Vertical search is the term people sometimes use for specialty or niche search engines that focus on a limited data set. Examples of vertical search solutions provided by the major search engines are image, video, news, and blog searches. These may be standard offerings from these vendors, but they are distinct from the engines’ general web search functions.
Vertical search results can provide significant opportunities for the SEO practitioner. High placement in these vertical search results can equate to high placement in the web search results, often above the traditional 10 blue links presented by the search engines.
The big three search engines offer a wide variety of vertical search products. Here is a partial list:
Google Maps, Google Images, Google Product Search, Google Blog Search, Google Video, Google News, Google Custom Search Engine, Google Book Search, Google US Gov’t Search, etc.
Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Local, Yahoo! Images, Yahoo! Video, Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Audio Search, etc.
Bing Image, Bing Video, Bing News, Bing Maps, Bing Health, Bing Products, etc.
All three of the big search engines offer image search capability. Basically, image search engines limit the data that they crawl, search, and return in results to images. This means files that are in GIF, TIF, JPG, and other similar formats. Figure 2-27 shows the image search engine from Bing.
Figure 2-27. Image search results ...