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Yahoo! Search Engine & Directory

Yahoo is the oldest and best directory search site. David Filo and Jerry Yang were Ph.D. candidates in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University when they started Yahoo to keep track of the web sites they were interested in. By 1994 their site was being used by thousands of users who needed a way to find content on the Internet, and so they turned it into a general purpose index for anyone that wanted to use it.

Yahoo is sometimes said to stand for "Yet Another Hierarchical Official Oracle", but Filo and Yang say that they chose the name because they consider themselves to be Yahoos, named after the uncivilized half-animals in Jonathon Swift's classic book Gulliver's Travels.

The well designed and continually evolving Yahoo directory structure is now managed by hundreds of people.

Key Yahoo search features are described below:

Search Features

Function

Example

Results

Boolean

+space +mars -venus

"space" and "mars" but not "venus"

Phrases

"fastest car"

includes phrase "fastest car"

Letter Case

EFF

only capitalized "EFF"

 

eff

both "eff" and "EFF"

Fields

inurl:astronaut

"astronaut" in URL address

Other Yahoo search tips are described below:

  • Search narrowing. Select "Search just this category" to search just within a category.
  • Category opening. Select the category results (if any) to find all sites in that category.
  • Category linking. The @ symbol next to a category means it is located in some other higher-level category, but it is included in this category because it is somehow related.
  • Cool category. The sunglasses next to a site means that a Yahoo reviewer has judged the site to be one of the best in that category.

History. The following historical search capability is no longer supported:

Search Features

Function

Example

Results

Wildcard

music*

music, musical, musician, etc.

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