Fred Wilson and Tom Evslin disagree on the future of vertical search. Fred blogs that vertical search is here to stay:
If I was looking for a job, I’d go to Indeed instead of Google. Why would I use [this service]? Because the results are orders of magnitude better than what Google produces for the same search term.
Although Tom Evslin blogs that a “vertical search engine is an oxymoron”, he admits in the same post that “specialized sites will continue to have specialized search interfaces for their own content particularly if the content itself is inherently structured.” But why should such specialized search interfaces necessarily be restricted to a single site’s content? In fact, “specialized search interfaces for inherently structured data across the web” would be a pretty good definition of a vertical search engine.
If evidence is needed for the fact that no single search interface can be used to sift through all the various kinds of data on the web, Google already has vertical search services that are, from the user’s point of view, quite separate from its main search engine. Image Search, News, and Froogle are some of the best known.
Perhaps the argument is that one search company or brand is sufficient for all imaginable types of vertical search. That is the “Google can do everything” school of thought. Theoretically that may be true, but it doesn’t appear to be evolving that way. Google doesn’t have a monopoly on general web search and is unlikely to have a monopoly on vertical search.
Tony Gentile blogs about Recruitment RSS feeds and notes that HotJobs now has RSS feeds. All jobs from Hotjobs are already available via Indeed.com.
Tony also asks Scoble who he has to kill to get Microsoft job feeds. Tony – no need to kill anyone – here is the rss feed for Microsoft jobs.
It’s only a matter of time before all job sites offer RSS feeds.
JupiterResearch’s report, Vertical Search, concludes that the search industry will evolve like other media markets did before, with broad-based search engines spawning a raft of vertical search engines dedicated to specific categories. SearchViews concurs with the analogy, describing the vertical evolution of the TV industry.
Niki Scevak, author of the JupiterResearch report, says that broad-based search engines are extremely good at navigating vast amounts of information, but [there is] a large opportunity to enhance the consumer experience with vertical search.
We couldn’t agree more. General search engines like Google and Yahoo are great for what they are, but work very poorly for specialized searches such as jobs. We believe vertical search is today where general web search was seven or eight years ago.
Many parameters at the core of the astounding recent progress in general search – including relevance, comprehensiveness and ease of use – are also at the heart of vertical search. A number of new search engines are trying to tackle these issues in different verticals, and Indeed is pioneering search for jobs with over 75,000 new jobs each day from hundreds of different sources.
Side note: Niki Scevak also recently commented on vertical classifieds in his blog.
We added a Media Center today. It includes some selected coverage of Indeed on blogs and in the Press.
We know how important it is to communicate a clear message to users and the media, and a big part of clarity is simplicity. Michael Bloomberg, founder of his eponymous financial information empire, once said that successful companies understand what they do in terms that can be expressed in a few words.
We hope we’re achieving that with Indeed’s simple concept and search interface, summed up in our tagline: one search. all jobs.
Mary Hodder blogs about her evolving feed-reading habits. She shares that most of her feed subscriptions are search-based, mainly using keywords and URLs with services like Technorati, and that she is relying more and more heavily on such “search feeds” as opposed to traditional RSS feeds from individual blogs or legacy news sources.
If search feeds are superior for news and blogs, it is even clearer that they are the only viable approach for classified advertisement feeds. Who could possibly want to view all jobs from one publisher? Certainly not a job seeker. You want to drill down to the jobs that fit your search criteria and then receive an aggregated feed drawn from multiple publishers. That’s the way Indeed works. It’s the only method that makes sense for the distribution of this kind of information.