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Vertical Search


The term “Vertical Search” is used to describe a search on the Internet that focuses on a specific topic or products. Vertical search engines are a special type of vertical portal, as they provide information only on a specific topic. Vertical search engines are also often referred to by the two terms“Topical” or“Speciality Search Engines“.

General information

Vertical search engines have a lot in common with traditional search engines. Also at Google, Bing or Yahoo a vertical search on specific topics can be realized by limiting the search query to certain categories, images, videos or news. From the perspective of modern online marketing, Vertical Search gives advertisers the opportunity to address their target groups more precisely.
Looking at search on the World Wide Web from an interactive and transactional perspective, searching represents the fundamental digital activity. Users enter search terms into a search engine to look for specific information, inquire about alternatives, research specific topics, and then make decisions based on the information they obtain. Traditional search engines, also referred to by the term “horizontal search engines,” report more than 2 billion queries per day.

Vertical Search and Horizontal Search at a glance

Horizontal search engines crawl the entire visible web in search of relevant information on as wide a range of topics as possible. For this very reason, such search engines are referred to as “horizontal”. Horizontal search can be considered the general form of searching the World Wide Web. Horizontal searching usually leads to a larger number of results.
The ranking in which the results are displayed depends primarily on the algorithm of the search engine. Horizontal search engines focus on the widest possible range of topics and can index gigantic portions of the Internet through the use of so-called web crawlers.
Vertical Search, on the other hand, is about searching and displaying content that is targeted to a specific website, category or industry. Examples of websites with vertical search are:
  • Travel websites
  • Entertainment websites
  • News websites
  • Job websites
  • Photography websites
Mobile Apps are also vertical experiences. Many onlineShopping sites are also vertical in that they focus on specific products or prices.
Types of vertical search
There are a variety of different types of Vertical Search for which businesses and organizations can optimize content.
Image search represents the most popular vertical search on the World Wide Web. Businesses that are active online should take advantage of this opportunity to gain additional rankings on image search engines.
Thanks to the rapid rise of VOD platforms like YouTube and TikTok, videos are as popular as images these days. However, videos have their own rules for optimization, so businesses should definitely hire experts in the field of videoSEO to build a presence on VOD platforms as well.
In the era of mobile internet, App store optimization (ASO) should be a high priority for businesses.
Local businesses and retailers can only be successful if business owners know the basics of local search engine optimization and use it effectively for their own online promotion.


Vertical search on the World Wide Web is a particular form of web search that involves searching for content on a specific topic area.

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