Yahoo Pipes Tutorial – Learn How To Use Yahoo Pipes In 15 Minutes Or Less


Yahoo Pipes is a powerful tool for mashing up content and RSS feeds from around the web without knowing any complicated programming languages. You can use Yahoo Pipes by dragging different modules onto the canvas to perform different actions, which are explained below. After you’ve made your Pipe and mashed up your content, you can save it and export it using different publishing options. We’re going to assume that you have a Yahoo Pipes account setup and are on the canvas page, ready to create your first Pipe.

Now you’re going to learn what each module does and how you can use them!


These modules allow you to gather different types of data to build your Yahoo Pipe.

Feed Auto-Discovery – Identifies whether a website has an RSS feed.

Fetch CSV – Grabs the data from a CSV file (ie. An Excel file)

Fetch Data – Grabs data like XML or JSON files (useful for affiliate product feeds)

Fetch Feed – The most popular module in Yahoo Pipes. Grabs RSS, Atom and RDF feeds.

Fetch Site Feed – Automatically discovers if the specified website has an RSS feed and grabs it if there is one.

Flickr – Fetches pictures from Flickr based on keywords or a location that you specify.

Google Base – Gets product listings from Google Base

Item Builder – Allows you to rename and restructure different attributes of your data.

Yahoo! Local – Lets you find local businesses and services and get reviews on them.

Fetch Page – Your chance to “scrape” HTML websites without knowing PHP.

YQL – Lets you perform SQL-like commands to tap into XML and JSON data.

RSS Item Builder – Turns a non-RSS source into an RSS feed by renaming attributes.

Yahoo! Search – Lets you tap into the Yahoo! search results and perform advanced searches.

Input Modules – Lets users specify data to make the Pipe run.

Input Modules – Are self-explanatory and include: text, date, location, number, URL, and Private (where only the Pipe author can see the data)

Operators – Operators manipulate and filter data.

Count – Counts the number of results in the input feed.

Filter – Filter data from your Yahoo Pipe based on settings you specify.

Location Extractor – Examines the input feed for a geographic location and outputs geographic data (so you can plot it on a map).

Loop – Insert a sub-module and run it once for each item in the input feed.

Regex – Use regular expressions to do advanced “search and replaces” on data.

Rename – Rename elements of the input feed.

Reverse – Reverses the order of the input feed.

Sort – Sorts the input feed based on elements you specify.

Split – Splits a feed into two identical output feeds.

Sub-Element – Allows you to extract certain parts of XML feeds.

Tail – Lets you grab the last X items from a feed (where X is the number you specify).

Truncate – Lets you grab the first X items from a feed (where X is the number you specify).

Union – Merges up to five modules into one feed.

Unique – Removes duplicate items from a feed so they are only displayed once.

Web Service – Lets you export your Yahoo Pipe to external web services.

Create RSS – Allows you to convert data into RSS feeds by changing element names from a drop down list.

URL Modules – Manipulates and controls URLs.

URL Builder – Manipulates and controls URLs.

String Modules – Lets you control and manipulate strings of text. In English, a string is simply a word, and a text string is a sentence.

String Builder – Lets you build strings from multiple substrings.

String Regex – Uses regular expressions to find and replace strings of text.

String Replace – Finds and replaces strings, the simple way.

String Tokenizer – splits strings of text into multiple strings using a specified delimiter.

Sub String – Lets you fetch a specific part of a string.

Term Extractor – Picks out the most important words within a text string.

Translate – Translates from one language to another.

Yahoo! Shortcuts – Places strings of text into these categories: place, person, identifier (ie. Phone number, email address), organization, event, and concept.

Private String – Used for sensitive data like passwords. Only the author of the Yahoo Pipe can see this.

Date Modules – Lets you control and manipulate dates.

Date Builder – converts strings of text into a recognizable date format.

Date Formatter – Converts dates and times into different formats.

Location Modules – Controls and manipulates dates.

Location Builder – converts a description of a place into geographic data (so you can plot it on a map).

Number Modules – Performs calculations on numbers.

Simple Math – A basic calculator that can perform: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, modulo, and powers.

Depracated Modules – These shouldn’t be used because they’ve been replaced with new modules.

BabelFish – Replaced with the Translate Module.

Content Analysis Module – Replaced by the Term Extractor Module.

For Each: Annotate Module – Replaced with the Loop Module.

For Each: Replace Module – Replaced with the Loop Module.


Now that we’ve covered every module in Yahoo Pipes, you should have a solid understanding of what you can do with Yahoo Pipes and how you can mashup content from around the web. Yahoo Pipes is great for working with data from affiliate product feeds, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, social bookmarking sites and more. Now it’s your turn to give er’ a try!

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