Yahoo Search BOSS - Sponsored Search Advertising FAQ's

  1. What kind of Advertising is available through the BOSS API?

    Yahoo Search BOSS API currently offers Sponsored Search Advertising from the shared marketplace of the Yahoo-Microsoft Search Alliance.

  2. Can I get the Sponsored Search Ads from my Server?

    Ads cannot be retrieved from the developer directly but instead through the end user's browser. Calling for the Ads from a server will lead to detection and termination of the customer.

  3. Why do you use a token based system to retrieve Ads?

    Developers are required to obtain a token before every Ad call. This token is then used from the browser to obtain the actual Ads. This ensures that the Ads are shown to end users.

  4. How long does the token last?

    The token lasts for approximately 60 seconds. You are required to call for Ads within that time interval.

  5. Can I cache the Ads so that I don't have to request them from Yahoo?

    No. You are not allowed to cache the Ads returned through BOSS. It will result in ads clicks not being counted correctly and hence lost revenue.

  6. Can I ask for Yahoo Ads in any market?

    Ads are served automatically and developers are not allowed to choose a specific market.

  7. What is the Partner ID? Where do I get it?

    We work alongside DDC to provide a contract for the advertising. The Partner ID is a alphanumeric string that is used to indicate your specific account in conjunction with your application ID. You can obtain the Partner ID from DDC.

  8. Why is my site is showing different Ads from those shown on Y! for same search?

    Sponsored Search Advertising can often be different from the same query on Yahoo Search. Ads can change based on individual end user behavior, Advertiser choices and other factors.

  9. Can I show Yahoo Search Ads against all BOSS API services?

    Yes. As long as there is a user facing application built on top of that service.

  10. Can I request for Ads by themselves?

    No. Ads can only be called alongside other services.

  11. Can I show Yahoo Search Ads on a page without BOSS API service results on it?

    No. We do not return Ads as a stand alone service. Showing Ads without a user facing search implementation is NOT allowed.

  12. Can I show Yahoo Ads on a mobile service?

    Yes, we encourage Mobile applications that show Yahoo Sponsored Search Advertising.

  13. How do I set the URL if I am developing on my local machine (

    Make sure to use your hosts file and set the appropriate production URL. The location of your hosts file is provided on Wikipedia.

  14. I get a 503 error when trying to generate a token even though web search calls work. What do I do?

    If your requests using the BOSS API do not generate a token response, please check the following:

    • Do you have a BOSS contract with DDC?

      You cannot get Ads by just signing up for BOSS API. Please refer to the step-by-step tutorial to sign up of BOSS Ads.

    • Make sure you are using the same APP ID that you provided to DDC. APP ID's and Partner Tags are mapped to each other and are unique.
    • Try the sample PHP code provided for Ads.

      If you can not use PHP, please sign up for a Yahoo Account and go to the BOSS API Yahoo Group and ask your question in the BOSS API community. If the BOSS API community cannot help you, please open a support ticket with us and we will investigate.

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