A vertical search engine is a search engine that is dedicated to a particular area of focus. In business and marketing, "vertical" often means "niche" or "single-purpose," similar to the way the term is used for vertical markets. Vertical search engines are a type of vertical portal as they contain information in their indexes about a specific topic. Vertical search engines are also known as a specialty or topical search engines.
Since vertical search engines may be dedicated to a media type or subject, they are similar to specialized search elements of a general purpose search engine such as Google, which allows users to restrict a search to certain categories like images, videos, shopping and flights. From an online marketing perspective, vertical search engines allow advertisers to more closely target their chosen audiences.
A few examples of vertical search engines include:
TinEye.com - A reverse image search engine that takes an image file as input and provides information such as the source, other sites where the image exists, copyright data and available versions and resolutions.
Skyscanner - An air travel search engine that returns information about available flights, hotels and car rental deals for the user's selected destination.
Pipl – A search engine that is dedicated to finding information about individuals by searching names, email addresses, usernames or phone numbers and returns results related to that person.
iMediSearch- A medical search engine that allows the user to search for content specifically appropriate to the general public, physicians, nurses, pharmacists or allied health professionals.
Shopzilla - A shopping search engine that allows users to browse retail categories or search for specific items. Merchants pay for inclusion.
Social Search Engine – A search engine that allows users to search for content from social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Blogspot and LinkedIn. Users can also filter results by website.
Indeed - An employment search engine that allows job seekers and recruiters to find each other. Users can post jobs, upload resumes and search multiple job databases for positions and applicants.