Is this a sign that Yahoo! is fighting back against Microsoft takeover bids? Last week Yahoo launched the DIY “Build your Own Search Service”(BOSS), which is a series of APIs that allow anyone to create their own search engines.
The totally unrestricted program uses the Yahoo search infrastructure and technology to allow users to do things such as:
1. Present search results in any format they wish
2. Re-rank search results
3. Mash up search results with other data
4. Unlimited access to data sources such as web, news and image search
Whilst BOSS is a great innovation for Yahoo! and the search community, do not think that Yahoo! is doing it totally out of the goodness of their heart. BOSS does require the display of ads, so provides another revenue source for Yahoo!, provided the developer community responds.
There is no reason why the developer community wouldn’t take to this product. The big draw card is the unlimited queries, which is different to the Google Custom Search Engine, which does impose API limits.
I, for one, am looking forward to the various mash ups that developers are going to dream up. Some will be useful, others frivolous whilst some will be just cool. Perhaps some enterprising developer will build a BOSS for the iPhone?