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June 11, 2007

Google Reader Search Powered by Google Gears

Months go by and Google Reader still doesn't have a search feature. We tried to add search using Google Co-op, but you have to manually synchronize your subscriptions and wait until Google indexes the pages before being able to search them.

Now that Google Reader can store data offline using Google Gears, Raul Ochoa built a Greasemonkey script that lets you search the most recent 2000 posts, assuming they're properly synchronized. "At this moment the search is performed over the same database table used by Google Reader, in this table you can't use Full-Text Searches, so a simple/poor database query with like is being used."

This Google Gears + Greasemonkey solution is not perfect: the script tries to match the exact phrase, the search results are sorted by date, they could be formatted better and you have to manually synchronize the data by switching between the online/offline modes.

Assuming you have Firefox, Google Gears and Greasemonkey, here's the link to the script.

Update (Sept. 2007): Google Reader added search.


  1. I use Bloglines and not Google Reader only for the search feature. Why they don't add this ?? really strange...

  2. How do I get it to work with my Opera?

  3. You can't. Google Gears can only be installed in Internet Explorer, Firefox and soon in Apple's Safari.

    Hopefully, Opera will include Google Gears, at least as an option. Here's a quote from the press release:

    "Opera and Google share the common goal of making Web applications richer and more robust," said HÃ¥kon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software. "Developers have long desired the functionality and flexibility Google Gears can offer browsers. Because Opera has always prioritized giving our users what they want, we're excited to work with Google to extend the reach and power of Web applications."

  4. Search is coming to reader. I was looking through their CSS files after they added gears and found references to it.

    See for the proof

  5. I tried using the Google Co-op + Greasemonkey but ended up uninstalling the GM script when it didn't seem to work. I couldn't even get to the format reader search results page (i used JohnM's version of the script for the supposed better integration with Reader).

    This solution is certainly worth trying out. I have a concern though: if the Google gear's sqlite database saves only 2000 of google reader posts (as the way the reader team has implemented it), then certainly you will not be getting the complete picture if you're subscribed to many feeds (and has more than 2000 feeds)

  6. I agree, but it's still better than nothing. Google Gears saves the most recent 2000 posts, so that should cover anything from a couple of hours to a couple of days. If a feed has an average of 5 new posts a day and you have subscribed to 100 feeds, Google Gears should store all the posts from the last 4 days.

  7. I'd like search, of course, but here's what I need first: a selectable "from" address when I email someone a post!

    I have several email addresses pointing to my unused "real" gmail account, and that unused account is what my friends are getting emailed from. Silly!