Remember Yahoo’s BOSS Search API? Well, they’re not done with it yet. A new expansion to the service has just launched, though it is currently available only to “certain Yahoo! partners,” with a promise that it will eventually become part of the main BOSS API.
The new service is called “Vertical Lense Technology.” It allows for topical search engines to be created. These search engines, as seen on TechCrunch, the only site to use the service so far, can
- Index the partner site in real-time. Whenever a post or comment is added, it’s sent to Yahoo to be instantly indexed.
- Allow ranking tweaks. When you search on TechCrunch, you are shown a carefully adjusted mix of web and Crunch Network results, ordered in a way that hopefully fits their audience.
TechCrunch describes their experiences with Vertical Lense on their website.
Since we publish using WordPress, supplying our data using the first API essentially required that we design and deploy a plugin that would send information to Yahoo’s servers every time there was a new post or comment on any of our blogs. We also needed to create a similar data indexing system for CrunchBase so that contributions there would show up in the results as well. To ensure that all of our archived content was incorporated in the search index, we supplied Yahoo with historical data dumps from all 10 sites. Perhaps needless to say, this took a considerable amount of time just to ensure that the data we indexed at Yahoo was accurate and complete.
You can read more about this on the Yahoo Search Blog.
Now, when can I get one of these?