Yahoo Opens Its Search Technology to Third Parties

Yahoo will allow other Web sites to use its technology to build their own search services in a new revenue-sharing scheme announced on Thursday. Yahoo said it would release the beta version of an API (application programming interface) on Thursday that Web sites can use to build services based on its search infrastructure and algorithms, including the ability to re-rank results and control how they are presented.

A publisher could use the API to build a search service that specializes in a particular topic, such as sports, for example. Or it could use the API to give users a better way to search the content on its Web site -- or potentially even to build a rival to Yahoo. The API is part of what Yahoo calls its BOSS platform, for Build Your Own Search Service. The API will be available to any Web developer, along with tools for combining data from Yahoo's search indexes with data from other sources on the Web.

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