Flexible API now serving 3B queries per month

Cheers, webmasters and publishers!

You may recall that last November we kicked off Project Silk Road featuring the Live Search API 2.0 at PubCon as a broad beta. The idea was to support publishers and developers like you with a flexible search engine you can use to power your online business.

Fast forward four months, and we are serving more than 3 billion queries/month and have received more than 5,000 applications to use the API.

Image of API query volume from November 2008 to February 2009

API Query Volume

After two years of developing our API with internal customers like MSN, MSNBC, and Microsoft.com, we launched API 2.0 this fall and made it available to partners like Facebook and The Free Dictionary. The point of Project Silk Road and API 2.0 is to provide an extensible search platform: You have nearly complete control over how you want to rank and format the results, and you can choose from JSON, XML, or SOAP protocols.

The API gives you access to extensive content partnerships from a broad range of sources, including news, images, and maps. That translates into keeping more visitors natively on your site. In the following example, let’s say you are building a site to help customers plan cycling trips. You can use the API to pull in maps, images, news and information related to that task, including finding restaurants or hotels in the area.

Image of rich, relevant results delivery

Deliver relevant results

The API pulls all of this content in one call, and our flexible format and terms of use allow you to serve the results in whatever style, location, or format works best for your site. If you’re using the API + Ads trial, you can also pull in relevant ads. Best of all, the API is free, with unlimited queries.

If we’ve piqued your interest, sign up to use the API today, then give us your feedback in our forums. Finally, don’t forget we’re at MIX (March 19) so come see the new applications from partners who are using the API to differentiate their business.

Note that approximately 80% of the Live Search API query volume comes from third-party sites; therefore, many aren’t counted toward query share by tracking tools like comScore.

Angus Norton, Senior Director, Live Search Ecosystem

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