New forms of vertical search are becoming increasingly important. Areas that the search engines have already embraced include local search and mobile search. In addition, voice-recognition-based search is an area in which all the major engines are actively investing.
Local search was an active business before the advent of the Internet, when Yellow Pages as supplied by your phone company were the tool of choice. As the World Wide Web first became prominent in our lives, the first way that this unfolded on the Web was in the form of Yellow Pages migrating online. These types of sites have themselves evolved to leverage more of the unique nature of the Web. Some of the major players are MapQuest, CitySearch, Local.com, and Superpages. You can see the relative market share of these four sites in Figure 13-6, which depicts a chart that Compete.com created in March 2009.
Figure 13-6. Major local search websites
As the major search engines evolved, they integrated sophisticated mapping technology into their systems, and then began to map in local business data as well. You can find these local search engines at http://maps.google.com/, http://local.yahoo.com, and http://www.bing.com/maps. These search engines map in some of their business data from the same types of data sources that drive the Yellow Pages websites, ...