22 February 2016

Yahoo! BOSS: March Signifies the End of an Era


For many businesses, Yahoo! BOSS has been an indispensable bit of kit for the development of their own open-search web service platform. But, with the news that the initiative will be closing this March, many will have to look elsewhere for a new platform.

March Signifies the End of an Era

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Out with the Old

Since its launch in 2008, thousand of developers, large Internet companies and start-ups have paid a small fee to use the Yahoo! search index for their search products. Using premium data APIs and tools, Yahoo BOSS enabled many individuals to build their own custom search engines. BOSS Hosted Search was also developed in order to allow users to embed search services into their site for no cost.

In with the New

On their site, Yahoo! has pointed users in the direction of YPA or Yahoo Partner Ads, ‘a Javascript solution that provides algorithmic web results with search ads for publishers who manage their own search engine results pages (SERPs)’. YPA enables users to make money from their search engines on desktops, mobiles or tablets. The service also provides free algorithmic results as well as allowing advertisements and algorithms to be adapted to fit the aesthetics of a website.

Yahoo! claim that the changes made to this service are made in the interests of streamlining their products, and it does seem likely that a platform first developed in July 2008 is ripe for a re-design.

The beauty of Yahoo BOSS was that it allowed developers and non-developers alike to use their services. The switch from BOSS to YPA could throw some users. For small businesses and start-ups relying on the services of BOSS, it could be a good time to reassess websites and online presence more generally. Many small businesses and start-ups end up utilising the services of a website designer in Cheltenham or elsewhere, who will be able to reconfigure search services to adapt to the changes. Web designers such as 16I web designers in Cheltenham, for example, would be able to use the customisation tools of the YPA, or similar search services, to match the search tools to the look and feel of the rest of a site.

Businesses taking on the challenge of reworking their search services alone should stay ahead of the curve and apply for YPA soon, ready for the March switchover.