Meet the New BOSS, Same as the Old Boss
Nothing indicates a job well done better than outsourcing your own job to the competition, a nameless Yahoo employee recently said of the company’s deal with Google. And having done that with advertising, Yahoo is now doing it with search as well. Today Yahoo (YHOO) announced BOSS (Build your Own Search Service), an open platform for building and launching Web-scale search products. Why open your core search technologies to anyone who cares use to them? Because, according to Prabhakar Raghavan, Yahoo’s chief strategist for search, there are thousands of companies that might revolutionize search if they only had access to Yahoo’s technology and infrastructure.
Sadly, Yahoo doesn’t appear to be among them. Which is why the company is where it is today, risking cannibalization of its own search business for the chance to grab a sliver of market share with the help of a certain Web search giant based in Mountain View. (Too bad Yahoo didn’t acquire Google for $3 billion when it was still an up-and-comer back in the day, huh?)
“We believe that being open is core to Yahoo!’s future success. Opening our network, opening our own search experience via SearchMonkey, and now, opening our search infrastructure via BOSS will lead to innovation both on Yahoo! and powered by Yahoo!,” the BOSS team said in a post to Yahoo’s Search Blog. “For BOSS, we see a virtuous circle in which partners deliver innovative search experiences. As they grow their audiences and usage, we have more data that can be used to improve our own Yahoo! Search experience, and as a result, improve the quality of results our BOSS partners and their users get. [And] we do see new revenue streams from BOSS. In the coming months, we’ll be launching a monetization platform for BOSS that will enable Yahoo! to expand its ad network and enable BOSS partners to jointly participate in the compelling economics of search.”