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Searching for Creative Commons on Yahoo!

Neeru Paharia, September 17th, 2004

In addition to using our new search engine to find great content to build upon and share, you can also do interesting searches using Yahoo!, who currently indexes ~ 4.7 million Creative Commons licensed pages. Yahoo! allows you to constrain searches to pages that link to specific Creative Commons licenses using the “link:URL” function. For example, these are all the Yahoo! results for pages that link to the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. The linkback feature, coupled with a regular text search, can yield some interesting results:

Here are all the Yahoo! indexed pages that have the word “sunset” on them, and link to the Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license.

Versus the Creative Commons search: Here are all the Creative Commons indexed pages that have images on them, the word “sunset,” and I can modify and alter.

The Creative Commons search engine works differently, in that it’s able to add another layer of granularity to the search, by reading code embedded into the web page. By reading this code (that comes with every Creative Commons license) it understands what kind of content it’s finding (image, video, audio, text, etc.) and searches across different license attributes. It’s almost like a huge distributed database across the Web.

Our search engine is one of the first of its kind to demonstrate the Semantic Web, a vision led by Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web.

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