Google is rumored to have another vertical imminent, Google Health Portal. In my recent “Google Verticals vs. Google.com: What is Google’s end-game?” I discuss how Google seeks to integrate its vertical content within Google.com:
Google Finance is but the latest Google Vertical struggling to be a destination. In fact, the bulk of Google Verticals are languishing…
Google Base, feared by many at launch last Fall as a classifieds “category killer,” does not even manage to rank within the top 20.
Why then does Google continue to roll out its own unique style of verticals? Why does Google present unappealing shells of services available elsewhere? Perhaps Google has a grand end-game…
Google aims to obtain, control and own more content, cost-free to Google, for inclusion in its core search product via a no-cost content acquisition strategy through various Google Verticals.
The scenario put forth by Google CEO Eric Schmidt during the company’s latest investor conference call:
When we think about Base, we think of it as a way of getting structured data into our index. This is not the same thing as people going to base.Google.com and doing specialized searches. It’s really about getting information into the indices that Google cares about, and then using that structured information to then blend those results into the Google experience.
So we don’t anticipate Base being a large and separate site with its own user perception, its own branding, its own thing. Rather, it’s the next logical step in what we did with Froogle some years earlier, which is to get highly structured information… the quality and the depth of information in Base has been exploding, and the leverage there is that it will eventually be in the Google index as a whole.
As we learn how to take that information and, if you will, merge it or index it with other unstructured information, we can offer an even more integrated solution…we will have a complete solution out of every piece of information they access with Google.
Google.com “refinement boxes” illustrate the integration of Google Base classifieds listings within Google SERPs. Below are screenshots of Google refinement boxes resulting for search queries on the top three classifieds categories: automotive (used car), real estate (apartment) and recruitment (job).
For the “used car” search query, Google indicates at the top of the SERP: “refine your search for used car” and asks for “location,” “condition” and “make.”
For the “apartment” search query, Google indicates at the top of the SERP: “refine your search for apartment” and asks for “location,” “property type” and “listing type.”
For the “job” search query, Google indicates at the top of the SERP: “refine your search for job” and asks for “location” and “job function.”
Completing the refined queries leads to a SERP of Google Base mappable classifieds listings.