Whither Vertical Search: A Google Threat?

What’s up with vertical search? There has been a plethora of activity in this space in the past 12 months, but has anyone really found the VSE killer app? Is VSE a threat to Google?

Alex Iskold has blogged a post headed: Watch Out Google, Vertical Search Is Ramping Up! in which he gives a clear overview of some vertical search areas and the players in them. However, none of these plays individually or as a group look like being anything more than a mosquito bite on an elephant’s rear.

I agree with Alex that there is a place for both generic and vertical search engines, but disagree that VSE is ready for prime time and will materially affect revenues at the GYM (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft).

My take is that the winner in VSE will be the company that can create a tightly integrated, infinitely vertically scalable suite of VSEs that fit hand in glove with a range of horizontal apps.

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