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Yahoo Search BOSS (Build your Own Search Service)

1:43 pm on Jul 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yahoo Search BOSS [ysearchblog.com](Build your Own Search Service)
Yahoo! Search is taking another step in extending the Yahoo! Open Strategy with the launch of Yahoo! Search BOSS, a web services platform that allows developers and companies to create and launch web-scale search products by utilizing the same infrastructure and technology that powers Yahoo! Search.

BOSS is a new, open platform that offers programmatic access to the entire Yahoo! Search index via an API. BOSS allows developers to take advantage of Yahoo!'s production search infrastructure and technology, combine that with their own unique assets, and create their own search experiences.

2:20 pm on July 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Does this mean that by using this new BOSS API, you could simplify the whole "search process" of content within a single website of your own? Of course this wouldn't include specific parameters and database rows that you would base your search on, but just the outputted content?

I know that you can have a Google search on your website, searching only your website, but it's branded Google and I believe it only works for pages which are already indexed with Google.

2:30 pm on July 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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But who in his right mind would want to use Yahoo search tech? I feel sorry for Hakia.

If it were so great more people would be using it. If only 20% of searches in US are conducted on Yahoo, something must be terribly wrong with it? Every time I search on Yahoo all I see is garbage.

Yahoo would be better off fixing its tech first.

4:03 pm on July 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I don't feel like search is one of Yahoo's stronger capabilities. They are much better in the content business with sites like finance.yahoo.com. Maybe they should focus on content more.
2:32 am on July 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This is the most interesting development in search in a very long time.

I am going to dl it and give it a shot.

3:08 am on July 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i'd have to agree with brett.

regardless of what you think of yahoo the search engine.

this is them saying...here you go..."do what you will".

of course, i'm sure there is a profit motive behind it.

4:19 am on July 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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> of course, i'm sure there is a profit motive behind it.

Maybe they will buy your implementation of their API. :)

4:21 pm on July 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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As to their motives, perhaps Yahoo realizes search isn't their greatest strength, and their share of the search market is mostly a byproduct of their strength in other areas (content, display advertising). Perhaps this is part of a strategy to weaken Google by reducing the ubiquity of Google's branded site search, and to encourage other sites to compete with Google.

Sounds like this API could make it easier for small sites to enter the search business, and reduce the use of Google's branded search functions, which would help reduce Google's market power, which would ultimately work to Yahoo's (and Microsoft's) advantage.

That would be consistent with these comments on Yahoo's site: "Our goal with BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) is simple -- foster innovation in the search landscape. As anyone who follows the search industry knows, the barriers to successfully building a high quality, web-scale search engine are incredibly high.

...Our hope is that the resulting expansion in user choice will have the effect of fragmenting the increasingly consolidated search market in much the same way that cable TV dramatically increased programming choices for television viewers."

4:30 pm on July 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Nice move on Yahoo!'s part. But, is it too late? And yes, there is of course motive behind it. :)

For BOSS, we see a virtuous circle in which partners deliver innovative search experiences, and as they grow their audiences and usage we have more data that can be used to improve our own Yahoo! Search experience and as a result, improve the quality of results our BOSS partners and their users get.

Everybody wants to know everything about me, what's up with that?

6:45 pm on July 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What do you think will happen to Yahoo BOSS if Yahoo ends up getting taken over by Microsoft/Icahn at the Aug 1st shareholder meeting? Do you see Microsoft shutting down this service? Are there competitive reasons for them to do so?
3:55 am on July 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'd put my php skills at 2/10 and I was able to get an image search and SERP search written in less than a day using CURL + SimpleXML.

The only part I'm confused about is this -

You will include in the user interface of Your Offering: (i) a field or graphical area that accepts typed-in text (i.e., a “Search Box”) or (ii) words that are displayed in the form of hyperlinks, that generate a Query when clicked on or used by a user (a “Hyperlink”), which implements the Services (each such implementation, a “Link”) and allows You, after entry by an end user, to initiate a search query (“Query”) to the Services, in response to which Web Search Results are served from Yahoo!. You will not request Web Search Results by any means except such Links, and will not place Links or Web Search Results on any location except for the Your Offering.

It sounds to me like we can't make a page that is bookmarkable - IE having BOSS results show up at example.com/search?q=QUERY is a no-no because a results page could be bookmarked.

Any thoughts?


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