Semantic searching can retrieve results that surprise you, hopefully in a good way. So it seems like the natural means for discovery when you dont know what you want to find. Services like Jinni, a semantic discovery engine for movies and TV shows, is the perfect example.
Service discovery is not an easy task in today’s Web. Discovering an API requires searching through a large number of services on the Internet and then reading pages of documentation to figure out how to use the ones that may match your application. This is the case in Programmable Web as well. The API directory shows over 5000 APIs which are manually categorized in over 50 service categories.
This past Valentine’s Day, DuckDuckGo announced via Twitter that their search engine had “received over 1,000,000 direct searches yesterday for the first time ever!” A major accomplishment for a search engine that is essentially unknown. And this search engine has an API.
Developers are often finding themselves as API providers in addition to consumers. The same is now true for me with my project, BuildaSearch. I recently released a BuildaSearch API for deeper site search integration, moving away from a more plug-and-play approach I took earlier on.
Blekko is a search engine which uses both algorithms and human interaction for producing high quality search results. Currently serving more than 3 billion pages, Blekko sorts through spam, content farms, and sites containing malware in order to offer only real information to the end-user.
Yahoo! BOSS, the Build Your Own Search Service, has seen a series of upheavals in the last two years. When Yahoo! announced its Search partnership with Microsoft, it looked that Yahoo! BOSS might not survive for long. However, that was not the case. Yahoo! BOSS has come back strongly this year with paid version V2 and major updates to the BOSS API. In a sign that it is alive and kicking, it has announced a new home for Search BOSS and three new product offerings under the BOSS umbrella along with API updates.
If you subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds, you may find yourself wanting to view only a subset of the content. You can organize by folder, but sometimes searching the feeds is the quickest way to get at what you seek. A new service from Q-Sensei is now bringing that feed search power to your applications via its Q-Sensei FeedBooster API.
If there’s a new dawn in the age of search, Datafiniti is the sun. They are the first to take a new and profound approach to search in years. Most search engines return a list of links to web pages, but Datafiniti has much bigger plans. Instead of links, they return a set of data. A search for a burrito in Texas would give you a list of restaurants complete with goodies like reviews in addition to the important bits like name and address. The dataset itself has been out there for years, but its the aggregartion and presentation that’s different. With the Datafiniti API, it is now possible for developers to easily integrate that data into web applications.
Organizations are continuously engaged in mining the large amounts of information that is generated daily on social networks. As is natural, they would like to understand trends and any mentions in real time. Topsy, a realtime search engine has been indexing Twitter data on a daily basis and providing the Topsy API, to sift through that information. It has now added another feather in its cap by adding public Google Plus posts to its index.
It’s been a long year since Yahoo’s major search API changes. One of its popular offerings, the Yahoo BOSS API, was marked for transition to a paid service after integrating search results from Microsoft Bing. In April of this year, Yahoo BOSS V2 was released with pricing details, OAuth support and optional Advertising. Users have reacted positively to the changes and Yahoo has responded back with updates to BOSS V2 and a very short timeline to upgrade apps from V1.