Jul 10, 2008 113 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Via the Yahoo! Search Blog, Yahoo! has announced that, it has launched Yahoo! Search BOSS, an acronym for 'Build Your Own Search Engine'. It is 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.

It is a well known fact that, starting your own Search Engine requires immense resources. It requires hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in engineering, sciences and core infrastructure. From crawling and indexing technology to relevancy and machine learning algorithms, to factors as common as data centers, servers and power. Most of the small companies that do wish to create and publish their own search engines are discouraged from doing so, due to the insurmountable challenges that the setup poses. However, Yahoo! believes, the BOSS program would change all that and would enable companies to create search engines that would be able to give competition to Yahoo! and Google.

According to Prabhakar Raghavan (Chief Strategist,Yahoo! Search), “Yahoo is changing all of that with BOSS. This is a bold direction for any search principal to take. We're expecting this to disrupt the market, and that includes ourselves."

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. While search APIs (Application Programming Interface) have been available for some time, BOSS removes many of the usage restrictions that have prevented other companies from using them to build innovative new search engines.

Features of BOSS:

  1. Ability to re-rank and blend results BOSS partners can re-rank search results as they see fit and blend Yahoo!'s results with proprietary and other web content in a single search experience.
  2. Total flexibility on presentation Freedom to present search results using any user interface paradigm, without Yahoo! branding or attribution requirements.
  3. BOSS Mash-up Framework There would be a Python library and UI (User Interface) templates that allow developers to easily mash-up BOSS search results with other public data sources.
  4. Web, news and image searchAt launch, developers will have access to web, news and image search and we'll be adding more verticals soon.
  5. Unlimited queriesThere are no rate limits on the number of queries per day.

Speaking about the launch of Yahoo! Search BOSS, Prabhakar Raghavan said, “At launch, all reordering of search results must be done by the partner. Over time, Yahoo expects to begin offering "knobs" that will allow partners to dial up or down certain criteria in the results, such as favoring recent results, or results from blogs”. He further added that, “Eventually, Yahoo expects to monetize the program by requiring partners to show Yahoo ads alongside their results, in which partners will share the revenue generated. Yahoo is holding off on doing so at launch to allow time to monitor the quality of traffic coming in from BOSS partners, to ensure that advertisers would not be hurt by having their ads displayed in that manner.”

Yahoo! is already working on expanding the API functionality and providing more access to Yahoo! Search Technology. This new launch is quite similar to Yahoo! Search Monkey. With the Yahoo! Search Monkey, Yahoo! had opened Yahoo's SERPs and with the all new Yahoo! Search BOSS, Yahoo has opened up its infrastructure and technology, and extends it outside Yahoo!.

To get an in-depth perspective of yahoo! Search Boss, you can also visit Yahoo! Boss – An Insider View.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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