The Opportunities in Vertical Search

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 will focus on strategies for optimizing your website for the vertical search offerings from Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. We will also spend some time on YouTube, which in January 2009 became the second largest search engine on the Web. First we will look at the data for how vertical search volume compares to regular web search. The data in Table 8-1 comes from Hitwise, and shows the top 20 Google domains as of May 2006, which is one year before the advent of Universal Search.

Table 8-1. Most popular Google properties, May 2006

Rank

Name

Share

1

Google

79.98%

2

Google Image Search

9.54%

3

Google Mail

5.51%

4

Google News

1.49%

5

Google Maps

0.82%

6

Froogle

0.46%

7

Google Video Search

0.46%

8

Google Groups

0.43%

9

Google Scholar

0.27%

10

Google Book Search

0.25%

11

Google Earth

0.22%

12

Google Desktop Search

0.18%

13

Google Directory

0.10%

14

Google Answers

0.09%

15

Google AdWords

0.07%

16

Google Local

0.05%

17

Google Finance

0.03%

18

Google Calendar

0.01%

19

Google Talk

0.01%

20

Google Labs

0.01%

In May 2006, image search comprised almost 10% of Google search volume. Pair this with the knowledge that a smaller number of people on the Web optimize their sites properly for image ...

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