Yahoo is currently readying the next major update to it’s BOSS Search API. With it they will bring access to SearchMonkey data, optional longer abstracts, and greater flexibility for monetization. They will also be tracking API usage, and charging nominally for monthly usage greater than 10,000 queries.
Since launch, the BOSS API has been provided entirely for free. Now Yahoo is putting in place a freemium model where it’ll be free only for developers who generate fewer than 10,000 queries per day. After that, a tiered pricing model will kick in that charges for BOSS as if it were a utility (think AWS). Rates will vary depending on the type of query (web result vs. spelling correction, for example), how many results the developer wants returned per query (with a new maximum of 1000 results), and just how far the developer goes over the free queries cap. (Source: TechCrunch)
It seems reasonable, and Yahoo certainly is improving upon the service. Ten thousand queries for month is a pretty fair ceiling in my opinion. It’s plenty for experimentation or development, or even a web app of reasonably small size.
If Yahoo can leverage BOSS to save themselves from possible bankruptcy, and still have a unique and powerful service, that’s definitely fine by me.
Now pay attention Google: You dumped your API back in 2006, and it’s going to come back to haunt you unless you follow Yahoo’s lead. After a long draught, Yahoo’s getting their game back on, and they’re out to with the developers over with all of their tools.