Three weeks after announcing SearchMonkey and opening it up for a limited preview, Yahoo has finally made the Yahoo search results development platform open to all. To refresh our memories, Yahoo search monkey as an open ecosystem has three components:
- Site owners share structured data with Yahoo!, using semantic markup (microformats, RDF), standardized XML feeds, APIs (OpenSearch or other web services), and page extraction.
- Third party developers build SearchMonkey applications.
- Consumers customize their search experience.
And like I said in our previous coverage, SearchMonkey is similar to Yahoo Pipes for Yahoo’s search results page. Adding to what we already know, the Yahoo search blog added that we can build two types of applications using SearchMonkey – enhanced search results and Infobars.
Enhanced results are richer ways of displaying Yahoo’s search results with lins pointing to the site which the results refer. While Infobars are information appended below the search results, that includes metadata about the result, related links or content, or links for user actions (such as adding a movie to a Netflix queue).
And here are the procedure to get you started playing around with the SearchMonkey:
1) Decide what type of application you want to build (Enhanced Result or Infobar) and enter basic info such as application name, description and icon.
2) Decide the URL patterns that will trigger your app.
3) Data Services are the structured data on which SearchMonkey apps are based. They can be created using data available in the Yahoo! Search index (via data feeds or page markup such as microformats or RDF) or by using APIs or page extraction.
4) Use PHP to configure how structured data should appear in the application.
Easy? It will be interesting to find out what kind of search results mashup will come out of this new Yahoo Search feature. Yahoo Pipes was a pretty good developer playground which resulted in useful mashups/pipes that I myself was able to use courtesy of some previous contacts.
Let’s see how SearchMonkey could boosts Yahoo’s search usage.