What is ‘vertical search’ on the SERPs?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - vertical search

“We often hear questions,” says Lisa Schneider: managing director of the Digital School of Marketing, “such as ‘How can I achieve first place page rankings in organic SERPs?’ or other queries such as  ‘How can I rank at number one?’” These are queries that are often asked of many of today’s digital marketing managers as well as SEO specialists.

Owing to its quick growth, the world-wide web provides an enormous number of potential link destinations when a search query is launched through a search engine. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a critical part of how to create an eCommerce site that receives traffic. However, keeping up with the latest changes to search engines is difficult and this is especially true when Google changes its algorithms every single day.

In addition to this, Google’s first page results don’t drive as much organic traffic as they used to. because of new Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) features. These new SERP functions have enhanced the experience for users. However, these are also making the game more complicated for businesses.

If you want to win the top spot in the search results, you need to fully grasp rules of the game. With a Vertical Search, it is possible for your to limit the search query beforehand to obtain even more accurate results that could possibly not be obtained from the general search.

What does the term ‘vertical search’ mean?

The term ‘vertical search’ refers to search on a particular topic area or, alternatively, a certain segment of an overall search. There are vertical or specialised search engines. One example of a vertical search is Google Image Search and typical vertical search queries include shopping, travel, cars, medical information as well as books.

Other types of vertical search engines include:

  • Google News
  • Google Shopping
  • Google Videos
  • Google Scholar
  • Google Apps
  • Google Books
  • Google patents
  • Google Maps
  • Blog Search

There are three other types of search queries that we’re seeing on Google. These are:

  • Navigational search queries
  • Informational search queries
  • Transactional search queries

A ‘navigational query’ is a search query input with intention of finding a specific website or webpage. For instance, a user might enter “youtube” into Google’s search bar in order to find the YouTube site as opposed to entering the URL into a browser’s navigation bar or making use of  a bookmark. In fact, “facebook” and “youtube” are two top searches on Google.

Informational search queries are  queries which cover a large topic (e.g., Johannesburg or trucks) which might have thousands of appropriate results. When an individual makes an informational search query in Google or, alternatively, another search engine they’re searching for information – which gives rise to the name. They are not likely to be looking for a specific website, as in a navigational query. In addition, they are not looking to conclude a commercial transaction. They merely want to answer a question or learn how to do something.

A transactional search query is the query that indicates an intention to complete a transaction, such as concluding a purchase. Transactional search queries may:

  • Contain exact brand and product names (such as “Samsung galaxy s3”),
  • Be generic (for example, “iced coffee maker”), or
  • Include terms such as “buy,” “purchase,” or “order.”

In all of these examples, can you conclude that the searcher contemplating a purchase in the foreseeable future, if they’re not already doing so. In other words, they’re at the business end of the conversion funnel. Many local searches (such as “Cape Town wine shop”) are transactional as well.

“If you want to learn more about vertical search, in addition to other tried-and-trusted SEO practices, you should definitely,” concludes Schneider, “consider doing our SEO and Web Analytics Course.

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