SearchMonkey®: Developer Overview

The SearchMonkey developer tool enables you to create small, sharable applications that enhance search results. A SearchMonkey application pulls in structured data from multiple sources and uses PHP to display that data according to your specifications. For example, you could develop an application that triggers on sites for various music bands, enhancing the search results to display cover art, lyrics and mp3 samples. Or you could write an application to rewrite all Wikipedia search results in l33t-speak. The choice is up to you.

Getting Started

The following example walks through a simple application that only uses data from Yahoo! Search index. Real applications typically use data from a much wider variety of sources. For a comprehensive tutorial about a more realistic application, refer to the SearchMonkey Guide.

  1. Enter the SearchMonkey Developer Tool and click Create a new application.
  2. Enter "Test Application: Display Page Info" in the Name field. Select a type of Infobar. Read the Terms of Service and select the Terms of Service checkbox. Click Next Step.
  3. Enter a Trigger URL Pattern of "*". This causes your application to trigger on all search results. Note that this extremely general pattern forces the application to be an Infobar; creating a Enhanced Result style application requires a more specific trigger URL pattern.
  4. Enter the following three Test URLs: Click Next Step.
  5. Verify that the default Yahoo! Index data service is selected. You may optionally click "Contains 17 Data Services" to inspect the types of information in the Yahoo! Index. Click Next Step.
  6. Erase the contents of the textarea and replace it with this PHP snippet:
  7. Click Save and Refresh at the bottom of the screen. The Preview Pane displays an example search result for http://www.hp.com, with an Infobar appended to the bottom. Click to expand the Infobar. You should see the page's Category (taken from the Yahoo! Directory), the page's Language (English), and the page's MIME Type (text/html). Use the arrows to cycle through your three test results and examine the Infobars for http://www.spiegel.de and the IRS PDF. When you are done, click Next Step.
  8. Click Try this Application. Click Save to confirm that you want to add the application to your search preferences. This displays a dialog. Click Try it out on Yahoo! Search.
  9. Search on any topic of interest, and note that your test application triggers on all URLs, displaying an Infobar for each search result.
  10. Get started. Click here to enter the Developer Tool.

Tools & Documentation

Everything you need to participate in SearchMonkey is right here.

Custom Data Service Documentation

Learn how to use SearchMonkey to construct custom data services for a particular web service or set of (X)HTML pages.

Presentation Application Tutorial

Follow along as we create an application that consumes data from a custom data service and extracted microformat data.

Developer Tool

An online developer tool for building SearchMonkey applications. Each screen contains documentation links and an embedded screencast.

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