Q&A: Custom Automatic Search Engine?

Question by Charlie L: Custom Automatic Search Engine?
Is there a free search engine service out there that will automatically search a for a particular keyword on a particular site, and send me an email alert when that keyword is found?

For example, I’d like to set it up to where Craigslist is automatically searched for a particular keyword, say… “graphic design” and whenever someone posts a post on Craiglist that has the words Graphic Design in the post, I’ll receive an email with a notification that a new post has been posted with those keywords.

I know eBay has a service like this for their auctions, and it’d be nice if there was a (free) search option for any website I wanted.

Yahoo and Google have customized Search Engines, that kind of speak to this, but from what I can tell (and maybe I’m missing something), it won’t send automatic notifications….. You have to actively type in the keywords and press search – it doesn’t do the continuously for you.

Concept is kind of like having your own personal web crawler.

Best answer:

Answer by cousinbonehead
Look up ‘Google API’. You’ll need a free developer key.
Google supports searches within a specific domain. IN this case, Craigs list.
In order to automate searches, you can either go to Google, run the search then copy the URL. This will allow you to create a script file that can be run by your Windows Task manager. The script file can be Java or VB script. Pretty easy to mock up. Now that I think of it, you may not need a Google developer API key if you can create the URL from the search at Google itself.
Many ideas out there but to answer your question, it can be done. Yes.

ANd theres more: CraigsList has RSS feeds. THis is great because you can consume those feeds in an application. There are certain metatags that can describe when feeds were posted, meaning you can determine if it is a new feed.
The point is, you need to know CraigsList rss feed information which is as simple as going there and searching for RSS.

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