Thursday, November 3

Vertical Search: An Introduction

I had the opportunity to listen hear Jan Pederson from Yahoo speak at an industry conference on search. In Jan's presentation, he highlighted what he thinks part of the future in search might be: Vertical Search.

He identified several emerging search markets: local search, image search, desktop search, product search, and personalized search. Of course he also plugged Yahoo's new contextual search, Y!Q. First, I think Y!Q is a fantastic idea, but it's not really vertical search, so I'll leave that for another series on search and context.

So, what's in the news recently? Well...

Google just released Google Desktop 2.0 and moved Google Local out of beta. In light of these two new "vertical search" offerings and Jan's claim to their emerging importance, I think now is an auspicious time to take a closer look.

Update: It looks like Jan and company have been busy. Yesterday, they released a new version of Yahoo local / Maps beta. It has some very nifty features. Yes, I think this is fortuitous timing!

What I think I am going to do is start a series on "Vertical Search." I am going to start with Jan's emerging vertical search areas and compare what the offerings from the major players are in these areas. Then I'll give some of my ideas on vertical search and what I think is the future of vertical search.

However, before we dive right in, let's try to define vertical search and put it into some context. What is Vertical Search? What are some of its different definitions and what are some of its early pioneers. ... next time!

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