BOSS Update: Open Monetization, Pricing, Structured Data, and More

  • Posted February 11th, 2009 at 8:49 am by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: BOSS

Today, we’re announcing a handful of new features for Yahoo! Search BOSS as well as important updates on our terms of service and pricing.

Three New Features
Perhaps the most important component of what we’re releasing today is access to SearchMonkey structured data through the BOSS API. The primary way in which SearchMonkey acquires structured data is by using the Yahoo! Web Crawler to scour the web for embedded semantic markup such as microformats or RDF. Starting today, all this data is available to BOSS API users.

BOSS site traffic

The structured data that site owners share with us through feeds will be openly available in the near future if site owners opt to participate. You can read more about how it all works here, but it’s pretty straightforward – just add the “view=searchmonkey_feed” parameter to your API request and we’ll return all available structured data name-value pairs in DataRSS XML. You can also return semantic data in RDF XML using view=”searchmonkey_rdf”.

Here’s an XML example of structured data from President Obama’s LinkedIn page:

BOSS XML example

We’re excited to see what can be built with this data, so please tag your mashups and products with bossmashup on Delicious.

Second, building on our release of Key Terms last November and SearchMonkey structured data today, we’re also making Long Abstracts available. This is all part of an effort to provide a rich set of document-level data to BOSS developers – in this case a longer description of the page (up to 300 characters compared to 170 previously). You can access these by appending the “abstract=long” parameter to your API request.

Lastly, for years Site Explorer has been a valuable tool for webmasters to understand how Yahoo! Search is indexing their site. Site Explorer also allows users to obtain inlinks for domains and URLs, which are now available through two new BOSS services called se_inlink and se_pagedata.

Open Monetization & Pricing
Effective immediately, we have changed our terms of service to allow developers to use third party monetization platforms (ad-based or otherwise). For obvious reasons monetization is critical to the BOSS ecosystem, so to provide as many opportunities as possible we have decided to adjust our terms to provide developers with more flexibility.

Today we’re also announcing our plans for implementing usage fees for BOSS. We’re introducing fees for a couple of reasons. First and most importantly, we’re hard at work on a number of technologies that will enhance both the functionality and performance of BOSS, and usage fees will help support this development. For example, once we introduce pricing, developers will be able to request 1000 results in a single API call (instead of the current 50). We’ll also be introducing an SLA to ensure BOSS is a robust and stable service for developers. Second, we believe that introducing the proposed pricing structure will improve the ecosystem by optimizing capacity for our serious developers.

You can find all the details on how the fee structure will work here on the BOSS Usage Fees page. Instead of focusing on the particulars, we’ll share the principles we used in developing it. Our goal is to encourage adoption and usage with a low, but fair price – so as not to maximize revenue at the expense of trial and innovation. That is also why we’re going to provide up to 10,000 search queries per day (depending on the type of API call) free of charge to all developers. You’ll notice that the cost to developers is dependent not just on the number of queries requested, but also the type (i.e. how deep your query is). Rather than go with a simplistic “one size fits all” model, we feel that a “pay for what you use” approach is fairest for all types of users.

We’re announcing the fee structure months in advance of it taking effect (likely late Q2 of this year) because we want to give our developers as much advanced notice as possible, and also because we’re as interested as ever in your feedback – so feel free to comment below or on the BOSS developer forum.

Ashim Chhabra
Yahoo! Search BOSS Team

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