Vertical search – Definition & explanation
Vertical search includes all searches on vertical search engines, which are search engines that focus on one thing like a type of content, an industry, or a sub-industry.
Vertical search engines commonly focus on certain topics/industries, like flights/holidays, jobs, or real estate. By only providing relevant results to people looking for flights/holidays, jobs, and real estate respectively, this type of search engine offers an improved user experience when compared to large web search engines that focus on the entire web.
There are also vertical search engines that focus on certain content types, like video content, research articles, or images. This allows users to search solely for specific content, improving the speed and efficiency of the search process.
The advantages of vertical search
There are a few advantages of vertical search that improve the user experience compared to large internet-wide search engines. Some of these advantages are:
More targeted search results
By focusing on a specific industry or content type, vertical search provides more targeted search results. This provides more focus and improves the accessibility to relevant information.
Faster & more efficient
By only displaying relevant content, vertical search saves users time browsing through irrelevant content types or content on irrelevant topics.
By focusing on a specific type of content or a certain industry, the information provided in vertical search tends to be superior to all-inclusive search engines.
Examples of vertical search engines
- YouTube – A vertical search engine owned by Google that focuses exclusively on video content.
- Google Images – One of Google’s many vertical search engines that focuses on Images. Other vertical search engines offered by Google include Google News, Google Maps, Google Videos, Google Shopping, and various others.
- Skyscanner – A meta search engine that focuses exclusively on flights, hotels, and car hire.
- Yelp – A company/review directory that functions based on a vertical search engine focusing exclusively on businesses.
- Amazon – An eCommerce store with an extensive search feature that focuses exclusively on products listed on its platform.
An image of Skyscanner - a vertical search engine in the travel industry.
Relevance to SEO
Over the years, vertical search engines have grown immensely in popularity. Although Google is still the dominant web search engine, various vertical search engines are becoming more important for website marketing strategies.
The increased adoption of vertical search has increased the importance of things like video SEO and image SEO. With the increased use of websites like Yelp, Amazon, Skyscanner, and many others, SEO focusing on increasing rankings on vertical search engines and optimizing listings on these sites is likely to continue growing.