Yahoo quietly announced they are discontinuing their Yahoo Shopping API, because they are going to be outsourcing the Yahoo Shopping component of their site to PriceGrabber.com. Greg Sterling has excellent questions and observations about this decision. The main question is why isn't Bing going to power this search feature?
On a webmaster note, just look at the first comment in the Yahoo announcement:
This is very disappointing to me. Several of my web apps depend on the API it for their real-time data needs. Pricegrabber is not a replacement. I suppose this means I'm collaterally going to shut down my own services as well. A big sarcastic "thanks" goes out to the Yahoo team for this.
A WebmasterWorld thread both sympathizes with those in this trap and also somewhat mocks them. For example one said, "This is yet another lesson for lazy or naive webmasters that build their sites around the services provided by third parties (mostly by Google in these days)."
incrediBILL adds, "The most amusing part is it probably requires no maintenance to leave the API function as-is." httpwebwitch explained the other value in this API:
The Yahoo! Shopping API is/was a really good product, too. Well designed, with massive amounts of excellent data. One of the best data API's out there, IMHO - I've often used it as an example when teaching others about APIs and XML.
I have several apps out there that depend on it, and projects in development that also rely on it. All those projects will be scrapped.
This is not the first time some webmasters were 'burned' by using a free and open API.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.