Yahoo’s the BOSS of Vertical Lens Technology

    November 30, 2008
    Chris Crum

Today, Yahoo has announced a new Yahoo Search BOSS capability called vertical lens technology, which enables partners (often with no search expertise) to create a comprehensive vertical search engine that compliments their core user experience.

For example, TechCrunch has launched a technology-flavored search engine as Yahoo cites as its first example. This search engine allows TechCrunch users to search for technology-focused articles and company info across TechCrunch’s network as well as the web, a Yahoo representative tells WebProNews.


BOSS vertical lens technology provides a handful of features that were implemented on the TechCrunch search engine:

Real-time indexing of proprietary content – Once TechCrunch content is added or a user comment is submitted, the search index almost immediately reflects the changes.

Customized ranking – The BOSS and TechCrunch teams worked closely to fine-tune the ranking algorithm to fit the TechCrunch audience and user experience.

Structured search – BOSS supports faceted refinement around TechCrunch’s structured content.  This offers powerful tools for people who want to fine tune their searches or browse TechCrunch content – e.g. narrowing in on articles on Twitter written only by Michael Arrington, or only the most popular articles (popularity is determined by number of comments), or locating all companies that are founded in 2008. 

Blending Web with proprietary content in a single search display – After querying both the TechCrunch and the Web indices, BOSS blends the results to produce one result set that is both relevant and comprehensive.

Speaking of BOSS, there’s a new post up on the Yahoo Developer Network blog talking a new tool that lets you match search terms with relevant keywords to increase search engine visibility. This is a new feature of BOSS and the tool, called Keywordfinder, does this as well.


The post also has an explanation of how to do the same thing using only javascript. The author says it’s not quite as simple but its not really magic either.