Build the Next Generation Search with Yahoo! Boss
July 14, 2008
Yahoo! is taking the next step in its open strategy with the
launch of BOSS: Build your Own Search Service. The BOSS program allows outside developers
and companies to build their own search engines using 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.”, is written on the Yahoo! blog.
It seems that Yahoo!’s ambitions are to bring up innovation
into the search landscape and why not to disrupt the whole market. Yahoo hopes
that armed with the power of the startups and outside developers it will take
away some of the Google’s search share.
Today, it is almost impossible for smaller players to build
competitive search engines. There are some insuperable barriers that startups usually
encounter: from the high cost of the investment with respect to the engineering
and core infrastructure to the recruitment of talented scientific staff and the huge amount of
data that must be gathered in order to achieve relevance in the results. Yahoo!
believes that the BOSS platform will positively impact the overall search
evolution by providing opportunities for new players to enter into the search
The BOSS API is based on Yahoo's index of Web search, news
and image search results. The Yahoo’s API allows unlimited queries to be
performed as well as re-ranking of search results, blending of Yahoo’s results
with proprietary and other web content in a single search experience and change
in the presentation of the results. The BOSS API can be used directly or via a
mashup framework that simplifies the process of aggregating data from across
Hakia and Me.dium are among the first who have
already begun to use Boss in order to power their web results. The social
browser plug-in Me.dium is using Yahoo API to
create a social search engine that will rank results based on users' surfing behavior.
Hakia, a semantic search startup, is using BOSS to access
the Yahoo! Search index and increase the speed with which it can semantically
analyze the web. Hakia blends Yahoo! results with their own and delivers a
language search experience that isn't available from none of the other search
The BOSS APIs are in beta for now but Yahoo continues to
work on expanding the API functionality and providing more access to Yahoo!
It is expected in the next few months Yahoo to monetize the
program by implementing the inclusion of Yahoo! search ads on their partners’
search results. In this way, Boss could turn out to be very profitable service
that will enable Yahoo to expand its advertising network.
Request Reprint Permission
Copyright © 2017 DevStart, Inc. Permission is required to use the material on this page.