The curtain has been lifted on Yahoo!’s new Vertical Lens Technology, a new capability available through the Yahoo! BOSS developer platform.
According to the release post, the Vertical Lens Technology enables “partners, often with no search expertise, to create a truly comprehensive vertical search engine that complements their core user experience.”
Yahoo! have been working with famous tech blog TechCrunch prior to today’s announce to develop a showcase example of the Vertical Lens Technology in action.
The new TechCrunch search engine (http://search.techcrunch.com), built using the new enhancement to Yahoo! BOSS, draws results from the vast TechCrunch network (e.g. CrunchBase, CrunchGear, MobileCrunch etc).
Some of the new features used in the TechCrunch example include (from the post):
- Real-time indexing of proprietary content – Once TechCrunch content is added or a user comment is submitted, the search index almost immediately reflects the changes.
- Customized ranking – The BOSS and TechCrunch teams worked closely to fine-tune the ranking algorithm to fit the TechCrunch audience and user experience.
- Structured search – BOSS supports faceted refinement around TechCrunch’s structured content. This offers powerful tools for people who want to fine tune their searches or browse TechCrunch content – e.g. narrowing in on articles on Twitter written only by Michael Arrington, or only the most popular articles (popularity is determined by number of comments), or locating all companies that are founded in 2008.
- Blending Web with proprietary content in a single search display – After querying both the TechCrunch and the Web indices, BOSS blends the results to produce one result set that is both relevant and comprehensive.
Yahoo!’s new Vertical Lens offers site owners a strong tailored search experience, however, unlike Google Site Search, Yahoo! BOSS is not a simple “out of the box” application. It requires some developer smarts to implement – but the results are worth the effort.