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More Yahoo Search Shortcuts

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Yahoo has rolled out several new search shortcuts, continuing the trend also in play at Google and Ask Jeeves to make ready reference information even easier to find.

First launched a little over a year ago, Yahoo's search shortcuts are methods to get directly to answers or specialty search results using special words.

A new help page lists all of Yahoo's search shortcuts, including a few new ones (at least they are new to me). Using the proper shortcut term (in some cases you don't even need to add any extra terms to your query) will place a potential answer and links to find more info at the top of the results page.

New shortcuts include:

Encyclopedia Lookup

Use the word facts after your search term. For example: Tasmania facts. Content comes from the Columbia Encyclopedia.

Synonym Finder

Use the prefix synonym in front of your search terms. For example: Synonym indefectible. Content from the Roget's II: The New Thesaurus.

Hotel Information

Use the word hotels after the location. For example: Seattle hotels

Traffic Reports

Use the word traffic after the location. For example: Baltimore traffic

A review of the shortcuts page also shows that Yahoo now offers many of the shortcuts that Google offers. These include airport info, aircraft number registration info, package tracking, patent search, UPC Codes, and VIN (vehicle identification number) info. Yahoo also recognizes ISBN's (International Standard Book Number) and will produce a link allowing you to compare prices for a book via Yahoo shopping.

In addition to search shortcuts, Yahoo also has a special command that makes it easy to directly access any of the portal's specialized content areas. Simply type the name of any Yahoo product or service into the search box followed by "!". For example, type "full coverage!" and go directly to Yahoo's editorial coverage of important and breaking news stories. Here's a full list of Yahoo products and services that you can get to directly with "!".

Gary Price is the publisher of ResourceShelf, a weblog covering the online information industry.

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