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.

linkedin_FINAL.JPG

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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53 Comments

2008-03-13 08:53:36

This is a milestone for Yahoo – will be following the developments

Keep posting updates on this search evolution

 
Comment by emad
2008-03-13 08:59:46

Hi Amit,

YellowBot.com has been using microformats for quite some time and we’re interested in trying this out!

Thanks
Emad

 
Comment by Dan Croak
2008-03-13 09:23:39

Great stuff. Keep up the good work. When we will start to see Yahoo search results such as the example?

 
Comment by Bruce McKenzie
2008-03-13 09:43:58

Great to hear but remember those microformats are suited to being read by machines, not by people. It’s important that humans can see when microformats/ metadata etc are embedded in content too. That’s only one reason we created the Geotag Icon Project:

http://www.geotagicons.com

So if Yahoo! detect GeoRSS in search results, for example, then why not help human recognition by associating the result with a ‘standard’ icon that represents geotagged content?

 
Comment by John Breslin
2008-03-13 11:50:14

Nice one Amit et al. – hopefully SIOC can join the list of RDF vocabularies – see http://www.w3.org/Submissions/2007/02

Is this connected to Peter Mika’s Y! Microsearch work?

 
Comment by John Breslin
2008-03-13 12:15:46

Thanks to Marcus MacInnes for pointing out the broken link; it should be http://www.w3.org/Submission/2007/02/

 
Comment by Clay
2008-03-13 12:40:59
 
Comment by Nagaraju
2008-03-13 13:47:18

This is awesome, open search and now semantic web integration, I can see a very different/user-friendly yahoo search interface/results in near future. Keep it up.
Check out our review integration and summarization for restaurants and local businesses here. E.g we’ll work on providing hreview compatible data for our our content such as “>http://www.boorah.com/restaurants/c/156/CA/San-Francisco.html”> San Francisco Restaurants

 
Comment by Joe Hunkins
2008-03-13 13:48:34

Bravo. This is an excellent development for developers and a great statement of Y’s ongoing and improving committment to open source standards.

 
Comment by Joe Clark
2008-03-13 15:06:13

This is like five years too late for me. I had easily 15K of Dublin Core on all my pages as an experiment for many years, but, as not a single device anywhere could, would, or did read it, I began stripping it out of pages whenever I changed anything else on them.

This was *serious* Dublin Core, complete with Library of Congress subject headings. And it was provably useless at the time. How would it possibly be useful now?

 
Comment by Kevin Burton
2008-03-13 15:39:31

Awesome. Keep it up.. The more standards out there the quicker we’d see adoption.

I’d take a look at the recent changes the blogger folks had made. Good stuff over there.

This makes our work over at Spinn3r much easier as it’s easier to convince site owners to implement this stuff when there’s a lot of weight behind the standard.

 
Comment by logan henriquez
2008-03-13 16:15:11

Brilliant. First thing I’ve heard out of Yahoo that could actually give GOOG some competition in search result quality. I run a vertical search site for artwork called http://www.searchartgalleries.com. Was wondering if Yahoo’s image search would also support some type of microformats that could describe artwork images with attributes such as genre, medium etc. Whether we’re talking about art or the family photos, being able to search for images reliably with specific attributes would be really interesting.

On a side note, currently over 70% of my traffic (and almost 100% of my search-engine originated traffic) comes from Google. Also wondering why Yahoo seems to not crawl my site very often (judging from my logs) nor originate any traffic compared to Google.

 
Comment by Abdel Olakara
2008-03-14 00:57:58

Great! Its good to see the move to semantic web. This will introduce new play ground to all web users!

 
Comment by Phil Nash
2008-03-14 02:43:58

I think this will be the tipping point for widespread acceptance and implementation of semantic technologies. Fantastic work Yahoo!

 
Comment by Peter Zapf
2008-03-14 04:07:48

Very interesting differentiation from competitors in the search experience. Also like the idea of allowing site-owners to help make search results listings much more relevant for searchers. Should also help make information on search results pages much more relevant for users. Win-win all around. Would love to get more information and get our company engaged.

Peter

 
Comment by Mischa Tuffield
2008-03-14 05:09:05

So, does this mean that Yahoo will be getting their sites like Delicious, and flickr to spit out RDF in some shape or form ?

 
Comment by Chris Cavallucci
2008-03-14 07:09:03

Amit, thank you for announcing another bold step Yahoo has taken to support standards and open frameworks. I think that a really important part of Information Architecture and the User Experience is “findability.” Yahoo’s step is a good one if the machines can make sense of the semantic data and present it in a more useful way to people.

From a web designer/developer perspective, it’s a bit daunting for me to think about how an object’s meta information can be very large, have different levels of complexity and exist in many different parts of the web.

