Yahoo announced an expansion to the BOSS technology named “vertical lens” technology. In short, this allows developers build their own vertical search engines using Yahoo’s search technology, through BOSS. This new technology is replacing Yahoo’s old Search Builder tool.
TechCrunch is one of the first to deploy a “vertical lens” on their site. TechCrunch’s solution searches technology-focused articles on both TechCrunch.com and across Yahoo’s web index. So this helps improve TechCrunch’s internal site search, and also give searchers other relevant search results that are not found on TechCrunch’s domain. Here is a picture that shows how TechCrunch implemented this BOSS technology:
When we questioned Yahoo as to why they dropped Search Builder for BOSS, Yahoo told us:
BOSS vertical search engine is more powerful. Not only it can support Search Builder’s functionality, it has the following features
- It gets “structured” content from customer sites to allow searchers to navigate and refine their searches.
- It gets proprietary content in real time; the content is searchable immediately
- It builds a vertical lens of the web for the customer and blends the results from this lens with the customer data.
- It customizes ranking based on customer needs: ranking can be recency based, popularity based, or social based
Personally, I have been a Google Custom Search Engine user, but I am very interested in giving Yahoo’s solution a try on some of my sites.