Yahoo Monetizes BOSS Soon

February 12, 2009

A happy quack to the reader who alerted me to Yahoo’s business model for BOSS (build your own search system). BOSS has been “free”. The reasons range from building traffic to expanding the reach of Yahoo. Free is generally good. Spidering the Web and indexing content can be expensive. Yahoo knows this first hand. Certain vendors have been quick to embrace BOSS because the price was right. Besides Yahoo’s own search results often leave me unsatisfied. I have written about because the company uses BOSS and the firm’s technology makes much better use of the Yahoo index than Yahoo itself does in my opinion. Now Yahoo wants to charge outfits like, a small Canadian company, to use BOSS. The new story in Network World here said:

Once Yahoo introduces BOSS fees towards mid-2009, it will also increase the number of search results an engine can obtain via a single API call to 1,000 from 50. The fees vary depending on the type and quantity of search result involved. Yahoo will also offer SLAs to promote the creation of more sophisticated BOSS search engines.

Yahoo assumes that some of the outfits using BOSS will monetize their services. I think that if a company using Yahoo’s BOSS could monetize its services, the company would be monetizing now. The economy is a bit shaky and among the hardest hit are small search and content processing companies. Yahoo and others of its ilk give away search systems. Presumably Yahoo perceives a revenue win.

In my opinion, BOSS users may start looking around for ways to shift from BOSS to another service. Microsoft, are you listening? The GOOG never listens but maybe the idea of tweaking Yahooligans again might spark some activity.

Maybe this is a brilliant play that will reverse Yahoo’s search fortunes? I hope so. I am uncomfortable watching the company follow the trajectory of and America Online, among others in the information processing game.

Stephen Arnold, February 12, 2009


One Response to “Yahoo Monetizes BOSS Soon”

  1. Build Your Own Search Engine presentation in London at BOSS Hacks - an unofficial Yahoo! BOSS blog on April 18th, 2009 5:16 am

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