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Search engines are wonderful tools for finding information on the web. However, for those people who use text-to-speech to navigate a web page finding the actual results of a web search can be quite a task. The search engines will return a list of relevant links, but they are typically one-third to one-half of the way down the page--past the advertisements, past the search forms, past the other links. Each search engine has unique words (I call them magic words for getting results") that begin the section of relevant links (those links that matched the original search criteria). These unique words were compiled from the class assignment at Closing the Gap '97 conference session on WebSpeak.

Directions for using "Magic Words for Getting Results":

  • conduct your search using Yahoo, Alta Vista, Lycos, Infoseek, or Excite
  • after you get your results-use the search page current function in your browser
    • CTRL-F in Internet Explorer (any version)
    • F8 in WebSpeak
    • CTRL-F in Netscape
    • / (forward-slash) in Lynx
    • CTRL-F in Opera
  • use the following "Magic Words" to skip irrelevant information and get to the results:
    • use "matches" or "1." for Alta Vista
    • use "category matches" or "site matches" for Yahoo
    • use "matching web" for Lycos
    • use "search results" for Infoseek
    • use "top 10" for Excite
    • use "result pages" for Metacrawler

If you have a "magic word" or other tips/tricks for a search engine, please share it by sending a message to Jim Allan. Note: search engines are always changing their user interface; and the "magic word" for the engine may change. Please send a message to Jim Allan so he can update this list.

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