The Yahoo! Search Open Ecosystem

  • Posted March 13th, 2008 at 8:00 am by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Search

A few weeks ago, we began talking about the new Yahoo! Search open platform. Today, we’re releasing more details about two important components of the initiative — the developer platform as well as our support of a number of semantic web standards.

The Data Web in Action
While there has been remarkable progress made toward understanding the semantics of web content, the benefits of a data web have not reached the mainstream consumer. Without a killer semantic web app for consumers, site owners have been reluctant to support standards like RDF, or even microformats. We believe that app can be web search.

By supporting semantic web standards, Yahoo! Search and site owners can bring a far richer and more useful search experience to consumers. For example, by marking up its profile pages with microformats, LinkedIn can allow Yahoo! Search and others to understand the semantic content and the relationships of the many components of its site. With a richer understanding of LinkedIn’s structured data included in our index, we will be able to present users with more compelling and useful search results for their site. The benefit to LinkedIn is, of course, increased traffic quality and quantity from sites like Yahoo! Search that utilize its structured data.


In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing more detailed specifications that will describe our support of semantic web standards. Initially, we plan to support a number of microformats, including hCard, hCalendar, hReview, hAtom, and XFN. Yahoo! Search will work with the web community to evolve the vocabulary framework for embedding structured data. For starters, we plan to support vocabulary components from Dublin Core, Creative Commons, FOAF, GeoRSS, MediaRSS, and others based on feedback. And, we will support RDFa and eRDF markup to embed these into existing HTML pages. Finally, we are announcing support for the OpenSearch specification, with extensions for structured queries to deep web data sources.

We believe that our open approach will let each of these formats evolve within their own passionate communities, while providing the necessary incentive to site owners (increased traffic from search) for more widespread adoption. Site owners interested in learning more about the open search platform can sign up here.

A Developer Ecosystem for Search
We’re also announcing, today, that the Yahoo! Search open platform will be open to all third party developers. We will be kicking off this component of our open platform with a developer launch party at our Sunnyvale campus in the coming weeks. That day, we’ll launch a beta program for a tool that developers can use to build Enhanced Results applications for the Yahoo! Search platform. Enhanced Results apps built by developers can utilize the structured data available through public APIs and in our index (made available by site owners through either feeds or the semantic web standards discussed above).

Let us know what you think below and keep an eye on the Search Blog — we’ll be posting more info about the upcoming launch party.

Amit Kumar
Director, Product Management, Yahoo! Search

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