Some Useful Yahoo! Shortcuts
After getting frustrated with the search results that I was getting from Google, I decided to spread my wings a little bit and start using different search engines.
One of the biggest benefits of using alternative search engines is seeing different results. I’d gotten tired of Google showing Wikipedia as the first result for virtually everything. Yahoo! and Live don’t give Wikipedia nearly as much weight as Google does, so that’s a major bonus – other sites manage to rise to the top of the results pages.
Anyway, since I’m using Yahoo! much more, I was pleased to come across this guide on the Yahoo! search blog which shows you how to get better results out of your search queries. Here’s an overview:
- Advanced search queries: terms you can add to your search to filter for specific results. You can use square brackets to specifiy the order of words in the search. For example [gerard mcgarry] will find "Gerard McGarry", but not "McGarry Gerard".
- Package tracking: Tracking UPS, FedEx and USPS deliveries directly from the search bar.
- Definitions & Synonyms: Type define or definition along with your query to get a dictionary style definition of a word.
- Exclude terms: This works in the standard way – if you want to exclude a term from your search type the word with a minus sign in front of it.
- Travel information: You can get a host of travel information including a flight tracker, traffic status and maps.
- Quick links to Yahoo! services: Type the name of the Yahoo service you require and an exclamation mark immediately after to visit that Yahoo! service. For example, a search for ‘news!‘ will take you directly to Yahoo News.
- Open Shortcuts: Similar to the technique in point 6, you can automatically search a specific site using this. Search Wikipedia for information about The Wombles by using the search ‘!wiki The Wombles‘. To search for variations on this type of query, do a search for ‘!list‘
Not a bad set of tips for getting the most out of Yahoo!. The one thing I’ve noticed is missing (to my knowledge) is the calculator and currency converter functionality. If I find a way to do this, I’ll let you know!