Posted November 13, 2008 5:52 pm by with 5 comments

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Today at PubCon, Microsoft announced its latest improvement to its search offering: an API with ad support, called Project Silk Road. In the blog post of the announcement, Microsoft explains:

Now, in one place, we’re making available what is essentially a content management system for your site or blog, plus the ability to monetize by selling ads. . . .

In much the same way that the original Silk Road offered opportunities for cultural and technological exchange and innovation, we believe that Project Silk Road can spark innovation in the online ecosystem.

(Please tell me you know what the Silk Road is. My life will lapse into utter despair if you can’t remember your fifth grade social studies.)

But on to the heart of the matter, yes? This API allows its users to serve their search results in the rank and format of their choosing, as well as using the web service protocol of their choice. The API also gives access to content from Encarta, related searches and tools (including an Excel add-in for keyword performance tracking). Additionally, Microsoft search ads can be pulled in with the API as well.

The Microsoft blog also lists some cool features:

  • A 404 Error Toolkit that allows you to create a better experience and keep users on your site, even when they enter a search that returns no results.

  • Related content for search queries, such as images, news, and other web results.

  • Flexible terms of use with no daily limit on queries and control over how to rank and format search results.

  • Increased number of supported standard web service protocols from SOAP only to now include RSS, JSON, and XML.

  • Additional data types exposed through the API, including related search results and Encarta instant answers, added to previously supported data types of web, image, news, spelling, and phonebook queries.

Currently in “broad beta,” you can apply for the program. Site quality, subject matter, and traffic volume are the evaluation criteria listed.

Will you be applying?

  • This api looks very useful. The 404 errors tool kit looks like a great way to improve your website for users when they go to a bad page

  • So are we talking about a copy-cat of Yahoo Boss?

    Saad Kamal’s last blog post..Official Google SEO Guide

  • Let it get over the beta stage. The original silk route not only led to technology and cultural exchanges, it also led to a great deal of strife!

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Save Money on Medication

  • PS3

    errrm, no, sorry – never heard of Silk Road before

    (runs off to hid in embarresment)

  • PS3

    Sorry for double post, but even more embarrassed about my spelling (: (got it right this time!)