Definition of Vertical SEO

Before attempting to get into the nitty-gritty of vertical Search Engine Optimization, it may be worthwhile defining how a vertical search engine performs. To begin with, a vertical search engine, unlike a general web search engine, focuses only on a specific segment of online content. That’s one of the reasons why it is also called Specialty Search Engine or Topical Search Engine. As for the online vertical content area, the same may be based on subjects that are of interest presently, such as Genetic Engineering; media type and even genre of content. Familiar verticals include medical information, socio-legal data, academic issues, travel related information, etc. Vertical search engine examples comprise and

There is also a marked difference in the way vertical search engines use crawlers for indexing websites. While general Web Search Engines use web crawlers for indexing sites in most cases, vertical Search Engines use focused crawlers for indexing web pages which appear to be relevant to any pre-defined topic or set of topics.

How to optimize the vertical as well as the horizontal keyword search

Let me break the ice first – what is vertical and what is horizontal keyword search? Simply put, your horizontal search keywords are the common (broad-based) keywords while verticals ones are those that are specific. Let me cite an example to make the matter more explicit. Say, you run an online ladies shoe store in multi-racial (2.5 million populated) Brooklyn. In that case your horizontal keywords could be ladies shoes or ‘footwear for the femme’ while the vertical keyword could be ‘Dancing Shoes”.

However, if you plan to sell only dancing shoes, your horizontal could be ‘dancing shoes’ while your vertical could be “Ballroom Dancing Shoes” or “Ballet Shoes”. Alternatively, you could also mention “Designer Shoes for the ladies” as your vertical keyword search. But what if you sell both Ballroom shoes and Ballet shoes? Nothing much save and except that you optimize your home page for both, utilizing horizontals and verticals. However, you can alter your verticals on each page to mirror the particular type of shoe you are selling on that page and so on. But you need to do this in your whole content – product descriptions, meta tags, articles, links, glossaries, etc., lock, stock and barrel.

Similar is the case with freelancers, for whom the horizontal could be “Writing Services” or “Freelance Writer” while the vertical could be “Technical Writer” or “Medico-legal writer”. Some people also use geographic locations to emphasize upon local talent or some such issues, although geographic locations matter little in the Wide World Web, so far as ethical write ups are concerned.