Yahoo is a pioneer of the Web 2.0 giants. In an industry where blogs, organizations, press, and companies just talk about the possibilities and the urge of opening up – Yahoo is the only major Internet company that really experiments with these new standards. Whereas dozens of companies take small symbolical steps, Yahoo just talks in terms of leaps. After embracing OpenID, the Sunnyvale-based company now opens up its search platform to third parties with the launch of BOSS (Build your Own Search Service).
How to get back at Google
Although they state their goal is to “foster innovation in the search landscape“, we all know it’s a daring strategy to win back some terrain on Google. The big G has over 68 percent of the search market and is often called THE leader in search. Somehow, they keep on strengthening this position and it seems like they’ll never give this no. 1 position away. The Yahoo executives have realized this, and now take a different road to search success. I can’t say it better than Marshall Kirckpatrick from ReadWriteWeb, who stated that Yahoo “attacks Google with an army of verticals” – referring to the vertical search engines who will use the index of Yahoo to offer specified results for niches.
The revenge of the alts
These vertical engines now suffer from a lack of indexed sites – as it’s nearly impossible to create an index of the relevant parts of whole web. Yahoo has accomplished this, and now makes it possible for these alternative search engines to focus on the product, not the technology. As Yahoo will offer the folllowing features:
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
Total flexibility on presentation – Freedom to present search results using any user interface paradigm, without Yahoo! branding or attribution requirements
BOSS Mashup Framework — We’re releasing a Python library and UI templates that allow developers to easily mashup BOSS search results with other public data sources
Web, news and image search — At launch, developers will have access to web, news and image search and we’ll be adding more verticals soon
Unlimited queries — There are no rate limits on the number of queries per day
With this, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales sees the prediction he told me in January becoming reality: “Good quality search is becoming a commodity item. The search quality of Google, Yahoo and Ask are actually very similar. So the idea that Google is some kind of technological powerhouse, is actually not longer true.”