Vertical search

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Benefits of Vertical Search
– Greater precision due to limited scope
– Leverage domain knowledge including taxonomies and ontologies
– Support of specific unique user tasks
– Similar to enterprise search where the domain of focus is the enterprise
– Consumer price comparison websites with integrated vertical search engines have received large rounds of venture capital funding, indicating growth in this technology.

Domain-specific Search
– Domain-specific verticals focus on a specific topic
– Customized search experiences provide extremely relevant results
– Domain-specific search engines efficiently search a small subset of documents
– Spidering with a reinforcement-learning framework is three times more efficient than breadth-first search
– General search engines index all pages and searches in a breadth-first manner

DARPAs Memex program
– DARPA’s Memex program aims to develop new search technologies
– Memex aims to search for information on the Deep Web, which is largely unreachable by commercial search engines
– The technology being developed in the Memex program aims to uncover patterns and relationships in online data to help law enforcement track illegal activity
– DARPA intends for the program to replace centralized procedures used by commercial search engines
– Memex is named as a tribute to Bush’s original Memex invention

– Data-Driven Comparison Shopping Platform FindTheBest raised $11M in venture capital funding
– Asian Price Comparison Site Save 22 received an angel round of mid six figures
– John Battelle’s book ‘The Search: How Google and its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture’ discusses domain-specific search solutions
– Andrew McCallum’s paper ‘A Machine Learning Approach to Building Domain-Specific Search Engines’ explores the use of machine learning in domain-specific search engines
– DARPA’s website provides information on the Memex program and its goals

Other Information
– Vertical search engines focus on specific segments of online content
– They are also called specialty or topical search engines
– Verticals can be based on topicality, media type, or genre of content
– Vertical search engines typically use a focused crawler to index relevant web pages
– Some sites include multiple vertical searches within one search engine

Vertical search (Wikipedia)

A vertical search engine is distinct from a general web search engine, in that it focuses on a specific segment of online content. They are also called specialty or topical search engines. The vertical content area may be based on topicality, media type, or genre of content. Common verticals include shopping, the automotive industry, legal information, medical information, scholarly literature, job search and travel. Examples of vertical search engines include the Library of Congress, Mocavo, Nuroa, Trulia, and Yelp.

In contrast to general web search engines, which attempt to index large portions of the World Wide Web using a web crawler, vertical search engines typically use a focused crawler which attempts to index only relevant web pages to a pre-defined topic or set of topics. Some vertical search sites focus on individual verticals, while other sites include multiple vertical searches within one search engine.

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