The Go button appears on all Wikipedia pages in the standard skin, next to the search button. The function of the go button is to display an article directly, instead of first having to select it from the search result page. In other words, it allows a user to quickly navigate from page to page without following links.
To view a page, just enter its name and click "Go". The Go button is more complex than it looks. It works as follows:
- Try to view the page exactly as it is entered, e.g. Quantum Leap takes the user to the television science fiction series, while Quantum leap takes the user to the phenomenon. If there is no match, continue.
- Try all lower case (with the first letter capitalized), e.g. if the user types "QUANTUM LEAP", the exact case match would fail, and Quantum leap would be displayed. If there is no match, continue.
- Try the capitalized version, e.g. "noam chomsky" becomes "Noam Chomsky". If there is no match, continue.
- Try the all upper case version, e.g. "nasa" becomes "NASA". If there is no match, continue.
- Try a case insensitive title search that also matches partial page titles, e.g. "Yar" would match "Tasha Yar". If there are several matches, priority is as follows: 1) articles, 2) article talk pages, 3) user pages, 4) user talk pages, 5) wikipedia pages, 6) wikipedia talk pages, 7) image pages, 8) image talk pages. That is, for example, if both a talk page with the title and a normal page exist, the normal page is viewed. If there is no match, continue.
- Stopwords are ignored in this title search.
- Prefixes like "User:" and "Wikipedia:" are currently treated as words in the title search, but not in the previous matching routines, where they are treated as proper namespace prefixes.
- Try a full text search for the entered words and display the search result page as it would be shown if the user clicked the "Search" button.
If the user uses the Go button wisely, it will allow the user to quickly jump to his/her most frequently used pages. It is also a good idea to use it for unambiguous searches -- if a direct match fails, it will always fall back to the normal search anyway, and if it succeeds, the user is immediately taken where the user wants to go. In general, the go button generates little server load, and therefore usually remains functional even if the fulltext search is deactivated for performance reasons.
If the user just wants the first step mentioned above to be carried out, do not use the Go button, but put the URL in the address bar, e.g. http:// [language] .wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Leap , replacing [language] with the code for that Wikipedia (eg EN, DE).