How To Search Yahoo! Quickly & Effectively!

Oct 26, 2007 | 2,951 views | by Navneet Kaushal
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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:

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.

map penn ave How To Search Yahoo! Quickly & Effectively!

6. Yahoo! Services. If you're looking for a Yahoo! site, simply add an exclamation point after the site name and voila! Try it out with 'Mail!,' 'News!,' 'Sports!,' or 'Finance!'

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.

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Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
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