Verticals and Content Engines


Steve Matthews, publisher of, contributes this storyabout the future of vertical searching.

Matthews offers specific suggestions for satisfying the needs of Internet searchers as the number of indexed web pages grows unwieldy.

An excerpt from his discussion:

If one views Internet Searching as an evolutionary process, the progress from Search Engine to Searchable Directory was a step in the right direction. I’m old enough in web years to remember the word of mouth \"buzz\" that Yahoo! caused when it first arrived. Lycos was king, and the \"knowledge structure\" approach Yahoo provided seemed so much easier (to me, anyway).

The evolution has now continued with the addition of Subject Specific Collections or \"Verticals\". Sites like, VerticalNet, and to some degree the Open Directory Project.

These sites have taken the emphasis off of being all things to all people, and placed the focus on collecting for a single subject, and in some cases, a specific audience. Another important addition for the Verticals is the use of \"Editors\" and \"Guides.\" Editors represent the first foray into the area of subject expertise. Now, there is an obvious critique regarding the use of untrained editors, but the combination of expertise with \"human indexing\" represents a marked improvement in the overall collection technique.

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