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What is vertical search?

What is vertical search?

There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the term “vertical search”. This also means you probably have no idea that you make vertical searches every day!

What is vertical search?

Vertical search is finding narrowed down, niche-based information. Basically, searching for drilled-down information.

We all know Google is the queen of search engines. With Google, it’s vertical search counterparts are the news, videos, books and image tabs one can use while searching for a subject.

Ultimately, these extra options within Google are considered separate search engines. Vertical search engines.

Why is this important?

In reference to Google searches, when one is selecting the “vertical” options (news, videos, books, images), optimization is everything.

Google’s image search is the second most popular vertical to use under their platform umbrella. Because of its accuracy, image optimization is crucial to having your images found.

If you didn’t think your image naming conventions and alt text were important on your website and products? Unfortunately, you were wrong. And it’s all because of vertical search.

Aside from Google, there is a massive range of popular vertical search engines.

Popular vertical search engines

Your own website

That’s right. Your own website is considered a vertical search engine when utilizing a search function. Any time site users can search for specific items your business or organization offers, they’re making a vertical search.


This review-based website and mobile app is the perfect vertical search engine to find businesses and restaurants. Any time you’ve searched for “pizza” on Yelp, you’ve made a vertical search.

Not only is Yelp great for local search, but it’s also great for checking out helpful, user-generated content.


Real estate websites like Zillow are also vertical search engines! Anytime a search for homes in a specific neighborhood or zip code, you guessed it, a vertical search has been made.

As you can see, search queries are so much more than generic Google searches. This is why having all forms of content optimized is so important. By understanding the intent of your audience and making your content easy to find is significant to your search result success.

Take advantage of vertical search

The first step in taking advantage of vertical search is to understand your audience. Where are they searching?

What do they plan to do with their search?

These basic characteristics from your audience directly implies what your marketing strategy should be.

Moreover, these give insight as to how you need to optimize your content for the platforms your audience is using.

Have you taken vertical search into consideration for your marketing strategy?

Need vertical?

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