Amazon Calls for Open Search Results

At the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in San Diego Tuesday, CEO Jeff Bezos introduced a new initiative to standardize search results. The goal, says Bezos, is to bring together thousands of specialized search engines using an open format that can be easily syndicated.

The first results of Amazon's OpenSearch effort have begun to take shape on its search engine. The site includes over 35 searches from other sites, including the New York Times and photo site Flickr, which can appear as columns alongside normal Web searches.

To fulfill its OpenSearch vision, has built an extension to the RSS 2.0 standard. The initiative is comprised of XML-based search results, XML files that identify and describe a search engine, and OpenSearch aggregators such as that support the standard.

"We want this to do for search what RSS has done for content," said Bezos

OpenSearch is open to any search engine or Web site, which can register to list their content search on The company says it is currently working on the second version of the specification that will add more features; initially, wanted to ensure backward-compatibility with existing RSS tools.

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