Query Links on the Web

by Bob DuCharme

Most mentions of query links on the web refer to the concept as a feature of a particular system, and not "query links" on the web itself. The link in the preceding sentence demonstrates what I mean by a web query link: it's a Google query stored in a URL to let me point to multiple destinations at once. I find it a handy way to create dynamic, one-to-many links.

It's especially handy as a way to point to multiple files on the same site. I use it often at rdfdata.org, my directory of publicly available larger RDF files and web services that return RDF, because this technique lets me point to files that are spread out around a given site, so a short link like this link to picture metadata on w3photo.org can have a reasonably concise URL. The dynamic nature of the link means that it will find new files relevant to the link's purpose after I create the link, as long as those new files are described by the query.

This practice seemed to take one weblogger slightly by surprise; perhaps it's not that common. Do you know of other uses of this technique? It doesn't have to use Google, but Google does make it easy. It's even possible at specialized pay-for-use databases like those at my employer, where such a link takes you right to the query results if you're logged in and a login screen if not.


2004-12-28 17:34:04
Good idea
Yeah, I just used this yesterday, because I wanted to refer to the many collected volumes of Neil Gaiman's >Sandman comic books. I've used that technique several times with Amazon, haven't yet used it with Google, but will definitely keep it in mind :)
2004-12-30 11:39:39
search engine games
We used to do similar stuff with our own local Verity search engine at Medscape.