In a post aptly titled, "Top Time-Saving Yahoo! Search Tips," href="http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000498.html">Yahoo! Search Blog tells us ways to cut corners and search faster and better.
1. Square Brackets, "inurl," "originurlextension," and Site Restriction. To get a more targeted search, try these tricks out:
- Words within square brackets — adding square brackets to your search makes the keyword match order dependent. So typing in '[Jack Black]' will return results such as 'jack with black' but not 'black jack.'
- "inurl" — if you want to be sure that a specific term will appear in the site's URL, use the "inurl:[query]" operator. For example: 'inurl:iPod.'
- Site restriction — to restrict your search to pages within a specific domain, use the "site:[domain]" operator, followed by your query. For instance: 'Site:Apple.com iPod.'
- "orginurlextension" — to search on specific file types, add 'originurlextension:[file format]' after your search query. For example: 'nanotechnology originurlextension:swf' OR 'nanotechnology originurlextension:pdf.'
2. Package Tracking. Did you know that you can track your packages right in Yahoo! Search? Here's how:
- For UPS, type in your tracking number: '1z9999999999999999'
- For FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service, add the name before the tracking number. Hypothetically: 'FedEx 999777333222' or 'USPS 03062400000176550683.'
3. Definitions & Synonyms. To look up the definition of a word, try adding "define" or "definition" to your search term. For example: 'quixotic definition,' 'definition of globalization' or 'define ergonomics.' Or, if you're looking for a synonym, try adding "synonym" to your search term. For example: 'humorous synonym.'
4. Exclude Terms, Either/Or and Exact Phrase Match. This one's been around for a while, but a few simple operators can be a huge time-saver:
- Exclude terms — if you want a term to be excluded from your results, use a minus sign before it. 'Simpsons -movie' returns results for "The Simpsons" TV show, books, games, etc., but not the movie.
- Either/or — by default, all of the words you use in a search are included in the results. If you want to be more flexible, try adding "OR" (note the capitalization) between two terms. For example: 'Sony laptops OR notebooks' gives you results containing either "Sony laptops" or "Sony notebooks."
Exact phrase match — if you want results to contain an exact phrase, put quotation marks around it: "Queen Elizabeth I".
You can also combine these tricks for even more refined searches. Try: '"Sony VAIO" laptops OR notebooks.'
5. Travel. With the holidays approaching, many of us have travel on our minds. Here are a few shortcuts to get you to your destination even faster:
- Flight tracker — search for the airline and flight number and you'll get a shortcut to the flight's status. Try: 'American 83' or 'Lufthansa 421.'
- Traffic — if you're driving instead of flying, you can search for traffic before you leave. Example: 'traffic Los Angeles.' Click on the shortcut and you'll get a map with traffic alerts.
Maps — try searching for the exact address: '1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC.' Don't have the address? No problem. Add "map" before the city: 'map San Francisco.' You can also search for the zip code by itself: '20502.'
You can go here to check out more handy travel shortcuts.
7. Yahoo! Open Shortcuts. Yahoo! Open Shortcuts are the ultimate time-saving search feature. Add an exclamation point to the front of certain terms to instantly navigate to a URL, search a site, recall a favorite Yahoo! search, or start an application.
- '!wiki queen elizabeth' takes you directly to the Wikipedia page for Queen Elizabeth.
- '!wsf' gives you the Yahoo! Search results for "weather San Francisco."
- '!clist' takes you to Craigslist.
- '!ebay lamps' searches eBay for lamps.
Search for '!list' to see a bunch more. Those examples have already been set up for everyone to use, but the real power is that YOU can create your own customized shortcuts. Here's a link, with more shortcuts & tips.