Yahoo is offering a new search service called BOSS [Build your Own Search Service] which is an open source answer that allows innovation for developers, start-ups and large Internet companies. Yahoo is touting the fact that users will be able to access all of Yahoo’s features such as relevant algorithms, ranking, indexing and a host of other powerful infrastructure features. In addition Yahoo states that:
Search APIs are nothing new, but typically they’ve included rate limits, strict terms of service regarding the re-ordering and presentation of results, and provided little or no opportunity for monetization. These constraints have limited the innovation and commercial viability of new search solutions.
BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) is different – it’s a truly open API with as few rules and limitations as possible. With BOSS, developers and start-ups now have the technology and infrastructure to build next generation search solutions that can compete head-to-head with the principals in the search industry. BOSS will grow and evolve with a focus on providing additional functionality, tools, and data for developers.
Though I can see where Yahoo is heading with this new feature, it begs to answer the following questions. Why wasn’t this done long ago, before Microsoft make their takeover overtures? Will Yahoo be able to attract anyone to the new service with the threat of Yahoo being consumed by Microsoft?
I don’t believe if in fact Microsoft takes over Yahoo search, that the company will allow BOSS to proceed.
But what do you think? Is Yahoo’s BOSS program just a little late in coming?