A vertical search site, provides a visitor with the ability to search across multiple classifieds portals from a single search query. These search queries are usually free form in that the user is able to enter any combination of words to conduct a search and the site will display a range of results that best answer the query.
The Mitula Group operates vertical search sites across the real estate, automotive, employment, holiday rentals and fashion sectors (known as verticals). However, vertical search sites can also operate across products, hotels, flights, car rentals and insurance. Companies that operate in these verticals include skyscraper.com, webjet.com.au, iselect.com.au, and trivago.com.
To provide quality search results for any query, a vertical search site should search through a large number of listings. To do this, vertical search sites work with multiple competitive portals in their target vertical. Listings are sourced from these portals either by an Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) feed or via scraping of the advertiser’s listings content. The Mitula Group receives more than 90 percent of its listings content via XML feeds.
The database powering the vertical search site contains an index of all the data received for every listing.
Like Google, the vertical search site displays a search and search results page but does not display the details of any listings clicked on by the visitor (click-out). Instead, the consumer is redirected to the listing’s details page on the portal from which the content was originally sourced.
As vertical search sites can receive millions of listings in each market, there are frequently duplicate listings. Where possible, these listings are de-duplicated and only one version is displayed to the visitor.