Add Vertical Search to Your SEO Strategy

Google has dominated the search engine scene for a long time, giving us the answer we’re looking for when we’re looking for it. And within the last few years, has added a ticker for shopping, images, or videos for a multi-media and multi-functional search experience.

However, increasingly, we find consumers don’t always run to Google. In fact, for many looking to purchase a product, for example, Amazon becomes the e-commerce search engine of choice.

And really, we as business owners can’t blame them. It gives the best results.

Though I wouldn’t go so far as to denounce Google’s authority within the search field, updates have been made to take these vertical searches (like Amazon for shopping, Kayak for travel, and Weather for upcoming storm information) into consideration.

But not all of us can be Amazon or Kayak. Instead, we may specialize in a specific region or a niche. If this is the case, how can we use the moderate-to-highly weighted vertical search factor within our own SEO strategy?

Vertical Search for Business

If your business sells a product, perhaps marketing on the biggest e-commerce site on the web, Amazon, would be highly beneficial for your marketing, SEO, and sales.

As more and more people are drawn to Google for their initial search–looking for something that would solve their problem–Amazon provides the more refined searches for those who have completed their research, know what they want, and are looking for various options for that specific item.


Yelp is also considered a vertical search engine in which consumers go to find local stores or restaurants.

This is where, if you haven’t captured your audience in the initial stage of search through content marketing and authoritative SEO practices to your website, you have a second chance in Amazon, again, if you’re selling a product.

The trick to getting found through an Amazon-type search is through reviews–a very coveted factor not just found on Amazon. So, how would you go about receiving reviews on Amazon?

Some of the best ways to do this is by asking for your friends, relatives, co-workers, or experts within the field that you’re marketing to for reviews on your product in Amazon. By sending them a free product in exchange for a review (and requesting that they be unbiased), you may see some changes within the search queries on Amazon, as well as Google who is fetching these results within the vertical search factor.

By the time that folks who are looking for a specific product has found it on Amazon, they may go back to Google one final time.


To find the most competitive rate.

At this point in the game, the only thing you’re competing with is price. And honestly, no one wants to have their hat initially thrown in the ring at this final stage. Instead, your business should be found within the first or (at the latest) second step within this process.

What about vertical search for service-based business?

With service based businesses, this factor may not matter so much unless your industry or niche also has an Amazon-like search engine that more folks are willing to use over the much more broad stroke of Google.

A great example of this is Kayak.

When was first introduced, they did something no one else had done before–taken all hotel, flight, or vacation price search engines and rallied them into one place.

Expedia, Hotels, and Travelocity prices under one roof for a great hotel deal.

US Air, Delta, Continental, and even the smaller airlines all within one chart in which you can easily determine whether that 5 hour layover is worth the $200 savings.

kayak-vertical-search-engine-screenshot is also a vertical search engine for consumers looking for inexpensive flights, hotels, or vacations.

Of course, not all businesses have a vertical search engine for their niche, but you’d be surprised who does. Here’s a list of the top 10 vertical searches that you may not of known about… Or have forgotten.

But with some research, you will find that perhaps your business does have a niche-based or industry search or directory that isn’t spammy but can add your business within the list to gain traction within the vertical search factoring as well as back linking SEO factor.

Isn’t vertical search a lot like those spammy directories of yesteryear?

In short, no.


Because according to a 2005 study by Jupiter Research, 41.2% of people refine their search after Google (or another broad search engine) doesn’t fetch what they’re looking for.

My guess is that the percent is much higher 10 years later. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve spoken to someone about this who hasn’t refined their search.

But because of this growing trend, businesses have found a way to give consumers what they want by allowing Google to fetch results within their ore targeted niche-based search engine or directory.

So rather than this becoming a method of building multiple links to a site by paying a directory numerous times, this becomes a more efficient Google spin-off, if you will.

Also, by having your website within a search, the ability to rank higher within that vertical search could be easier than competing against worldwide companies.

Where are we going from here?

Google, and other search engines, are working hard for the consumer to fetch what they need when they need it. However, our information is growing rapidly every day making it difficult for Google to manage so much in such a refined manner. After all, we’re all putting out information for Google to index more of–which is why it’s so important to stand out.

With vertical searches, Google is allowing others to take the broad stroke to a more refined picture to fetch exactly what you’re looking for.

And if these don’t work out, then Google has another SEO factor that will cause these vertical search and niche-based directories to lose their traction within Google.

Either way, the consumer always wins.

What do you think about vertical search?

Are we moving back into the spam directories? Do you currently use vertical searches as a way to narrow your search?

What other vertical search engines can you think of?

How about Yelp or others like it to give you local businesses without all of the other guys?

Let me know below!

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