What effort is being made to bring semantic web standards closer to the ISO standards body? I can imagine that the components and vocabularies could become more controlled given their potentially huge impact.

 
Comment by Erik Brown
2008-03-14 12:43:01

Amit,
Will your team work on providing support for the (proposed) hProduct microformat:
http://microformats.org/wiki/hproduct-proposal

so that e-commerce sites have an incentive to participate?

 
Comment by Andrew A. Peterson
2008-03-14 20:06:48

This is great news for the Data Web -some mainstream love.

It will be really interesting to see how some of yahoo!’s web-2.0-y acquisitions like delicious and flickr will be able to integrate into the next gen of yahoo! search as well, and in turn, how users of yahoo!’s services might benefit from integration between yahoo!’s services and yahoo! being plugged into Semantics from across the Web.

Yay!

 
Comment by kikykuang
2008-03-14 22:50:36

Semantic web is a great thing, but it mean that Yahoo will be getting their sites like Delicious, and digg?

 
Comment by Mike Thacker
2008-03-15 04:43:15

Nice to see semantics being given priority over dumb text-based techniques. The UK public sector has set up a framework for this with the Electronic Government Metadata Standard (eGMS) extending Dublin Core. It uses the open subject vocabulary IPSV – see http://www.esd.org.uk/standards/ipsv.

It would be nice to see if/how their ongoing developments fit into the Yahoo work.

 
Comment by Brett
2008-03-15 07:35:31

This is really great to hear, kudos… Maybe you can also somehow influence your apparent acquirer-to-be to finally offer application/xhtml+xml support in its browser, so the world can actually become interoperable in the structured, extensible way true XHTML, working as XML, offers.

But on the other end of the spectrum, instead of only trying to extract bits of semantics stuffed into X/HTML (which is a great beginning), I’d hope to see other richly semantic languages like TEI and DocBook get their own targeted support. OWL would certainly be an interesting one if you could come up with a sufficiently user-friendly interface.

But to make all that work really well, I’m also curious whether you could make SPARQL or XQuery (at least XPath) could somehow fit into a truly powerful web search engine… Imagine, for example, being able to search across all TEI documents on the web to find all letters from documents containing a 1776 date in the letter opening–or whatever.

Academics, power users, your third party developers–and I think even eventually the masses of somewhat educated users–would love you for it…

 
Comment by Paul Dodgson
2008-03-16 04:40:44

This is a huge opportunity.
Well done Yahoo.
Customer centric controlled lists present an enormous opportunity to improve search results.

The intelligent use of these may provide excpetional citizen facing value.

For example
When will my refuse be collected during the Winter holiday?

With options to categorise preferred lists and include geo spatial referencing (zip/post codes), citizens will be able to localise results and improve hits. With more in-depth use of these solutions plus concept/phrase based inter layering, maybe the web can be tamed!

 
Comment by Chris R Messina
2008-03-16 19:17:32

Wow, like +10?

Of course, now you just need OpenID on all your blog properties… ;) But this is HUGE!

 
Comment by Scott Brinker
2008-03-16 23:46:23

Awesome! I was just writing up some ideas on marketing in the semantic web — and some parallels between branding and the semantic web. Semantic marketing? Semantic branding? This seems like it will herald the next generation of SEO. Call it SEO++ (because it is sort of object-oriented)?

Here’s a link to that article on semantic marketing if you’re interested:
http://www.chiefmartec.com/2008/03/marketing-in-th.html

 
Comment by Stuart Marsh
2008-03-18 13:16:32

Hi Amit,

I’ve got a bit ahead of myself and implemented the hAtom microformat on my blog.

And here’s a link to my article that shows you how I did it:

http://beardygeek.com/2008/03/15/web-30-how-to-put-semantic-tags-in-your-blog/

Thanks for the good news!

Cheers

Stuart

 
Comment by Paul Haley
2008-03-19 15:47:48

Thank you, Amit and Yahoo, for as Abdel Olakara said above, the tipping point. Are your expectations consistent with those of Phil Nash and Chris Messina, also stated above, that this will drive users to add semantic tags for SEO purposes? I suspect they are correct but would love to hear Yahoo’s thoughts on this and the need for more convergence in upper ontologies or whether you expect that will be driven organically from micro-formats and through a clustering or more explicitly collaborative process. And what of companies like Metaweb, Radar Networks, Reuters and others who are developing their own, more substantial ontologies? Will ontology itself be a viable intellectual property asset in the Yahoo world or will all the value be in what you do with the links once Yahoo has indexed the semantic web?

 
Comment by Jonathan Briggs
2008-03-22 03:40:29

I really like this idea and wonder how quickly the microformats will evolve. I’d personally like to see recipes, sports scores and products.

Does seem like the first really interesting thing to happen in search for quite a while.

