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Yahoo! opens API to developers

Search engine provider Yahoo! announced on Thursday it has launched its new Build your Own Search Service, which gives external developers access to an API that allows them to run versions of the company's search engine on their own websites.

With this new service, Yahoo! will sell advertisements on any applications that has a considerable user base in hopes that small, niche search developers will create sites which draw in users which the company has failed to find on its own.

This is not the first time a major search engine has launched a service like this. From 2002 to 2006, rival search engine Google offered a similar service when it switched to AJAX APIs.

The BOSS service gives developers the ability to control the display and ranking of search results. Offered in two versions, the service provides smaller developers with basic access to APIs, while larger developers can select BOSS Custom.

The service is just one of a series of initiatives in the past few months Yahoo! has implemented in an effort to increase its web services market share, which included testing Google's AdSense for Search service.

Then in May, Microsoft retracted its multi-billion dollar bid to purchase Yahoo after efforts to negotiate a mutually acceptable sale price went unsuccessful.

In the meantime, Yahoo! denied rumors Wednesday that CEO Jerry Yang was set to resign under escalating pressure from shareholders, spearheaded by billionaire investor, Carl Icahn.

Icahn is still petitioning for the replacement of Yang, as well as the company's board of directors. Microsoft says it is willing to renegotiate another deal if a new board is elected.

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