The Vertical Search Blender

I think someone needs to invent a new category of web site, because “vertical search” seems to be getting a bit crowded.  The Mercury News just did a write up on Center’d.  Center’d is described as a vertical search site at the beginning of the article, so I was interested in what vertical they were searching on.   But later, the article described the business as a mash up of Evite, Yelp, and social networking.  Which is a lot like what it looked like when I went there.  So what’s the vertical?

Center’d looks like it could be a pretty cool site, and I hope they do well. But they aren’t vertical search.

Zillow, also described as vertical search, is another good example. The cool thing about Zillow is that they tell you what your house is worth.  But that’s content generation, not search.

I think what’s going on is that Google is so successful that everyone wants to be the Google of something.  It’s like a Hollywood movie Pitch.  In Hollywood, you say “I wanna make ‘Raiders of the Lost Arc’ meets ‘High School Musical.'” In Silicon Valley, you say “We’re goona be like the Google of on-line pet food sales.”  These days, the first line of the pitch is always Google. 

The funny thing for Trovix is that we really are a search company, and we have really incredible search.  Most of the companies in today’s “vertical search” category don’t even do search.

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One Response to “The Vertical Search Blender”

  1. Quincy Adams Says:

    Hi Trovix Blogger,

    I think you’re absolutely right and the marketing machines are now shifting to the vertical search band wagon. Since Google and Yahoo have a near monopoly on the search landscape, the oxygen is being sucked out of the room in terms of the viability for new entrants to make an impact in this space.

    However the players left in the search arena trying to monetize “vertical search”, should also be realizing the value they have buried in their deep content (beyond just advertising). Zillow may or may not be an example of this, but I believe that SimplyHired’s locale pages definitely are. The side effect of SimplyHired being able to search millions of jobs on the internet is that they also have created a network of all jobs by location. Since most people search for jobs by city, blending their mined data with content from GoogleMaps and Wikipedia (not exactly rocket science), has created powerful blended content play.

    -Quincy Adams

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