Vertical search engines focus on specific niches of web content, including images, videos, news, travel, and people. Such engines exist to provide value to their user base in ways that go beyond what traditional web search engines provide.
One area where vertical search engines can excel in comparison to their more general web search counterparts is in providing more relevant results in their specific category. They may accomplish this by any number of means, including making assumptions about user intent based on their vertical nature (an option that full web search engines do not normally have), specialized crawls, more human review, and the ability to leverage specialized databases of information (potentially including databases not available online).
There is a lot of opportunity in vertical search. SEO professionals need to seriously consider what potential benefits vertical search areas can provide to their websites. Of course, there are significant differences in how you optimize for vertical search engines, and that is part of what we will explore in this chapter.
Vertical search has been around for almost as long as the major search engines have been in existence. Some of the first vertical search engines were for image search, news group search, and news search, but many other vertical search properties have emerged since then, both from the major search engines and from third parties.
This chapter ...