Chapter 11. Search Engine Verticals


  • SEO for local businesses

  • Image search

  • Video ranking factors

Online search has evolved along with the Internet to move beyond just text documents. Images and videos have become commonplace and made their way into the SERPs. As such, the search engines have started to look to humans for ranking metrics. These have included location and various metrics that strive to understand intent. Several examples of these new kinds of search results, called search verticals, are described in this chapter.


Universal or "blended" search is the term engines use to describe search results that include images, local results or maps, news, shopping, and/or videos mixed in with the normal blue and green text results.

  • Google isn't the clear winner here. also pioneered universal search, and Bing has very high-quality universal presentation, too.

For years, search engines offered users the ability to search for all types of media beyond simple HTML content. With a few clicks, users could view results specifically honed to news, images, shopping, local results, videos, and other vertical "silos" of content. In 2007 and 2008, all major engines took a leap forward and released versions of universal search. These presentation formats met with mostly positive feedback, and engines continue to constantly refine them.

Two significant factors played into engines' ability to create relevant blended search results:

  • Relatively few users bother to ...

Get Search Engine Optimization Secrets: Do What You Never Thought Possible with SEO now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.