The Local/Vertical Search Nexus

Local search and vertical search have been two of the most prominent themes over the last few days at the Search Engine Strategies conference.

Most search engines reported a growing share of searches having a local component. Marissa Mayer, Google’s Director of Consumer Products, said during a panel on local search that more searches were being run on Google Local than Froogle even prior to the very recent linking of Google Local from Google’s home page. Reflecting its importance, Google Local has just unveiled significant enhancements (see Search Engine Watch and John Battelle’s Searchblog).

Vertical search is also on the rise. Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, talked about the importance of vertical search to Yahoo’s strategy in his keynote address. Search guru and organizer of the conference, Danny Sullivan, goes as far as to say that vertical search is going to take over.

We think vertical and local search are intertwined; one feeds off the other. Shopping, yellow page information, news and jobs all have a strong local component. Users will increasingly drill down both geographically and vertically. That’s why Indeed has a location search box as well as a keyword search box. We recognize that for most people, place matters when it comes to their jobs.