Have you ever wanted to add a new feature to Google’s search results? There’s a really nice way to do it right now. If you’re not familiar with this functionality, it’s called a Subscribed Link, and it lets you “create custom search results that users can add to their Google search pages. You can display links to your services for your customers, provide news and status information updated in near-real-time, answer questions, calculate useful quantities, and more.” That page has a whole list of different ways to add new features to Google’s search results:
* Create search results specific to your product, service, or expertise.
* Design a basic version in minutes to see how it works.
* Build a dynamic version using XML, TSV, or RSS files or feeds.
* Include images in your Subscribed Links.
* Include Google Gadgets in your Subscribed Links.
* Test your Subscribed Links interactively and get debugging messages.
* Define query patterns using lists of keywords or regular expressions.
* Invoke the calculator to help construct your results.
I like that Google provides an open system to add functionality to our search results. If this sounds interesting to you, check out this blog post by Google OS (an unofficial blog), read through the subscribed links developer guide, or check out the Subscribed link FAQ.
Let’s walk through an example. I often need to know what my IP address is. Usually I go to Google, search for [ip address], and click on one of the top results. That works okay, but I discovered that there’s an even easier way. Go to this page and click on the “Subscribe” button.
Now when you go to Google and type a query like [my ip], you’ll see the answer right in your search results, like this:
I painted out my actual IP address, but you get the idea. Now if only aruljohn.com would add the query [ip address] to the list of queries that triggers a subscribed link, that will let me be lazy and continue doing the query that I’m used to.
If you’d like to add some new functionality to Google, why not try it for yourself today? I made a simple subscribed link that looks like this:
in about a minute. It looks like you can make a subscribed link out of feeds very quickly. It looks like you can even add your own flexible gadget to Google’s search results, and it looks like this:
By the way, I originally wrote this post a little while ago focusing on how to find out your IP address with a specific subscribed link. After Yahoo announced their “SearchMonkey” project tonight (congrats to the Yahoo folks!), I figured I’d add in some details about Google’s Subscribed Links and how to make a rich snippet result using Subscribed Links.