October 18, 2006

Microsoft Live Search and Domain Based Search Hubs

The graphic contained in this post on the Live Search LinkFromDomain operator suggests it all:

live search hub

Green: LinkDomain:YourSite.com Yellow: LinkFromDomain:YourSite.com Blue: Either LinkDomain or LinkFromDomain Green + Yellow + Blue: LinkFromDomain:YourSite.com | LinkDomain:YourSite.com

You can try the terms out using this demo app.

I have to admit that when tinkering with linkSearch (search across pages or domains that link to a given URL), pageSearch (search across pages or domains that link from a given URL) and relatedSearch (search across pages or domains that are related to a given URL) my focus was on building search hubs around pages rather than domains, but these new toys from Microsoft Live may mean I need to rethink a little and try to support both?

I had been thinking about merging results from inlinks, outlinks and related links in a combined urlHubSearch tool, but the demo of macros showing links from one domain into another has got me thinking of all sorts of weird and wonderful potential search combinations...

And whilst following the various threads around the linkfromdomain operator, I also came across this quite old post on searching sites linked to from a blog. I'm still not totally clear how this service works, or what exactly it searches over, but the code is provided (using the Google SOAP search interface, no less), so I'll have to have a dig around inside it and see what's going on.

Maybe this will provide the incentive I need to move searchfeedr over to a web service driven interface, as well as the iframe/embedded original results page approach I use at the moment. (Although I do have a couple of demo apps that use the Yahoo Search API e.g. this flavour of deliSearch and this version of linkSearch - knock "ajax" off the latter URL and it reverts to the iframe results page)).

Adding domain or page based search hubs will undoubtedly complicate the integrated searchfeedr interface though, just when I thought I was starting to find a way of simplifying it :-(

Ho hum...

While on the topic of search, a couple of pointers to some new (ish, to me) search interfaces.

Clusty released a cloud view over their clustered results a week or two ago: Clusty Cloud Creator.

And the rather neat 'page preview in an iframe' interface for a selected result at snap.com seemed eminently sensible when I put it in the context of my Google Analytics results for this blog homepage - the majoirty of visitors coming in from Google leave within 10 seconds, presumably because the site is not what they were looking for.

And almost finally - one to watch, maybe: Google's experimental searchmash site. At the moment, as well as page links in one column, you get image based results in a smaller, right hand column. In addition, you can drog and drop the text results, possibly presaging some interface in which the users can help poor old Google out in improving its rankings (speaking of which - here's a simplified(?) take on how the ranking equation might work).

Windows Live Search OPML Generator doesn't go for drag and drop - though it could; this tool lets you search over feeds, then tick the ones you like and roll them into an OPML file.

Nifty, very nifty - and obvious, now someone's done it....

Wish I'd thought of it when I was playing with the OPML Feedrolled Persistent Federated Search and Social Bookmarking OPML Feed Roller tools.

Ho hum... with Live Macros looking like they could do all and more I wanted from searchfeedr, I'm going to need another trifle to play with...

Now I wonder, the OpenLearn open content project has its public launch next week...maybe there'll be some opportunities to tinker around that for a while ;-)

Posted by ajh59 at October 18, 2006 11:44 PM