Julie Cave
Julie Cave 5 February 2018

Vertical Search: How Your Business Can Benefit

Vertical search engines contain information in their indexes about a specific topic, rather than a wide, all-encompassing search engine like Google. These specialised search engines are aimed only at people interested in a particular area, and deliver a narrow and very focused audience to the companies that advertise on them.

For example, Google’s image search, location or map search, news search, and shopping search would be considered vertical search. These should actually be considered as separate search engines, all under the Google umbrella.  Search results from these specialised searches other than web are now being pulled into the search engine results pages, which takes up a large portion of space previously allocated to organic search results. You’ll notice this when you perform an ordinary Google search – you’ll get web results as well as image results, video results and map results.

A vertical search is designed to only search down through one broad topic and the point is to eliminate information that the user will find useless and instead provide more relevant results.

Think about this: let’s assume you decide to have a spontaneous night away at the beach this weekend. Are you going to search in Google to reserve the room? Doubtful. You’re going to search in a specialized engine like Wotif or Trivago because you already know what you’re looking for and where to find it. In order to reserve that hotel room, you’re skipping over Google completely and going directly to the source. Other examples of vertical search engines include, which lists only real estate for sale and which lists current jobs vacancies. Searchers are increasingly bypassing the universal search engine for more specialised search engines because they already know what you’re looking for.

How To Utilise Vertical Search In Your Business

To take full advantage of vertical search, you’ll have to submit your website to the relevant specialized search engines. If you’re a bookseller, you should have listings with Amazon and Book Depository. If you run a bed-and-breakfast, you should list your business with Expedia and Trivago. Are there any specialised search engines in your industry?

With specialised search continuing to grow in popularity, you have other options for getting your website in front of people. Niche websites and vertical search engines provide additional opportunity to get discovered by new people!

Why Vertical Search Is Valuable

Vertical search provides excellent value and this is why you should consider it for your business.

Vertical search signifies high intent

As consumers identify specific products of interest or decide to make purchases, the likelihood that they will rely on vertical search increases dramatically. They might bypass a universal search engine and instead rely on a site that caters to that specific product or service. Simply, vertical search engines are often full of people ready to buy – all you have to do is show up.

Vertical search is data-driven

A key aspect of marketing is the ability to accurately identify and engage the right audiences. Obtaining the maximum return on investment has always been a strategic goal of any business.

Consumers engaged in vertical search are providing structured data—information such as demographic, geography, products preferences—that enables highly targeted advertising. If you’ve ever bought something from Amazon, you’ll notice that they send you a highly tailored list of associated or similar products. That’s data-driven advertising at work.

Relevance is built in

For years, advertising has struggled to be relevant to the target audience. A television ad might reach tens of thousands of people, but you may never know if that ad is relevant to those people. Vertical search ads are delivered exactly within the context of what the consumer is looking for and is designed to fit within the experience of the site to ensure that consumers have the trust and comfort to click on the ads.

Vertical search provides a highly relevant consumer experience that encourages higher conversions and more sales.

When users go beyond a universal search engine in favor of sites that offer in-depth knowledge of a specific subject, and then take an action that identifies them as high intent, a lucrative opportunity for businesses presents itself.


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