Webometric Thoughts

September 11, 2008

Yahoo Vanity Searching

Filed under: Google API,Yahoo API,vanity search — admin @ 10:16 am

Like everyone else, I too suffer from vanity searches: Am I on the first page of results for ‘David Stuart’? Does Webometric Thoughts hit the front page for the term ‘webometrics’? Unfortunately my name is rather popular (or is that common??) and I often don’t appear until page 6 or 7. I therefore thought it would be a good idea to automate the process.

Obviously what everyone really cares about is their Google result. Unfortunately those Google F— W— changed their api a couple of years ago, and it’s no longer much use for the sort of things I want to do (or if it is I don’t know how to do it). As such I turned to good old Yahoo.

Enter search term:
Enter site:

On submitting the above form a program is run that pulls off the Yahoo results 100 at a time for a particular query. It then searches for the appearance of a particular URL (or part of a URL) on the page of results, and if it is there, identifies whereabouts on the page it is. It keeps going until it finds the first page of results it is on, or hits the maximum number of results Yahoo lets you see (i.e., 1,000). As it may have to run up to 11 searches on Yahoo, you may need to give it a few seconds.

-Use addition signs rather than spaces for more than one term, e.g., webometric+thoughts
-Yes with only a few extra lines I could have allowed multiple urls, multiple terms, and stopped it highlighting the same record twice…but I didn’t.

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