Friday, December 18, 2009

Google's Vertical Search

I have been writing for a while about how Google's search results stink, and how vertical search is far better. Some companies might continue on their existing trajectory towards failure, but not Google. Over the past six months, Google has been steadily adding vertical search features, although of course in a very Google way.

Rather than having the user pick a category such as music or stocks and then search, Google guesses what vertical your search is in and puts that result at the top of your search results.

Examples include:

Addresses -> Maps

Businesses -> Map & Reviews

Stock Quotes -> Stock Chart

Music Artists -> Artist Tracks

For some types of searches, Google just shows the results in the Google Suggest feature, so you don't even have to click search! Examples include:


Flight Status

Missing are Facebook & LinkedIn for people searches and shopping comparison for product searches. I can understand Google's reticence about integrating successful social networks since Google lacks one, and Facebook and LinkedIn results inevitably end up near the top. The AdWords free-for-all based on product searches is not one I think they will ever optimize for the enduser.

The Google vertical search progress is impressive and I have found myself using vertical searching less and less and going back to the Google mothership. Well done.


Nichole said...

There are a number of areas where Findjango--or vertical search engines in general--can outperform a mainstream search engine. And this is what we will wait to happen once this new upgrade is implemented.

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