Example of a web page which offers to add a new search plugin. With Firefox, the symbol of the currently selected search engine becomes bluish. The user can add the search engine offered by that page by clicking the triangle.
Developed by
Initial release March 15, 2005 (2005-03-15)
Latest release
(December 6, 2005 (2005-12-06))
Type of format Web syndication
Extended from RSS
Open format? Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5

OpenSearch is a collection of technologies that allow publishing of search results in a format suitable for syndication and aggregation. It is a way for websites and search engines to publish search results in a standard and accessible format.

OpenSearch was developed by subsidiary A9 and the first version, OpenSearch 1.0, was unveiled by Jeff Bezos at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in March, 2005. Draft versions of OpenSearch 1.1 were released during September and December 2005. The OpenSearch specification is licensed by A9 under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.[1]


Web browsers that support OpenSearch include Firefox[2] and Google Chrome.[3]


Search suggestions in the German Wikipedia

OpenSearch consists of:

  1. OpenSearch Description files: XML files that identify and describe a search engine.
  2. OpenSearch Query Syntax: describe where to retrieve the search results
  3. OpenSearch RSS (in OpenSearch 1.0) or OpenSearch Response (in OpenSearch 1.1): format for providing open search results.
  4. OpenSearch Aggregators: Sites that can display OpenSearch results.
  5. OpenSearch "Auto-discovery" to signal the presence of a search plugin link to the user and the link embedded in the header of HTML pages

OpenSearch Description Documents list search result responses for the given website/tool. Version 1.0 of the specification only allowed one response, in RSS format; however, version 1.1 provides support for multiple responses, which may be in any format. RSS and Atom are the only ones formally supported by OpenSearch aggregators, however other types, such as HTML are perfectly acceptable.

See also


  1. "OpenSearch / Specifications / License". August 24, 2015.
  2. Ponomarev, Nickolay (9 Sep 2007). "Supporting search suggestions in search plugins". Mozilla Developer Center. Mozilla. Retrieved 2007-08-03.
  3. Google Chrome FAQ for web developers (on Internet Archive) "By providing an OpenSearch description document (OSDD), you enable Google Chrome to include your site in the list of search engines in the browser."
  4. 1 2 "Specifications/OpenSearch/1.1/Draft 5 - OpenSearch".
  5. "Specifications/OpenSearch/1.1/Draft 5 - OpenSearch".
  6. "Developer how to guide". External link in |publisher= (help)
  7. "Specifications/OpenSearch/1.1/Draft 5 - OpenSearch".
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