Paid Yahoo Search BOSS API Will Support OAuth, Optional Ads

Adam DuVander
Mar. 01 2011, 02:06PM EST

It looked like Yahoo BOSS was dead 18 months ago, when the Microsoft search deal was announced. Behind the scenes, Yahoo has been re-tooling its Yahoo BOSS API, which lets developers Build their Own Search Service. With a re-launch coming next month, it has released technical documentation, which includes changes to authentication, the option to use ads from the service, as well as introductory prices for the service.

In August Yahoo announced the paid BOSS service, which was free. Earlier this month the company published the price chart, which will be $0.40 to $0.80 for web results, cheaper for images and news.

Now Yahoo has shared the technical documentation behind the yet-to-launch V2 of BOSS. The service will use OAuth to provide "secure access to this content is using your BOSS application ID and the Yahoo API key to verify your authorized access privileges and allow for correct billing from Yahoo." This follows the trend of web apps using OAuth for their APIs. However, BOSS is notable in that it is not providing user data, yet OAuth is still used.

Also notable is the optional advertising API included in BOSS V2. While developers must apply separately, those with access to the advertising API can receive text ads with each query. If requested, the ads come through along with the rest of the search XML, so developers can display them however they wish, though expect some guidelines from Yahoo before launch next month.

BOSS remains a relatively popular service, with 50 Yahoo BOSS mashups in our directory. There is no date yet

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.

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