Adding new features, improving content, and forming alliances with existing media sites could result in significant growth for the vertical search market.
The findings are highlighted in a new report published by JupiterResearch, "Vertical Search: Learning Lessons from Shopping".
Mature categories such as retail and travel will continue to lead vertical search spending. However, the best opportunity for vertical search is in growth categories such as financial services, automotive, and health, in which combined search spending will grow more than 94 percent to $3.4 billion in 2011.
JupiterResearch Analyst and lead author of the report, Sapna Satagopan, said, "Shopping or retail, as a relatively mature online category, leads the way in attracting spending and can provide critical lessons for other vertical categories.
"This category is focused on developing and growing the engagement on site, a critical element to building consumer traffic and consequentially, marketer spending."
Vertical Search sites, according to the report, must also experiment with ad formats, especially categories that are not quite as adept at implementing the pay-per-click model of advertising.
In addition, taking advantage of partnerships formed with sites that already have a dedicated following will be key to driving vertical search traffic and enhancing content without incurring additional costs, which could make such a tactic prohibitive.
President of JupiterResearch, David Schatsky, added, "As vertical search sites focus on integrating various types of content, differentiation will increasingly depend on organization of the content and useful site features.
"Shopping search sites are essentially research destinations that provide rich content, information, and tools to help lead searchers to the right sites or merchants.”
He concluded, “These elements will become especially important as the process of aggregating data becomes relatively more streamlined and searchers look to address specific needs."
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