”
  • Be aware of the limitations: Keep in mind that the -site: operator is not a foolproof method for excluding websites. Analogically, using the site: operator to check how many pages are indexed is not the best way to check the indexation of the site either.

Additionally, you can use Google’s Advanced Search page to exclude websites in a more sophisticated way. By using the “site or domain” field in the Advanced Search page, you can exclude specific websites or specific subdomains within a website. This allows you to exclude more targeted results and improve the relevancy of your search results.

Don’t miss my guides on search operators for different search engines or Google products:

Olga Zarr is an SEO consultant with 10+ years of experience. She has been doing SEO for both the biggest brands in the world and small businesses. She has done 200+ SEO audits so far. Olga has completed SEO courses and degrees at universities, such as UC Davis, University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University. She also completed Moz Academy! And, of course, has Google certifications. She keeps learning SEO and loves it. Olga is also a Google Product Expert specializing in areas, such as Google Search and Google Webmasters.