Search aggregator

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.

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.


The concept of search aggregation is a relatively recent phenomenon with the first ones becoming available in 2006. In 2005 Amazon published the OpenSearch specification for making search results available in a generic XML format. While many sites currently publish results in OpenSearch, many simply publish in generic RSS format. However, while OpenSearch syndication allows for greater flexibility in the way Search Aggregators display results, it is generally not required.

Functional overview

A search aggregator typically allows users to select specific search engines ad hoc to perform a specified query. At the time the user enters the query into the Search Aggregator, it generates the required URL "on the fly" by inserting the search query into the parameterized URL for the search feed. A parameterized URL looks something like this:{SEARCH_TERMS}&ie=UTF-8&output=rss

In this case, the {SEARCH_TERMS} parameter would be replaced with the user requested search terms, and the query would be sent to the host. The Search Aggregator would then parse the results and display them in a user-friendly way.


This system has several advantages over traditional metasearch engines. Primarily, it allows the user greater flexibility in deciding which engines should be used to perform the query.[1] They also allow for easy addition of new engines to the users personal collection (similar to the way a user adds a new news feed to a news aggregator.)


Apple patent 6,847,959,[2] filed January 5, 2000, covers universal search aggregation. This resulted in the removal [3] of this feature from Samsung Android smart phones in July 2012.

See also


  1. ^ "Use of 'anonymous' search engine aggregator DuckDuckGo rockets following PRISM scandal" Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  2. ^ "Patent US6847959 - Universal interface for retrieval of information in a computer system - Google Patents". Retrieved 2012-08-16.
  3. ^ 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.

Aggregator may refer to:

News aggregator, software or a website that aggregates news from various sources

Poll aggregator, a website that aggregates polling data to gauge public sentiment on key political issues or to measure likely support for a candidate or party in an upcoming election. See the following examples:



Politicrunch, a poll aggregator

Drudge Report

Review aggregator, a website that aggregates reviews of movies or other products or services

Search aggregator, software that aggregates search results from various search engines

Social network aggregation, the collection of content from multiple social network services

Video aggregator, a website that aggregates online videos from various sources

Job ads aggregator, a website that aggregates job ads from various job boards, multiposter sites, as well as from direct employers and recruiting agencies

Federated search

Federated search is an information retrieval technology that allows the simultaneous search of multiple searchable resources. A user makes a single query request which is distributed to the search engines, databases or other query engines participating in the federation. The federated search then aggregates the results that are received from the search engines for presentation to the user. Federated search can be used to integrate disparate information resources within a single large organization ("enterprise") or for the entire web.

Federated search, unlike distributed search, requires centralized coordination of the searchable resources. This involves both coordination of the queries transmitted to the individual search engines and fusion of the search results returned by each of them.

LeapFish was a search aggregator that retrieved results from other portals and search engines, including Google, Bing and Yahoo!, and also search engines of blogs, videos etc. It was a registered trademark of Dotnext Inc, launched on 3 November 2008.

List of search engines

This is a list of search engines, including web search engines, selection-based search engines, metasearch engines, desktop search tools, and web portals and vertical market websites that have a search facility for online databases. For a list of search engine software, see List of enterprise search vendors.

Metasearch engine

A metasearch engine (or aggregator) is a search tool that uses another search engine's data to produce its own results from the Internet. Metasearch engines take input from a user and simultaneously send out queries to third party search engines for results. Sufficient data is gathered, formatted by their ranks and presented to the users.

Metasearch engines have their own sets of unique problems. All of the websites stored on search engines are different, which draws irrelevant content. Problems such as spamming reduces result accuracy. The process of fusion aims to tackle this issue and improve the engineering of a metasearch engine.There are many types of metasearch engines available to allow users to access specialized information in a particular field.


Multisearch is a multitasking search engine which includes both search engine and metasearch engine characteristics with additional capability of retrieval of search result sets that were previously classified by users. It enables the user to gather results from its own search index as well as from one or more search engines, metasearch engines, databases or any such kind of information retrieval (IR) programs.

Multisearch is an emerging feature of automated search and information retrieval systems which combines the capabilities of computer search programs with results classification made by a human.

Multisearch is a 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 multisearch may appear to be just a customizable search engine; however, its behind-the-scenes technology enables it to put a face to the search process and to retrieve and display also a results set which has been classified by a human during a multisearch session and automatically included in the documents index.

There are additional features available in many search engines and metasearch engines, but the basic idea is the same: reducing the amount of time required to search for resources by improvement of the accuracy and relevance of individual searches as well as the ability to manage the results.

Outline of search engines

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to search engines.

Search engine – information retrieval system designed to help find information stored on a computer system. The search results are usually presented as a list, and are commonly called hits.

Search engine (computing)

A search engine is an information retrieval system designed to help find information stored on a computer system. The search results are usually presented in a list and are commonly called hits. Search engines help to maximize the time required to find information and the amount of information which must be consulted, akin to other techniques for managing information overload.The most public, visible form of a search engine is a Web search engine which searches for information on the World Wide Web.

and standards
See also

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