Today Yahoo announced the contest winners for the best uses of its SearchMonkey platform. SearchMonkey is a cornerstone of the Y!OS (Yahoo! Open Strategy) that we previously reported on when it was announced in April. What's SearchMonkey mean to developers? As they note:
With SearchMonkey, developers have a hand in shaping the next generation of search by building customized search results and mash-ups that users can add to their Yahoo! Search experience. By leveraging structured data from sites like CitySearch, StumbleUpon, eBay, or Epicurious.com, developers can add navigational links, reviews, contact information, and even locations to provide enhanced search listings.
Developers can build two types of applications using SearchMonkey: Enhanced Results and Infobars. Enhanced Results replace the current standard results with a richer display. All the links in the Enhanced Results must point to the site to which the result refers. Infobars are appended below search results and can include metadata about the result, related links or content, or links for user actions (such as adding a movie to a Netflix queue).
The contest drew some very interesting entries (I was one of the judges) and the top prize of $10,000 was awarded to Marco Vitanza for his Blogspot Infobar. The idea of the Infobar is to have users see enhanced formats for certain types of search results, and Marco developed one that shows the recent relevant blog posts from Blogspot alongside the normal Yahoo search results as shown in the example below:
The other four winners, who each took home $2500, were represented by two more Infobars, an Enhanced Result, and a Data Service (the contest had a panel of judges, myself included). The winners are:
- Innovative Structured Data: StumbleUpon's Infobar that displays ratings, tags and links for the search link returned.
- Best Infobar - restaurant review site BooRah's Infobar that summarizes and presents user-submitted reviews.
- Best Enhanced Result - Greg Schechter's entry that adds photos, prices and release dates for Xbox game links.
- Best Data Service - David Hinckley's service that gives other developers access to the genealogy data of his GEDview site.
The contest is over, but the learning continues. To understand more about how SearchMonkey works, consult the tutorial: Creating An Enhanced Listing With Yahoo!'s SearchMonkey Application Development Platform.