Not disruptive, but definitely big

Although I’m not buying Yahoo’s claim that it’s “disruptive”, their new BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) API has the potential to greatly improve the Web, create businesses, and increase Yahoo’s profile.
By removing the barriers to entry of massive crawling, indexing, and linking of billions of Web pages, BOSS has the potential to unleash some real creativity and energy in a sector that has been dominated by a handful of players. The expenditures required until now have made it necessary for startups to have a lot of money and a strategy that promised huge traffic in pretty short order.
BOSS is driven by the characteristics (openness, performance, and tech chops) that made Yahoo great. Yahoo still must deliver a clearer message about what it means to be a search partner, the kinds of guarantees they can make to their partners, and what the business model will be. These are not small details.
BOSS isn’t likely to steal share directly from Google, but it could increase Yahoo’s share of search by increasing the number and quality of search-driven services for niche markets. This is fully consistent with what we’ve been telling clients about the necessity of becoming a platform, and it’s a great tool for publishers looking to become aggregators.
If I were a better programmer, I’d be boning up on the BOSS API myself tonight.
Originally published on my blog at JupiterResearch.

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