What does "tbm" mean in Google Search? For example: https://www.google.com/?tbm=dsc

  • On one page in comments some "Johnny" suggested it could mean "Term By Method" , otherwise it's a search result type indicator.
    – jave.web
    May 7, 2016 at 9:06

2 Answers 2


Don't know what it stands for, but the tbm URL parameter appears to indicate the filter used. For example:

  • Applications: tbm=app
  • Blogs: tbm=blg
  • Books: tbm=bks
  • Discussions: tbm=dsc
  • Images: tbm=isch
  • News: tbm=nws
  • Patents: tbm=pts
  • Places: tbm=plcs
  • Recipes: tbm=rcp
  • Shopping: tbm=shop
  • Video: tbm=vid

So, tbm=dsc is "Discussions".


However, it also appears that a lot of these filters are also no longer natively available. (source)

  • 2
    Even Google's official documentation, uses tbm in an example but never defines it, nor lists its valid values! developers.google.com/custom-search/docs/… Apr 27, 2016 at 15:03
  • tbm=lcl is used for Local search - this can, for example, be used to find businesses currently open, or open on a particular day of the week, or with a particular minimum rating. That's actually not for example — those seem to be the only options available in Local Search currently. Note that it's not actually called Local Search anywhere in the interface.
    – intuited
    Nov 21, 2017 at 4:37
  • tbm: to be matched
  • tbm=isch: to be matched = image search
  • tbm=isch&q=chicken: search "chicken" from Google Image Search

you can do the same with tbs

  • tbs: to be searched
  • tbs=imgo: to be searched = image object
  • tbs=imgo&q=chicken: search "chicken (image object)" from Google
  • 2
    Thank you for the info. Could you provide the source of your answer, please? Jan 13, 2019 at 19:41
  • tnx but as @AlmirCampos said we need a source for this , for example i readed somewhere that that tbm stands for "Term By Method" not "to be matched"! Oct 29, 2019 at 9:55

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