Yahoo Search Service Will Have Variety of Commercial Models

Yahoo's BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) will have a variety of commercial models including revenue sharing on advertising and co-branding of sites, apart from a fee-based model that the company announced last week.

"We will look at a variety of options," said David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo in an interview on Sunday. Filo was in Bangalore for Yahoo's Open Hack Day, a developer event with about 360 participants.

For example, advertisers on Yahoo Search will be given the option to also advertise on Web sites of Yahoo's BOSS partners, Filo said. If developers are not interested in revenue-sharing on advertising, then they can opt for a traffic fee to use the Yahoo platform, he added.

Yahoo announced the BOSS program last year, which lets developers use Yahoo's search infrastructure and algorithms and create their own customized search services.

Yahoo plans to charge a fee late in the second half of this year for use of the service above a set daily limit of search queries. Filo said the infrastructure and engineering costs for search are expensive. The search market is dominated by Google and Yahoo, and as a result of that dominance, fewer new ideas are introduced, he added.

BOSS is intended to throw open Yahoo's infrastructure and engineering and encourage new ideas from students, developers and start-ups, Filo said.

Yahoo has hundreds of engineers working on search, but the company wants thousands of other developers outside the company to start innovating on top of Yahoo Search.

It will take between six months to a year for new services on the BOSS platform to gain traction. When that happens, Yahoo will be open to new business relationships with BOSS partners, Filo said.

Building a relationship with developers through advertising, or licensing of their technology, or co-branding will be easier if they are using Yahoo's platform, Filo said.

Earlier this month, Yahoo began to test Search Pad, an online notepad for users of its search engine, that allows them to save links, type notes, and copy and paste content from Web sites. Users of Search Pad can now share information from the notepad through e-mail or print it out.

Yahoo will work on a number of other options for users to share information from Search Pad, including posting information from the notepad on social networking sites like Facebook, Filo said. The kind of information typically stored on Search Pad may not be the kind that would be shared on instant messaging programs or Twitter, but Yahoo will consider adding these options if users want it, he added.

Yahoo is also focusing its resources and will drop some products and projects this year, according to Filo.

The company said in January that it is closing down its Briefcase online storage service by March 30 because users are increasingly using e-mail for storage. Briefcase is an example of a product that wasn't critical to users, Filo said.

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