How it works
The Go button is more complex than it looks. It works as follows (each time, only continuing if there is no match):
- Check existence of the page exactly as it is entered (note that most projects have case-insensitivity of the first character of the whole page name, and in the case of a namespace prefix, of the first character after that). For example, if you entered "the test Page", MediaWiki could navigate to The test Page.
- Try all lower case: the test page.
- Try all words capitalized: The Test Page.
- Try the all upper case version: THE TEST PAGE.
If no such variations are found, a full text search is performed as if you clicked the "Search" button.
A search using the Go button generates little server load, and therefore usually remains functional even if the fulltext search is deactivated for performance reasons.
If you use the Go button wisely, it will allow you to quickly jump to your 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, you are immediately taken where you want to go.
A special feature is that applying Go on an IP address gives the User contributions of that IP.
It's often beneficial to utilize existing redirects and namespaces aliases. For example, in most Wikimedia projects one can use short alias "user:" instead of longer localized version.
Depending on the contents of MediaWiki:Nogomatch there may be a link to the edit page of the non-existent page, see e.g. w:MediaWiki:Nogomatch. A useful side-effect is that this allows going conveniently to a page on another wiki, by adding the interwiki prefix, albeit that the text "create an article with this title" would not be accurate for the link, in the case of an existing page. Also the CSS-class of the link is "new", not "extiw".