Vertical Search on a Search Engine
To sum it up, vertical search on a search engine refers to narrowing down a search to a specific type of media or category of search results.
Now let’s back up a little bit and be a little more detailed. To start off, most of what I am going to write about is in reference to the search engine run by Google since it is one of the major search engines in the United States. So if you are looking for specifics for another search engine, or want to make a search engine comparison, you are just going to have to use your super power of common sense and take what you learn here and apply it there.
Looking at Google after a search on vertical search you see the following search engine page:
First on the list of search results is the short description by Wikipedia on what a vertical search is, in case you want a more in depth description using more technical language. (You can also visit SEOMarketingWorld and webCEO to gain more insights.) Now depending on the search keywords, the results shown are in a blended search which includes all of the verticals.
What a Vertical Search Looks Like
Next, direct your eyeballs to the red box in the same search results page.
All, News, Shopping, Images, Videos, More. These are the vertical search options that Google readily provides.
What does vertical mean?
Don’t let the horizontal configuration fool you though, because vertical refers to a specific category of a search that provides narrower results. If all you wanted to see is results that contain a video you would select the Videos option, or you could use another vertical search engine platform such as YouTube to search for just videos, which is more of a niche search engine. One way of remembering why it is referred to as vertical search in this case is that it is listed horizontally so search results can be listed vertically in an orderly fashion.
Some of the different types of content in a vertical search
This includes the what is deemed as the most relevant results from across all of the verticals.
Since this search engine is owned by Google the applications, or apps, that are shown are mostly associated with the Google Play Store and the Android operating system.
Some suggestions of books related to the search term and where to find them. Again, Google tends to be on top of the results.
Mostly relevant to find air travel information.
Shows pictures that are related to your search terms. Sometimes seemingly unrelated pictures are shown because in the written content the search term appears.
This gives results that are associated with a physical location that associated with the search criteria.
The most current articles from reputable sources and/or the most relevant news articles according to the search topic.
Items to be purchased that are associated with the search terms that are found online.
Any online video that has been uploaded that contains the search terms, which are usually found in the title of the video.
Depending on what you are looking for, one of these verticals will be more helpful to use than the others. If you are looking for something on the interwebs to help you fix something, then you will most likely be drawn to videos since they demonstrate the problem and a solution.
Most search engines use blended search results to give you a variety of options that the engine determines to be the most valuable. These results can then be filtered into verticals to show more specific content. These verticals are categorized and placed at the top of the search engine page so you can easily navigate between them.