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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New BOSS Features : Open Monetization, Pricing, Structured Data, and More

Last July, Yahoo! Opened Up It’s Infrastructure & Technology For Search To Developers & Companies With BOSS. Yahoo! today announced a handful of new features for Yahoo! Search BOSS as well as important updates on their terms of service and pricing.

Three New Features

Perhaps the most important component of today’s release is access to SearchMonkey structured data through the BOSS API. The primary way in which SearchMonkey acquires structured data is by using the Yahoo! Web Crawler to scour the web for embedded semantic markup such as microformats or RDF. Starting today, all this data is available to BOSS API users.

BOSS site traffic

The structured data that site owners share with yahoo! through feeds will be openly available in the near future if site owners opt to participate. You can read more about how it all works here, but it’s pretty straightforward – just add the “view=searchmonkey_feed” parameter to your API request and they’ll return all available structured data name-value pairs in DataRSS XML. You can also return semantic data in RDF XML using view=”searchmonkey_rdf”.

Here’s an XML example of structured data from President Obama’s LinkedIn page:

BOSS XML example

Second, building on release of Key Terms last November and SearchMonkey structured data today, Yahoo! is also making Long Abstracts available. This is all part of an effort to provide a rich set of document-level data to BOSS developers – in this case a longer description of the page (up to 300 characters compared to 170 previously). You can access these by appending the “abstract=long” parameter to your API request.

Lastly, for years Site Explorer has been a valuable tool for webmasters to understand how Yahoo! Search is indexing their site. Site Explorer also allows users to obtain inlinks for domains and URLs, which are now available through two new BOSS services called se_inlink and se_pagedata. Please refer to the updated documentation for details.

Open Monetization & Pricing

Effective immediately, yahoo! has changed their terms of service to allow developers to use third party monetization platforms (ad-based or otherwise). For obvious reasons monetization is critical to the BOSS ecosystem, so to provide as many opportunities as possible yahoo! has decided to adjust their terms to provide developers with more flexibility.

Today yahoo! is also announcing their plans for implementing usage fees for BOSS. Yahoo! is introducing fees.

Current Yahoo! plan to implement a fee system with the following structure:

  • Fees will be determined based on the number and type of API requests made per day
  • No restriction to developers from monetizing their products using third-party platforms
  • Fees will be determined using a unit system
  • Units for Web, News, and Image BOSS API calls will be incurred based on the last result requested. For example, an API call requesting results 91-100 is the same cost as one requesting results 1-100
  • Developers may request up to 1000 results in a single API call
  • Units will cost $.10
  • Developers will receive 30 units per day for free of charge

BOSS Fee Structure

Note that while this refer to prices in terms of thousands of API calls in order to use round numbers, customers will be charged for individual API calls, not in increments of 1000. This pricing structure is subject to change.

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