As a Web activity,
of high interest
consumers. And, as
for a website’s
success, you must
understand that the
better the search
facility provided, the
you have to ultimately
There are actually quite a few solutions on the
market today that can be leveraged to create a Web
search facility, including the highly utilized Google
Custom Search product. But there are many others
such as Websolr, Searchblox and Elastic Search
that are worth exploring.
All of these solutions are powerful and effective
enterprise-grade products, but now there’s
even one more that might be of interest to the
wider population of Web workers.
Yahoo has introduced three new features to
its open-search Web services platform (Search
BOSS — Build-your-Own-Search-Service), and
in so doing may have once again found the
necessary groove to endear the company to Web
professionals. The Yahoo Search Boss tools were
developed to address “user engagement, traffic
recirculation, monetization and costs associated
with maintenance” according to the official announcement.
Well, if that is what it set out to do, it is most
certainly positioned to accomplish that objective.
Let’s look deeper into these very different product
offerings and the value they provide websites, digital
workers and developers.
BOSS Hosted Search
Based on the its BOSS API Service, the Boss Hosted
Search product enables websites to leverage
Yahoo’s search technology to create their own cobranded
Web search tool. The product offers several
unique features including image modules,
structured content and quite a few search refinement
capabilities, as well as local results. The solution,
which leverages Yahoo’s User Intent
Detection technology, can be deployed quickly
thanks to the platform’s global availability, developers
can select the international markets upon
which they want to focus.
What really separates the Yahoo Boss Hosted
Search product from that of Google Custom
Search, however — outside of having no traffic
limits — is likely the rich Web search experience
and the ability to customize the results page, matching it to the theme of any site. Monetization
opportunities do exist, but Yahoo indicated
that not all publishers are approved for the ad
BOSS Site Search
Site search is a necessary and immensely important
feature of ecommerce sites in particular,
but also medium to large publishers with
vast collections of available content. But the site
search functionality built into most software
platforms tends to be lackluster at best. While
still in private beta, the Yahoo! Boss Site Search
product could end up as a standout in the site
search technology niche.
The product provides websites a means to aggregate
content and apply Yahoo’s search algorithms
to determine relevancy. Coupled with
search refiners based on site section and publishing
date, users will be able to drill down into site
content, increasing pageviews and improving the
user experience in the process.
Perhaps Yahoo’s most disruptive of the three features
released in December might just be Boss
Shortcuts. Using its Content Understanding Technology,
Yahoo identifies relevant keywords that are
most likely to engage users and links them inline
to content on the Web and content from your own
site. The benefit of the service, outside of providing
another way to engage users (which seems to
be the mantra throughout this set of services) is
monetization. While Yahoo’s BOSS Hosted Search
and Site Search products seem to offer up some
interesting opportunities to deepening user engagement,
it’s the revenue that will clearly attract
developers in the future.
Yahoo’s build-your-own-search service has
been around for many years but failed to capture
broader use by the developer community.
With more accessible options for integrations,
however, the product may just be one step closer
to prime time.