Yahoo offers SearchMonkey experiments

It's now easier for programmers who want to gussy up Yahoo search results to get their ideas into circulation.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Expertise Processors | Semiconductors | Web browsers | Quantum computing | Supercomputers | AI | 3D printing | Drones | Computer science | Physics | Programming | Materials science | USB | UWB | Android | Digital photography | Science Credentials
  • Shankland covered the tech industry for more than 25 years and was a science writer for five years before that. He has deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and more.
Stephen Shankland

Programmers who might not make the cut for Yahoo's official SearchMonkey gallery now have a new experimental option for propagating their ideas for augmenting Yahoo search results.

"Starting today, even if an app doesn't meet all of the gallery guidelines, it will still be quickly approved as an experimental app provided the basic functionality operates as designed and we don't initially see any other major issues with it," said Nick Cox of the Yahoo search team on the Yahoo Search blog Friday.

SearchMonkey embeds selected search results into more elaborate packaging. For example, a restaurant appearing in the search results can change from a name with a Web site link into that plus an address, phone number, map, and customer reviews. Programmers create SearchMonkey applications that present the fancier results; SearchMonkey apps are enabled by default from Zagat, CitySearch, Yelp, LinkedIn, and Yahoo Local.

With the experimental option, Yahoo expects the early-adopter crowd will help programmers refine their SearchMonkey applications faster. "We think the early feedback that these users can provide will be extremely helpful for developers," Cox said. "This also gives users who opt-in an even wider variety of apps from which to choose."

SearchMonkey, part of Yahoo Open Strategy, is one element of Yahoo's attempt to make its site more useful and more used. Also in search, Yahoo offers BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) that lets others repackage, reorder, and remix Yahoo search results--with revenue-sharing or Yahoo-supplied advertising if the service gets popular.