DIY SEO: Create Your Own Keyword Tracking Master Feed

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There are plenty of tools that help you track a keyword mentions either for reputation management or for keyword research. But you know what, if you want something done well, you better do it yourself. So here’s a quick tutorial on creating your own keyword tracking master feed:

Step One: Collect the Sources

For this experimental master feed, I am combining 4 sources (you can combine as many as you need). I will also be using my moniker for tracking – just because it has few results (as compared to a general key phrase), so it will be easier to demonstrate how things work (but likewise, you can create a master feed for any key term you are targeting or trend you are interested in):

1. Google Blog search feed:

Google blog search feed

2. Google News Feed:

  • Go to Google news search;
  • Search for the key term;
  • Grab the feed of the search results (bottom of the page):

Google News Feed

3. Twitter Search Feed:

  • Go to Twitter search;
  • Search for the key term;
  • Grab the feed of the search results:

{Note: my key term in this case is the same as my Twitter username, so I am filtering my own Tweets out: seosmarty -from:seosmarty}

Twitter search feed

4. Digg Search Feed

  • Go to Digg;
  • Search for the key term;
  • Grab the feed of the search results:

Digg search feed

{Note: you can track only popular stories, for that include +p in the search query.}

Step 2: Create a Master Feed

Go to Yahoo! Pipes and combine all three feeds in three:

1. Name your Pipe: Click on tab in the top left corner which says "Untitled" and provide your name;

2. Provide your feed URLs: click on "Fetch feed" pipe in "Sources" and drag it into the dashboard. Then copy-paste your first feed address. If everything is fine, you will be able to see the feed preview in the debugger window at the bottom of the screen:

Fetch feed: Yahoo Pipes

Now, click on + next to "URL" in the "Fetch feed" pipe and add all your feeds:

Combine feeds: Yaho Pipes

3. (!) Filter duplicate entries. Because you combine several feeds, chances are there are many identical URLs in a few of them. You don’t want those duplicates to trash your feed and you have the power to filter them away (and that’s the beauty of it!).

You have two options to do that: one is simpler, while the other one is more complicated. Let’s start with an easier one:

(a) Open the "Operators" and drag the "Unique" Pipe into your dashboard;

(b) Configure it to filter out duplicate titles;

(c) Link all the pipes so that the Output Pipe were the last one:

Yahoo Pipes: Filter Duplicates


"Unique" module removes items that contain duplicate strings. You select the element to filter on, and Unique removes the duplicates – if the original feed has five items with the same title, you can configure Unique so only one of these items is included in the output feed.

This should be enough in most cases. But it is not enough for the cases where you are using Twitter search feed because your feed will be trashed with multiple RTs which do have (slightly) different titles.

Yahoo Pipes: Duplicates

You may want to keep them (to know who is retweeting you) or you may want to filter those out, and here’s where our Advanced filtering method comes in handy:

(a) Go to "Deprecated" and drag in "Content Analysis" pipe;

(b) Insert it before "Unique" pipe and link them through;

(c) In "Unique" pipe choose "item.y:content_analysis" as the filtering criteria;

(d) Link all the pipes, click on "Output" and refresh the debugger results:. You will see that filtering is *a bit* smarter now (still not perfect, probably because this module I used to love so much has been deprecated but it is still in use):

Yahoo Pipes: Advanced Filtering


Content Analysis Module: analyzes each item in an RSS feed and tries to find the most significant few words within it. A new y:content_analysis element is added to the output feed. For example, a news feed with a headline like "Pioneering treatment for brain cancer gets Swiss approval" may get a y:content_analysis value of "brain cancer". An item titled "FDA approves patch to treat dementia" may yield a y:content_analysis of simply "dementia".

Alternative / similar module that can be used here: Term Extractor module

4. Sort the results by date.

Naturally, you want to see the newest results first. So drag "Sort" from the Operators toolbar, link it through with all the pipes before the output and set it to sort results by date (depends on your chosen feeds formats):

Yahoo Pipes: Sort by date

Any more Yahoo Pipes tips to share?

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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  • aaron walls

    One of the coolest bits to Yahoo! Pipes is that they make it easy to create another pipe set based on a previous Pipe set. Could you link to your Pipe sequence so others can use it as a cut and paste baseline starting point (without having to learn all the Yahoo! Pipes stuff)?

    • Ann Smarty

      here we go:

      • aaron wall

        Thanks a bunch Ann πŸ™‚

  • William Smith

    And… then what?

    • Ann Smarty

      And then subscribe to that feed with your favorite RSS reader and start tracking!

  • Samantha


    thanks for sharing this information here. I’m just kinda confuse it what is better. It is better to use a tool or to Create my own Keyword tracking master feed?

    Kind Regards


    • Ann Smarty

      Just try everything and choose what looks better to you. It is a very personal choice. I for one prefer what is done by myself πŸ™‚

  • SEO Doctor

    Another great use of Pipes…still working out what went wrong with my twitter bot!

  • Murthy

    This is cool!

  • Fred Munoa

    Excellent article Ann, and very helpful also for reputation management.

  • Deb Ward

    This is a great use of Pipes. Thanks for the article and the “how-to.” Really helpful.

  • William Smith

    I can see the value in using an aggregator like this to track mentions, what I am unclear of is how you would use this data to improve your SEO campaign.

    The topic here was DIY SEO. You could technically accomplish what you describe by just searching google (altho i think it might be more elegant using your solution, technically it could just all be done in a Google search).

    Were you thinking that this might provide you a list of articles that you could then scan to get ideas for topics/keywords? Or, was this for link building?

    Specifically which aspect of SEO does this help? Its use for rep management is understood.


    • Ann Smarty

      Keyword research – yes. Tracking keyword mentions and daily trends…

      For competitive research – as well: to monitor your competing business mentions as well spotting their promotion tactics.

  • William Alvarez

    Ann, this one is just great, one of the best uses of Yahoo! Pipes for SEO purposes. I think each person will use it in different as per his/her own interests, need no further explanation.

    Keep them coming!


  • dhiraj

    Yes we can track our daily keyword movements like google alert

  • Farshid

    I used it now. It was a good idea. Google Blog search is really great.

  • Erin

    how do you keep coming up with such fun stuff to do!! Seriously.

  • Lepki

    Agreed – This is fun stuff and great for automating multiple projects.

    Why bother manually searching when you can aggregate it all!

    More pls!

  • Dave Dugdale

    That is pretty cool, I do several of these already but not the pipes one.

  • Ashish

    Awesome! Earlier I could not figure out how to use Pipes. But your post makes it look so easy giving powerful results. I’m just going to try it now to see how it fares better than the Google Reader.

  • Jim Munro

    Thanks for the post. Good ideas and a nice walkthrough of the techniques you are using. (Appreciate the pics)

    I wouldn’t mind seeing exactly your mental processing the output of the resultant RSS feed. Not the obvious stuff, but maybe some ideas of trends that you notice when doing this filter. Do you do anything further than review this visually?

    I always appreciate a tool to make my daily work easier, so thanks! πŸ™‚

  • Tedel

    A pretty smart move, I must admit.