A shortcut in general is defined as “a route shorter than the usual one.” I find this definition the best one because it can be applied to any meaning of the word including a “search shortcut” (not a keyboard shortcut) which basically means any pre-defined combination of characters / words that allows to quickly get an answer to your initial question.
This post is intended as a comprehensive guide to Google and Yahoo search shortcuts providing a cheat sheet of over 50 shortcuts and comparing the two search engines.
Google and Yahoo Search Shortcuts Compared:
The extended version of the table is also available as a separate HTML file here and as a .doc file here.
Google Search Shortcuts
Google is well known for its ability to give a searcher answers without him to even have to leave it SERPs.
Yahoo Search Shortcuts
Yahoo! newly-introduced “new” search brought a number of very useful shortcuts, described here in detail and also listed in the table above.
“Old” shortcuts are also in use, here are all of them:
- !amazon http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/external-search?mode=blended&keyword=%s
- !audio http://audio.search.yahoo.com/search/audio?p=%s
- !ebay http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?satitle=%s
- !flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/%s/
- !image http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?p=%s
- !mw http://myweb.yahoo.com/myresults/ourresults?p=%s
- !news http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/search?p=%s
- !php http://www.php.net/%s
- !shop http://search.shopping.yahoo.com/search?cop=mss&p=%s
- !video http://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?p=%s
- !wiki http://en.wikipedia.org?search=%s
- !mail http://compose.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?login=1&To=%s
Create Your Own Shortcuts:
Create Shortcuts in FireFox
“Smart keywords” is the FireFox feature that lets you create shortcuts for any search engine / site you need. I have described how to create and operate FireFox smart keywords in detail previously:
Create Yahoo! Search Shortcuts:
Yahoo! open shortcuts allow to create shortcuts of your own:
- Create a shortcut for any search you want to perform;
- Type an ! (exclamation point) followed by the name of the shortcut in the Yahoo! Search box (note: doesn’t work from FireFox search plugins for me, only from Yahoo home page);
- !wsf to search “weather san francisco” on Yahoo!
- !ebay laptops to search for “laptops” on Ebay
- How to Use Boolean Search Operators : SEO Application;
- Wildcard Search : When and How To Use It;
- How To Diagnose Your Site with Google Advanced Search;
- Advanced Link: Operator to Explore Your Competitor’s Backlinks;
- More? (Share a useful post on search shortcuts and / or advanced operators and I will add it to the list).