Automating Gumtree searches with RSS and Yahoo Pipes

Posted by mirfaan
mirfaan
blame it on the i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-internet
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on Sunday, 15 July 2012
in Digital Blogs

If you're searching for a car or house, you'll know gumtree is a great resource. But a lot of your "success" depends on doing a bunch of different searches and scouring the results.

This tutorial will show you how to get RSS feeds from specific Gumtree searches, and how to aggregate multiple searches into one feed so that you can always find the latest and most relevant searches.

Part 1: Getting a single Gumtree search RSS feed

For this example, we'll look at flats to rent in Pinelands and Thornton in Cape Town

1. Go to Gumtree

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2. We'll put in all our search parameters, making it as meaningful as possible. You can add as many search parameters as you like:

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3a. Now for the slightly technical part. We can grab the "feed" for the RSS by adding a semi colon after the "QQ" after "Keyword" in the URL:

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3b. Or we can scroll to the bottom of the search results page and click on the RSS symbol

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Using either of the results of 3a or 3b, you can add feeds to Google Reader, Microsoft Outlook and a bunch of otheer RSS services

Part 2: Aggregating feeds

You can add multiple feeds that you create from searches in Part 1, but if you're more of a minimalist you can bulk up feeds by aggregating them.

To do this we'll be using a fantastic piece of tech called Yahoo Pipes - you'll need a Yahoo account to do this.

1. Go to Yahoo Pipes, and login

2. Click on 'Create Pipe'

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3. The pipe canvas will load. We'll be adding feeds that we copy from the gumtree URL (after adding the semicolon) in part 3a above. We'll do this by adding a 'Fetch Feed' widget to the canvas

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4. Well then add all the individual feed URL's from our various gumtree searches (remember to add the semicolon ';' after the QQ after 'Keyword') to the widget and drag a pipe from the 'Fetch Feed' widget to the 'Pipe Output':

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5. Save and name the pipe you've created

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6. Click on 'Run pipe' to compile all the feeds together

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7. You'll now see the aggregated feed of all your Gumtree searches, with the most recent additions appearing at the top. You can use the 'Pipe Web Address' to manually add the feed to your RSS reader, or click the Google button to automatically push it to Google Reader.

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That's it. This is a simple but powerful way to leverage Gumtree to automate searches. The pipes that you build can be shared, so if you're a seller, you can create a feed to display on your website, or automate emails based on your RSS feed.

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