Blog Posts by Yahoo Web Services Blog

  • Wanted: AJAX Interface Developers

    It seems strange to be talking about user interfaces on a site devoted to webservices. After all, a query to the WebSearch API produces output that only a programmer could love. But for a large segment of you, the availablity of that data without markup is license to let your interface-designer self run wild, producing pages that bend, fold, spindle and mutilate that data in crazy ways. There are some great examples out there, and I know there's a bunch more of you doing amazing things with the data.

    In short, we're looking to hire people who love to push the boundaries of what modern DHTML and especially AJAX can do, working with our external webservices and internal ones as well. Why yes, we have internal webservices. Will you see them someday? No comment.

    If you live and breathe DHTML we're looking to fill all sorts of positions. If you see one that's right for you, send in your resume. If not, keep an eye on We're just getting started.

    Toby Elliott

    Read More »from Wanted: AJAX Interface Developers
  • Application ID Confusion

    I've seen a bit of confusion in various articles and some blogs about the application id, and I wanted to take the time to clear up a popular misconception:

    Your application id has absolutely nothing to do with rate limiting. Your IP address has *everything* to do with rate limiting.

    Getting yourself another id will not allow you to get more queries. The application id is for self-identification, to help you get some basic usage tracking and to let us get in touch with you if one of your applications has a bug that needs fixing. That's it. Think of it like the User-Agent string a browser sends out.

    So, the next time you read something that says "per application id," ignore it. If you have suggestions as to how we could make this clearer, we'd love to hear them in the comments.

    Toby Elliott
    Yahoo! Webservices

  • Create an Application With Y!Q for Chance to Win $5,000

    Take the Y!Q Challenge: Show the world an innovative use of Y!Q Beta, our contextual search technology, on one of your web sites and you could win $5,000!

    Y!Q, introduced earlier this year, is an innovation from Yahoo! Search that analyzes the content of a Web page and provides contextually relevant search results at the moment of search inspiration.

    You can integrate Y!Q into your site and create a more engaging experience by providing your visitors with related search results directly on your website pages. Y!Q allows users to learn more about related topics without interruption and without having to leave your site.

    Enter the Y!Q Challenge by June 16th at:

    For further information about Y!Q, including instructions for implementation, please visit:

    Toby Elliott
    Yahoo! Webservices

    Read More »from Create an Application With Y!Q for Chance to Win $5,000
  • Mailing List Update

    As we keep releasing webservices that fall into brand new categories, such as the Content Analysis service or the My Web service, we realize that there isn't a mailing list that everyone can use to discuss these services. Rather than create a new list every time we create a new service category, we've created a more generic list: yws-search-general. Any webservice that isn't covered by the other lists should be discussed there, as well as any general questions about the webservices.

    We'll still create lists for major new services as they come down the pike, but this will ensure that you have a place to discuss any of the services without being off-topic. And it means that you don't have to keep up with lots of mailing lists as we launch more new categories. Or perhaps I've said too much...

    Toby Elliott
    Yahoo! Webservices

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  • My Web Services

    Today, Yahoo! launched My Web, your personal search engine. Among its features is the ability to save URLs to folders for later reference. These folders can optionally be made public, enabling them to be shared with the rest of the world.

    We've also exposed this public data through a couple of webservice functions. listFolders lets you get the public folders associated with a Yahoo! ID, and listUrls lets you retreive the URLs from any of those folders. There's a lot of potential in these functions, and we're looking forward to seeing some applications using them.

    For more on My Web, be sure to check out the Yahoo! Search Blog.

    Toby Elliott
    Yahoo! Webservices

  • Application ID Reporting

    Starting today, if you have a registered Application ID, you'll be able to see daily usage data from it. For those of you running web servers, this probably won't be interesting news - you can just view your logs - but we think application developers will find this a useful new feature.

    The Usage Tracking page requires you to be logged into your Yahoo! account (you will be redirected to a login page if you aren't). It will show you data (starting April 1) for all your registered Application IDs, including ones that have not received hits.

    We hope you find this feature useful as you send your applications out into the world. As always, please feel free to make suggestions in the comments here, or on our Feature Request wiki page.

    Toby Elliott
    Yahoo! Webservices

  • Term Extraction Service Available

    Our new href="">term
    extraction service analyzes text and an optional query, returning
    a list of the key concepts from the text.

    You can use the service for a variety of different purposes. For
    example, Y!Q uses it to
    determine key concepts within the search context and then uses those
    terms for augmenting a user's search query.

    There are more cool things you can do with this, and we're hoping
    to see many interesting applications that use the term extraction
    service. For example, a publisher might use the service to extract key
    concepts from an article (e.g., a blog post). The publisher could then
    use this information to highlight those terms in the text and make
    them clickable, or even insert Y!Q at those points.

    Let us know what you end up building with this service...

    Reiner Kraft

    Technical Yahoo!

    Read More »from Term Extraction Service Available
  • Creative Commons Search API

    To complement Yahoo! Search
    for Creative Commons
    that just launched, we've
    also included CC search support in the href="">Web Search

    The href="">documentation
    has been updated to reflect the new license parameter. Let us know if you run into any problems using the
    Web Search API
    mailing list

    Remix away!

    Jeremy Zawodny

    Yahoo! Search Web Services

  • Y!Q Contextual Search API Available

    As of today, the contextual search technology behind href="">Y!Q is
    available as a Web Service. Fundamentally, this means you can provide
    some text as context in addition to your explicit query.

    This can be very useful in resolving ambiguous queries. For
    example, if you use href="">our Web
    Search service to provide web search on your scuba diving web site
    you might provide a few words or sentences about scuba diving in
    addition to the user's query. If a user searches for "equipment" with
    this context as background, they'll find more relevant results than a
    plain web search for "equipment".

    Y!Q also works well on content heavy sites such as news or blogs.
    Article titles or lead paragraphs often work well as context for
    focusing queries beyond the explicit keywords.

    See the href="">Contextual
    Web Search documentation for API details and a

    Read More »from Y!Q Contextual Search API Available
  • Enhancements to Local Search

    It's been a little over a week since we launched YSDN, and the response has been terrific. We've received a bunch of suggestions on how to improve our service, and we've read and thought about every single one. We're not planning to rest on our laurels here, and we hope to regularly bring you new services and updates to the existing ones. Your feedback on the mailing lists, in blogs and on the wiki helps us decide which feaures to prioritize.

    I'm happy to announce the first of the updates - some minor changes to Local search that you asked for. Starting now, and described in the documentation:

    • You can use latitude and longitude as query parameters. Hook those GPS devices into your applications and find things near where you are right now.
    • You can sort your results by distance, alphabetically and by rating, along with the default relevance ranking.
    • We've bumped up the rate limit on Local search requests to 5,000 per IP per 24 hour period. This brings it in line with the other web
    Read More »from Enhancements to Local Search


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