By Deane Barker on May 22, 2008

SearchMonkey – YDN: Yahoo is taking a big step with this. They’re letting people write apps that other people choose to install that directly change how search results are formatted.

The SearchMonkey developer tool enables you to create small, sharable applications that enhance search results. A SearchMonkey application pulls in structured data from multiple sources and uses PHP to display that data according to your specifications. For example, you could develop an application that triggers on sites for various music bands, enhancing the search results to display cover art, lyrics and mp3 samples. Or you could write an application to rewrite all Wikipedia search results in l33t-speak.

Here’s another example:

Let’s say I’m a recruiter who often searches for candidates by searching the web. I log in to Yahoo and add the “Resume” application. From now on, whenever I search, each search result that is a page at LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, or, is presented in a new layout which immediately highlights the skills and latest experience of each person right on the Yahoo research page. Super cool.

And again, anyone can write this Resume application. The code is hosted by Yahoo, so there is zero operational cost to the developer.