Does MSN Search work with RSS web feeds?
I've just heard from some friends that MSN Search now lets me look through RSS feeds to find information, in addition to its regular search capabilities? Very cool, but how do I do it?
It was only a matter of time before one of the major search engines threw the switch and added the world of RSS feeds and weblogs to its searchable database, and I was sure it'd be Google since they've owned Blogger.com for so long. But I was wrong and it is again the smart team at MSN Search that are first out the door with a slick new search feature.
To search the world of RSS feeds, simply use the feed: operator, followed by whatever word or phrase you seek. Want to find mentions of "Dave Taylor" in the feeds area? Try feed:Dave Taylor, for example.
Though I imagine it's going to be used less commonly, MSN Search also introduced a new operator that lets you search for pages that include both the pattern you specify and an RSS feed of some sort too, hasfeed:. This one I find confusing, frankly, but a search for hasfeed:whitehouse.gov, which ostensibly offers up all pages that point to the White House and have an RSS feed produces 23,615 pages, while the search whitehouse.gov without the new operator lists 119,332 results. Make sense to you?
When the MSN Search team updates its Search Builder and Advanced Search Options help page, they'll have a clearer explanation of hasfeed:.
While we're talking about MSN Search, I also want to highlight that MSN Search has a very slick RSS webfeed capability that lets you subscribe to specific searches and see new results when things change in the MSN Search database. It's easy to use too: At the bottom of every search result is an orange "RSS" button. Either copy and paste that link into your RSS Reader or click on it -- if you're running an RSS-smart browser -- and subscribe. (I've detailed instructions on how to subscribe to an RSS feed too)
Hope that helps get you started. Since the web feed search is basically still an undocumented featureset of MSN Search (I learned about it through Microsoft XML Team programmer Dare Obasanjo's blog) I would encourage you to experiment a bit to see what kind of results you get too.
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