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Search aggregator

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History and Functional Overview
– Search aggregation became available in 2006.
– Amazon published the OpenSearch specification in 2005.
OpenSearch allows for greater flexibility in displaying results.
– Many sites publish results in generic RSS format.
OpenSearch syndication is not generally required.
– Search aggregator allows users to select specific search engines ad hoc.
– It generates the required URL on the fly by inserting the search query into the parameterized URL.
– Parameterized URL example: https://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q={SEARCH_TERMS}&ie=UTF-8&output=rss
– The search aggregator parses and displays the results in a user-friendly way.

Advantages
– Provides greater flexibility in choosing search engines for a query.
– Allows easy addition of new engines to the user’s collection.
– Similar to adding a news feed to a news aggregator.
– Offers a customizable search experience.
– Provides access to the power of multiple search engines.

Patents
– Apple patent US6847959B1 filed in January 2000 covers universal search aggregation.
– The patent resulted in the removal of this feature from Samsung Android smartphones in July 2012.

Related Concepts
– Aggregator
Metasearch engine
Federated search
– Wikivoyage has a travel guide for aggregators

References
– Use of anonymous search engine aggregator DuckDuckGo rockets following PRISM scandal (Belfast Telegraph, 2015-08-12)
– Patent US6847959 – Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system – Google Patents
– Florian Mueller (2012-02-15). Last week’s Apple-Samsung lawsuit involves eight patents, 17 products – bid for Nexus ban is based on only a subset. FOSS Patents. Retrieved 2012-08-16.
Z39.50

Search aggregator (Wikipedia)

A search aggregator is a type of metasearch engine which gathers results from multiple search engines simultaneously, typically through RSS search results. It combines user specified search feeds (parameterized RSS feeds which return search results) to give the user the same level of control over content as a general aggregator.[citation needed]

Soon after the introduction of RSS, sites began publicising their search results in parameterized RSS feeds. Search aggregators are an increasingly popular way to take advantage of the power of multiple search engines with a flexibility not seen in traditional metasearch engines. To the end user, a search aggregator may appear to be just a customizable search engine and the use of RSS may be completely hidden. However, the presence of RSS is directly responsible for the existence of search aggregators and a critical component in the behind-the-scenes technology.

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