RSS search engines


Search Engine Watch has published their second part of a series of articles on RSS

The latest piece takes a look at the specialized RSS search tools that help you locate content in blogs and feeds:

Many people
mistakenly refer to RSS search as “blog search.” While it’s true that
many blogs offer RSS feeds (automatic feed creation is a feature of
most blogging software), not all blogs have feeds. Furthermore, RSS can
literally be used with just about any kind of web-based content. RSS
fundamentally is a relatively simple specification that uses XML to
organize and format web-based content in a standard way. “

I use these sorts of services in a couple of ways.

The first is the ego-tracking.  I’m interested to know who’s pointing to / slagging off my posts.  For this I use Ice Rocket, PubSub and Technorati (the latter not linked to, as it is having kittens, again – will add later).
I track the search results via RSS.  Why use three engines? 
Well, no single engine seems to capture the all of the resources
available and catch all of the references out there, so this is about
getting comprehensive.

The second main use I have for these RSS
search engines is to track thoughts/coverage on news and
topics.  An example was yesterday’s WinFS news. It’s great to be able to track the blogosphere in close-to-realtime and monitor reaction closely.

As it happens, the ‘WinFS’ search
made it to Technorati’s top ten search items throughtout yesterday. In
fact it made the nine spot on Monday evening, then eight
spot by Tuesday morning. By last night it fell off the list.

Screenshot of Technorati homepage, Aug 29 2005

List of RSS search engines, courtesy of SWE:

As Chris Sherman’s article
points out, there are notable names missing from this list: no MSN,
Google or Yahoo. No doubt this will change, but in the
meantime there are some smart, small companies doing some
very cool stuff dominating in this space.

Update 14 Sept 05: Seems RSS / Feed searching is confusing, I agree.

Comments (4)

  1. MSN definitely has search feeds: search.msn.com. Do the search and scroll to the RSS button at the bottom of the results page. For Google, you can try Googlealert.com, an unaffiliated site that uses Google’s Web API (with Google’s permission of course). For Yahoo, you can create a search feed for the news only (news.yahoo.com). Again, do the search and use the XML button on the results page. There are several others that I list in my book, Syndicating Web Sites with RSS Feeds For Dummies, including Moreover and Newsgator.

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Thanks Ellen.

    Re: MSN. You are right in that http://search.msn.com has feeds you can subscribe to, but that is not the same as the engine searching RSS feeds.

    re: Googlealert.com, again, not what I’m taking about. Is good for indexed news and the crawled web, but doesn’t cover RSS feeds provided

    by blogs, etc.

    re: Yahoo news, same again.

    What I’m talking about here is searchable RSS content (blogs, news, etc) – this is the real-time side of the searchable web.

    The delivery of search results via RSS is different a thing.

    thanks,

    Alex.

  3. Poalo Valdermarin has noticed the Google feed crawler is pinging his blog.

    The user interface to the…