THE BLOG
01/12/2012 04:58 pm ET | Updated Mar 05, 2012

Search Engines 101: Part 4 Vertical Search Is the Next Big Market

Vertical search is search narrowly defined around a central topic, industry, niche, format, genre or location. Vertical search engines or websites that offer vertical search for a given topic can focus on travel, health and medicine, shopping, law, government, blogs or even geographical areas and municipalities.

Vertical search is a growing tier in the search industry. Because search engines are tremendously successful at generating advertising revenue, vertical search engines have an opportunity to target users specifically interested in that domain's industry category, product, service or industry.

Eighty percent of vertical search engines fall into the four primary categories of retail, travel, financial services and media/entertainment. Other types of vertical search engines include:

  • Pay-Per-Click
  • Computing
  • Children
  • Science
  • Country-specific
  • Shopping sites
  • Image search
  • Mailing lists
  • Audio and Video
  • Domain names

Traditional horizontal search engines cannot always identify the target audience, niche or vertical industry of a page or site. Vertical search engines address this issue by the nature of their design. They identify sites according to more specific criteria and sometimes even by human input. Visit SearchEngineWatch.com to learn more about vertical search.

Benefits of Vertical Search Engine Marketing
Vertical search engines that match your business, service or products with a target market offer you a higher conversion rate than traditional search engines. Because they have already qualified their interest by coming to a search engine with a specific focus, searchers will be more receptive to targeted advertising.

Pay-Per-Click campaigns with a vertical search engine result in higher clickthrough rates and higher conversion rates. When optimizing your site and your overall marketing efforts, consider these vertical engines, and develop a presence and position with each one.

Vortals: The Vertical Portal
Danny Sullivan, the guru who founded a fantastic website called SearchEngineWatch.com, shares the following helpful information:

For those times when you want to find more than just web pages and websites, some of the specialty search engines will prove useful. Also called topical search engines, vertical search engines, or vortals, they'll help you
search through specific types of listings in different areas.

  • Answers searching
  • Medical search engines
  • Computer search engines
  • Newsgroup search
  • Domain searching
  • Science search engines
  • Financial search engines
  • Shopping search
  • Government search
  • Travel search engines
  • Invisible web
  • WAP search engines
  • Legal search engines
  • Other specialty services
  • Mailing lists

Here's a Get Rich Click money-making idea. Build a better mousetrap. Some firms simply aggregate sites or data from other sites by compiling information, products or services and make that data easier to read, easier to navigate, more presentable, more efficient or better organized for the particular target market. (Note: If you want to play with this business model, please be sure to ask your
copyright attorney about the legal ramifications before proceeding.
)

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Marc Ostrofsky is a "New York Times" bestselling author of "Get Rich Click" and owns 300+ websites including CuffLinks.com, Blinds.com and eTickets.com. He's been seen on ABC's "The View," the "Today Show," and 20/20, as well as in the "Wall Street Journal," "New York Times" and "USA Today." His sale of the URL "Business.com" landed in the "Guinness Book of World Records." He can be reached at www.GetRichClick.com, where you can also read more of his business insights and review his schedule of speaking engagements.