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March 15, 2008

Useful Content Restrictions for Yahoo Search

Google's advanced search options are useful, but they could include ways to define more restrictions for search results. Maybe you want to find pages that mostly contain text, web pages that reference videos or include tables. Fortunately, some these features are available at Yahoo, where you can use the feature: operator.

iraq gdp feature:table - web pages that contain tables, unfortunately including layout tables

la traviata feature:audio - web pages that link to audio files (e.g.: MP3s)

michel gondry ads feature:video - web pages that link to video files (e.g.: QuickTime videos)

AJAX feature:acrobat - search results that link to PDF files

beatles feature:activex - search results that contain the object tag (e.g.: embedded YouTube videos or any other Flash object)

feature:activex site:googlesystem.blogspot.com - all the pages from this blog that include videos

You can also use the operator to remove some classes of web pages. If you want to filter web pages that use JavaScript, add -feature:script:

java -feature:script - old tutorials for Java

lagrange interpolation demo -feature:applet - interpolation demos that don't include Java applets

To find web pages that link to files with a certain extension, use the linkextension: operator. For example, linkextension:ogg bach finds web pages about Bach that link to .ogg audio files.

Yahoo has another interesting operator (depth:) that lets you define the maximum number of subdirectories from your search results' URLs. For example, a search for google tips depth:1 will include www.google.com/help/features.html because it has a single directory, but not www.techcrunch.com/2007/01/04/google-tips-pulled, which has three directories. This could be useful to find web pages that are important relatively to the structure of a web site.

The operator has a special value that lets you search only homepages: -1, as you can see in this query: flickr depth:-1.

Find the sites related to Flickr that don't have a link from yahoo.com


I don't know if Yahoo's search engine is better than Google, but Yahoo inherited a lot of interesting features from AltaVista and Inktomi, two leading search engines in the '90s.

Related:
More Yahoo Search tips

6 comments:

  1. A more practical way to use the depth:-1 feature is by using it as a homepage redirect search, so one could replace it for example with the im lucky search in firefox, all you need is a need javascript/php script which will echo a document.replace to the first result.

    ReplyDelete
  2. About my last comment, I meant neat, not need. And why the heck is blogger not providing a edit feature.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Blogger used to provide a comment editing feature, but only for blog admins. It was an undocumented feature (or maybe a bug) and it was removed in the new Blogger.

    I'm not sure I understand your suggestions: I'm Feeling Lucky from the address bar only redirects to the top search result for navigational queries and generally the top result is a "homepage".

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  4. What I meant is that with the I'm feeling lucky implementation in firefox one is sometimes redirected to some subpage which is probably temporary popular (recent events...), whereas one was expecting to go to the homepage. If one would restrict himself to hompages this would make it a lot easier. (Although in certain cases if you type in the name of a less known open source project for example it would not work that well, becuase they tend to have strange urls...)

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  5. Yahoo! Search's features and operators can be useful as Firefox quick (smart keyword) search location bar search keywords as demoed by Internet guru Jimmy Ruska has posted a video explaining how to use Google's search for indexes of music and game files, etc.

    For your convenience a set of Firefox quick search bookmarks follow:

    audio links
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%s+feature%3Aaudio

    depth1
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=+%s+depth%3A1

    homepages
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=+%s+depth%3A-1

    mp3 links
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=linkextension%3Amp3+%s

    no script
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%s+-feature%3Ascript

    object links (activex|flash)
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%s+feature%3Aactivex

    ogg links
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=linkextension%3Aogg+%s

    pdf links
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%s+feature%3Aacrobat

    powerpoint links
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=linkextension%3Appt+%s

    video links
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%s+feature%3Avideo

    site:video links
    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=feature%3Aactivex+site%3A%s

    Roll your own descriptive keywords. Enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. All the best search engines piled into one. Including Google, Yahoo, sport search engines, science and medical search engines, encylopedia search engines, government and legal search engines, education search engines, news search engines, meta search engines.....

    http://www.allthebestsearchengines.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete