Optimizing Your Business For Vertical Search
One of the big changes that we are likely to see into the future is that of vertical search. Vertical search is nothing more than a dedicated search portal for specific industries. The most popular examples are Trulia for real estate and Bing Shopping (formerly MSN Shopping) for product searches.
The down side to some vertical searches options is that, in reality, they are nothing more than paid directories. Rather than crawling the net and building their own database of pages, they rely on businesses like your own to provide the data. This doesn’t make them any less important, however, since consumers often access them in preference to organic search.
Can you optimize your business for vertical search? Optimize is probably the wrong term in this instance. Where vertical search options exist, business need to follow whatever processes are required to have their products or services listed. For example, Bing Shopping or Google Product search require an up-to-date product feed.
When thinking vertical search, don’t be limited to your niche. Vertical search covers a wide range of search options including blogs (blog search, Technorati), Social (Twitter, Facebook and Friendfeed) and video and images to name a few. With this in mind, you may find that through the use of blogs, videos, social media and a product feed, your web site could appear in several different and unrelated vertical search channels.
Vertical search is important in some industries, however, it hasn’t quite taken off when it comes to mainstream internet use – yet. Like local search (another vertical), niche related vertical search engines may well become one of the big changes into the future. Mainstream search engines have added verticals (blog, news, image, video, local) over the years and, as their databases become bloated, increasing the number of verticals will become a necessity if they want to maintain quality in search results.
If there are vertical search options available to your business, make use of them. They may not have a major influence on your business today, but they may well do so in the future.
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