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Amazon’s A9 Launches OpenSearch

Chris Richardson
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-03-29

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Claiming, "We want OpenSearch to do for search what RSS has done for content," fledgling search engine and Amazon-owned A9 has launched OpenSearch, a technological bundle allowing content providers, like WebProNews, to "publish their search results in a format suitable for syndication."

Essentially, OpenSearch allows publications to create a button, which in turn allows A9 users to search only the content provided that company or web site.

For instance, OpenSearch provides a page with buttons already created for a number of sites like The New York Times and Flickr. Once a button is selected, users can enter a query and receive results from that site only.
A9 OpenSearch

A9 offers more detail:

Any site that has content-and a search box-can choose to return results in OpenSearch RSS. This includes travel sites, classifieds, encyclopedias… If you can provide search results for something, it probably can fit into the OpenSearch model.

Developers of A9's newest feature designed OpenSearch using the XML/syndication model. A9's description reveals, "OpenSearch is a straightforward and backward-compatible extension of RSS 2.0, the widely adopted XML-based format for content syndication."

A9 also features an OpenSearch composition breakdown:

  1. OpenSearch RSS: XML format for providing open search results.

  2. OpenSearch Description Documents: XML files that identify and describe a search engine

  3. OpenSearch Aggregators: Sites, such as A9.com, that can display OpenSearch results.
Unfortunately, A9 also reveals current RSS readers will not be able to take advantage of OpenSearch. However, existing blog reading tools "can read OpenSearch results natively." If you have a content-rich site and would like to learn more about A9's syndicated search engine feature, please visit the OpenSearch How-To page.

If you'd like to experiment with OpenSearch, please visit here.

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About the Author:
Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

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