Vertical search

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A vertical search engine, as distinct from a general Web search engine, focuses on a specific segment of online content. The vertical content area may be based on topicality, media type, or genre of content. Common examples include legal, medical, patent (intellectual property), travel, and automobile search engines. In contrast to general Web search engines, which attempt to index large portions of the World Wide Web using a Web crawler, vertical search engines typically use a focused crawler that attempts to index only Web pages that are relevant to a pre-defined topic or set of topics.

Vertical search offers several potential benefits over general search engines:

  • Greater precision due to limited scope
  • Leverage domain knowledge including taxonomies and ontologies
  • Support specific unique user tasks

Domain-Specific Search

Domain-specific verticals focus on a specific topic. John Battelle describes this in his book, The Search. He writes,

Domain-specific search solutions focus on one area of knowledge, creating customized search experiences, that because of the domain's limited corpus and clear relationships between concepts, provide extremely relevant results for searchers.[1]

See also


  1. Battelle, John. The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. Portfolio, New York, 2005.

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