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December 25, 2006

How to Add Search to Google Reader

Search is one of the most requested features for Google Reader. Until this feature is implemented, there's a simple workaround: you can use Google Co-op to create a search engine restricted only to the sites you're subscribed to. Here's how to do this:

1. Go to this page that shows your list of subscriptions (in OPML format) and save it to your desktop.

2. Create a search engine at Google Co-op. Enter a name, a description, a bogus keyword (like "blogs"), a bogus site in the list of sites to search (like "www.example.com"). Click "Next" and then "Finish".

3. Now click on "control panel" next to the search engine you've just created. Select "Advanced" and upload the file downloaded from Google Reader in the annotations section.

4. (Optional) To access your search engine, you have more options:

* Integrate it into Google Reader using a Greasemonkey script

* Go to "Code" section and copy some code you can add to your site or add a gadget to Google Personalized Homepage.

* Go to "Preview" section and bookmark the homepage of your search engine.

* You can also go to the homepage of your custom search engine, right-click on the search box and add the search engine to your browser (for example: if you have Google Toolbar, right-click and select "Generate custom search"; if you use Opera, select "Create search").

You can use this to search the sites from any OPML file (most feed readers have an option to export the subscribed feeds to OPML). Of course, if you add or remove feeds, you need to reupload the OPML to Google Co-op to keep the search engine in sync.

Update (Sept. 2007): Google Reader added search.

19 comments:

  1. Thank you for this tip - I've been waiting for search on Google Reader for a long time.

    Merry Christmas!

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  2. Wow. You're a genius, it's so simple I can't believe I hadn't thought of it. Hmmm... I wonder if you can add a custom search to Google Reader.

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  3. This is great. I was wondering why Google do not have a search facility on their reader because that is only one of the few down sides.

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  4. Yah, if someone could make a Grease Monkey script to add your own custom search engine to the Reader homepage, that would be awesome.

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  5. Thank you! Quick note: Uploading the annotation file successfully required me to change the file extension to .xml (Firefox saved it as the default .html).

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  6. Love it. Like bfos said, it would be great to see a greasemonkey script for this...

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  7. Love it! Is there a way to search ONLY shared/starred items? I've tried modding my xml to only have the one starred/shared url but get no return results. Tried the feed and http url's. Oh...the greasemonkey script...FOR SURE!

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  8. Great tip! I didn't know Google Coop took OPML files.

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  9. Greasemonkey please! If anyone does find that this has been greasemonkey'd, please post a url in this comment section. I will be checking back daily.

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  10. I just added a comment over at
    http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/5958

    hopefully the author can write his plugin now around this awesomeness.

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  11. This is basically the same thing Blastfeed does:

    http://www.blastfeed.com/

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  12. If you use firefox, there is a simple way of adding a keyword for your bookmark.

    Basically, go to home page of your search engine. Search on something, say "abc" and bookmark the link of the search result page. Then in the saved link in your bookmark, replace the search word "abc" with "%s".

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  13. Great! You saved me :) thanks a lot man! ;)

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  14. very cool of that:)
    really useful:)

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  15. I couldn't get the greasemonkey script working for this, I'd also like to restrict the search to one of my reader folders.

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  16. Asterbox.com announces the beta release of their Java mobile platform. They have openly declared what many users have felt: surfing the web on a mobile device is a disappointing experience. Their claims that the internet on the phone is dead, but can live on through web services have been embodied in the Asterbox mobile platform. The Java-based platform utilizes web APIs to deliver content and interactivity to end users in a new and innovative way. The software currently provides access to the Google Reader service, but more functionality is in the works.

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  17. Thanks for posting these instructions.

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