What is Vertical Search?
Vertical engines are search engines that specialise in different types of search. For example, Google’s image search, location or map search, news search, and web search would be considered a verticals. These should be actually be considered as separate search engines, all under the Google umbrella.
Web search is the most common type of vertical search, where the search engine crawls its database of web pages, looking for and returning the pages that are most relevant to the users query.
Google’s other verticals are becoming more important and should not be overlooked. For example, Google’s image search is a very popular search engine, with millions of searches occurring daily.
Image search is likely to evolve into a very sophisticated functionality with high SEO appeal and potential, especially for industries with a reliance on visual focuses like consumer retail.
Search results from vertical search 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.
Web search is Google’s main search engine. It uses all of the websites on Google’s vast database. In web search, a user types in their search term and Google will return the web pages that it thinks is most accurately fitting to the criteria of the search term.
This offers a diverse range of features beyond just webpages, drawing both on the Knowledge Graph and structured data to provide search results that provide instant answers through rich snippets, cards and carousels, amongst others.
This is the second most popular vertical. In 2012 Google introduced the New Image Search, where it can not only match images to search terms, but can now search for images based on images. Using their own image, a user can use Google to search for identical or similar images, with incredible accuracy.
Google maps is the world’s most popular map search engine. Users can enter in an address and locate it, anywhere in the world. They can then see the road map view, the ‘street view’ (which is a 3 Dimensional, navigable photograph of that street), or a satellite photographic view.
The Google, Yahoo and Bing news verticals are some of the largest news databases on earth. Yahoo provides the largest and most visited news search engine, followed by Google and then Bing. It acts as a real-time RSS feed, flagging up the most relevant news from across the globe. If you are a newspaper or magazine, national or regional, optimising for Google and Yahoo news is imperative.