Yahoo Quietly Axes Two Search APIs

Adam DuVander
Aug. 13 2009, 02:21AM EDT

It hasn't been long since developers responded with fear that Yahoo's innovative search tools could go away. Now two of the smaller, but still well-loved, APIs have been given less than a month to live.

In a message on Yahoo's developer forum, YDN's Brian Cantoni posted a short and to the point notice:

"We now have an official closure date of August 31, 2009 for the Term
Extraction and Contextual Web Search services. Internally, both services
share a backend data source that is closing down, so the publicly-facing YDN
services will be closing as well."

And at the top of Yahoo's documentation pages for these APIs is the clear message:

ytermext

It is unclear whether the backend data source the APIs share is related to Microsoft's search deal with Yahoo. It was apparently set to be discontinued in July, but no announcement was ever made. Yahoo has not yet suggested alternatives to developers.

Term extraction (our Yahoo Term Extraction profile) was popular amongst developers for finding keywords within larger bodies of text (for example we've got 33 Term Extraction mashups listed here). The Contextual Web Search (part of our Yahoo Search API profile) found related web page results based on a query with additional text to provide context. For example, a search for "amazon" with a paragraph about South America would be unlikely to return the online reseller.

Both APIs were related to the Y!Q contextual search application. There is no word on it being discontinued, or whether it is the shared backend data source that Cantoni refers to.

Hat tip: Dare Obasanjo

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

Comments

Comments(4)

Hi,

while I am biased, I am inviting people to try Zemanta API for term extraction, entity and concept detection and similar tasks.

http://developer.zemanta.com

It is sad to see Yahoo's dropping a ball, some of their projects should be considered "public good". But I am sure people there will continue to create wonderful stuff, albeit maybe under different brand.

bye

Andraz Tori, CTO at Zemanta