By David Chartier | Published: February 26, 2008 – 12:17PM CT
Announced on the official Yahoo Search Blog, the company’s new open search platform will allow third parties to build browser plug-ins that can augment Yahoo search results and insert additional relevant data. As you can see in the example Yahoo provided, crowd-sourcing local review site Yelp has added a restaurant rating, contact information, and links for reviews and photos to a Yahoo search for “Higuma Japanese Rastaurant.”
The most likely solution is for Yahoo to collect all open search add-ons in a new user-customizable preference area. Developers from third-party sites will submit their service to Yahoo for approval and inclusion in this preference area, where users can decide which, if any, services to enable. This system of course has the major advantage of being portable since there is no software to download, enabling users to log into their Yahoo account from any machine and view the same results they are used to on their home computer.
The search giants have needed to revamp their basic approach of a search box with bland result lists for quite some time, and opening up the platform is a great way to go about remodeling. Giving developers power to offer a choice to users, without the need for specific applications or add-ons, will present Yahoo’s open search to the widest array of browsers and devices possible.
Amit Kumar, Yahoo’s open search product lead, informed Ars Technica that open search is in fact entirely browser based, with no ties to specific browsers or plug-ins to download like we originally thought (in the future, the team could benefit greatly from using clearer terminology to describe the product). Naturally, this changes things for Yahoo’s open search, as it can potentially work on all the other applications and devices we were originally concerned about.