 
Comment by Martin Svetska
2008-03-22 05:20:33

We have done something similar on our B2B web site, but for products. It greatly improved readability of the results and made the searches much more successful (big drop in exit rates).
I really like what Yahoo is doing and can’t wait to try it out.

 
Comment by fha refinance
2008-03-26 19:46:38

How long will it take for this to take effect?

 
Comment by anandsaini
2008-04-02 09:17:07

I suggest that you use the Yahoo services like the Yahoo answers , Yahoo blog and yahoo marketing services. This could be the possible way to increase traffic from yahoo
Also add your site to yahoo site explorer and upload your sitemap feed for one if you have not already done so .As far as i know, Yahoo is giving more weight or value on the on-page factors of a site. This include KW usage and visibility

 
Comment by Steve Firth
2008-04-03 05:07:11

I’ve always had an interest in semantics (web and in real life), and after being introduced to Microformats through a web work shop with Andy Clarke I can really see the value in well marked up content.

The more reasons you can give to be found the more likely it is you will … good to see Yahoo pushing forward things that are good for the web, too many companies just leech the web and never give anything back.

Yahoo is an excellent exception.

 
Comment by you tube
2008-04-07 11:11:39

I really like this idea and wonder how quickly the microformats will evolve. I’d personally like to see recipes, sports scores and products.

 
Comment by güzel sözler
2008-04-07 11:17:16

I suggest that you use the Yahoo services like the Yahoo answers , Yahoo blog and yahoo marketing services. This could be the possible way to increase traffic from yahoo

 
Comment by K Krasnow Waterman
2008-04-08 17:22:15

When will Yahoo! support hList tags? I want to use them on an e-commerce site. Thanks!

 
Comment by msn kur
2008-04-10 08:12:28

I really like this idea and wonder how quickly the microformats will evolve. I’d personally like to see recipes, sports scores and products.

 
Comment by Office Furniture
2008-04-14 11:42:49

I find your Semantic search standard to be an interesting differentiation from competitors in the search experience. I also think the idea of allowing site-owners to help make search results listings much more relevant for searchers. The open question is, will this help make information on search results pages much more relevant for users. Let me know if I can get more information si I can begin using the microformats.

 
Comment by Paul
2008-04-15 05:03:31

Yahoo has once again proved that it is the Search Engine Giant and the biggest internet resource.

 
Comment by Just Someone
2008-04-20 13:27:44

Won’t this be abused by SEO people?
How will that be dealt with?!

 
Comment by San Pedro Attorney
2008-04-29 13:29:08

I agree, this type of search will revolutionize the industry. Whe will we see a speech based search actually in motion?

 
Comment by Jordans
2008-04-29 23:50:44

I don’t think this technology will be able to create an imparting effect. Nice post though.

 
Comment by youfoundjake
2008-05-10 15:05:58

Looking forward to the searchmonkey party and talking with you all about the new future of search.

 
Comment by Loris
2008-05-12 02:37:56

Is a wonderful initiative could not fail to participate as active and experienced programmer, I am very interested in.

 
Comment by Logo Design Guru
2008-05-16 02:29:59

Yes I’d heard that Yahoo! announced a concerted effort around their upcoming open search platform to push open web standards including microformats and semantic web formats like RDF and XFN.

 
Comment by 泰拳
2008-05-23 01:08:45

Yahoo has done a great job for me and my company. Thanks and keep up the great work.

 
Comment by Yarış Oyunları
2008-07-10 11:52:58

This is great news for the Data Web -some mainstream love.
Thanks…

 
Comment by Karl Kiss
2008-07-22 07:11:29

Brilliant. First thing I’ve heard out of Yahoo that could actually give GOOGLE some competition in search result quality.

 
Comment by go123go
2008-08-03 04:18:06

So, does this mean that Yahoo will be getting their sites like Delicious, and flickr to spit out RDF in some shape or form ?

 
Comment by Buy My House
2008-08-11 00:41:55

This is good news, and thanks for such a great post! Its encouraging to see Yahoo move to semantic web, hopefully this will add a new dimension to the way surfers use the web. Go Yahoo!

 
Comment by Alex Griffin
2008-08-20 09:26:59

Yahoo has done a great job for me and my company. Thanks and keep up the great work.

 
Comment by Gina01
2008-08-22 04:25:14

That’s a great news.

 
Comment by Peter Szabo
2008-08-22 08:40:21

I really like this idea and wonder how quickly the microformats will evolve. I’d personally like to see recipes, sports scores and products.

 
Comment by Goran Web
2008-09-05 01:46:31

Its great to see that Yahoo is still going strong. There has been so many blogs that have been anti-yahoo. I think you guys rock. Good to see you implementing Semantic.

 

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