Sure, the Google “Advanced search” function is useful and powerful, but you can get more out of using wildcards and operators. We’ve discussed a handful of operators here, along with some excellent hacks (or innovative means to use them, that is). But here’s a quick recap of some things we can use with the default Google search box.
In line with our popular “voyeur heaven” article, here are other ways to use the intitle operator. We will use this in conjunction with other operators like the “.” which is a wildcard that can represent any single character, and the quotation marks, which mean that the search is for an exact phrase.
What is intitle?
The intitle operator is used to search websites only within the <title></title> tags, or the actual page title as defined by the website’s author.
You can use this to search for some cool stuff you can’t otherwise find with regular websites. For example, some hosting owners or webmasters forget to protect their folders from outputting indexes. Some do this for convenience (they use their hosts to store files). Others just plain forget.
You can search for goodies by using the intitle operator, as follows:
This will search for pages that contain the text “index of” (the period is a wildcard that can represent any single character). You can narrow down your search using other operators and keywords. For instance, you can use the “server.at” keyword to bring up directory listings that indicate the server version and location of the site.
You can even define a particular domain or server by using the “site:” operator.
intitle:index.of +server.at site:(insert domain here)
For example, this query would bring up directory listings under the domain aol.com:
intitle:index.of +server.at site:aol.com
Have fun looking for goodies in user directories!