I’m happy to admit that I’m a big Yahoo Pipes fan. For example, I use them to monitor Sphinn in a way that lets me (often, not always) jump straight to the blog post that’s gone hot. I call that Sphinn minus Sphinn (which is a bit nasty as it is a parasitic model that bypasses their ads).
Last night Yahoo introduced a rather funky new module. Inspired by SQL they’ve introduced YQL.
With the YQL module you can write text commands like
select url from grabbedrss where tags ="seo"
Its a quick and easy way to grab the data you want from your harvest (note places like Feedburner give webmasters the option to block Pipes) and then begin to process it in the way you want.
Yahoo also cottoned on to the fact that most of us use Yahoo Pipes to spit out new RSS feeds. That option has been moved nearer to the top of the navigation.
I’m not sure if Yahoo! will keep Pipes running. It’s not making them any money. However, if Pipes does continue then I predict webmasters and SEOrs will begin to spend more time thinking whether they want Pipes to be able to access their page.
For example, ever since Search Engine Land left full text RSS behind I’ve been tempted to use Yahoo Pipes to grab the body content of their posts and build my own full RSS feed instead.