Search the Web Through a Vertical Lens

  • Posted November 26th, 2008 at 10:00 am by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: BOSS

Over the last few months we’ve showcased a handful of innovative mashups that developers have created using Yahoo! Search BOSS. The creations have ranged in functionality and focus, but all have included interesting applications of Yahoo! Search’s index, infrastructure and technology. Today, we’re sharing another useful application of BOSS that TechCrunch just launched – a technology-flavored Web search engine. This new search engine enables TechCrunch users to search for technology-focused articles and company information across both the TechCrunch network of sites and the rest of the Web.

This partnership with TechCrunch illustrates a new BOSS capability called vertical lens technology, which enables partners, often with no search expertise, to create a truly comprehensive vertical search engine that complements their core user experience. Using BOSS, TechCrunch now provides a one-stop shop for all types of search. BOSS not only improves TechCrunch’s standard site search, it also integrates relevant technology content on people, products and companies from across the Web. And if a user conducts a non-tech focused search, they’ll see relevant Web search results.


BOSS vertical lens technology provides a handful of features that were implemented on TechCrunch:

  • 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.

BOSS vertical lens is currently available to certain Yahoo! partners – but we’re working to share the technology more openly through the BOSS API. If you are interested in building a search product using BOSS vertical lens technology, please email us here. Our partnership with TechCrunch highlights the beginning of many more BOSS partner launches as Yahoo! continues to open up its search technologies and infrastructure to the world.

Take a look at TechCrunch’s article for additional background and insight.

Stay tuned.

YaJie Ying

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