Vertical Search: Correcting Danny Sullivan
Ian Lurie Feb 26 2008
(Update: I told you I couldn’t multi-task. I switched them around. Vertical integration is the whole production chain. Horizontal is taking over your sector.
Thanks everyone who let me know.
Luckily I’m still right on the main point: “vertical” versus “horizontal” finds its root in the historical concept. So my factoids can still beat up your factiods. HAH!)
I’m not a liveblogger. I can’t multi-task that well. But I’m sitting listening to the keynote at SMX West and Danny said something that my History Major brain can’t let lie.
He said that the term vertical search came from the financial industry as a way to explain this phenomenon.
“Vertical” and “Horizontal”, in the context of an industry, comes from history, back in the days of the robber barons:
“Vertical” integration is where a monopolist buys up all of their competition in their industry.
“Horizontal” integration is where a monopolist buys up all the business in the production chain, from raw materials through distribution.
So “vertical search” refers to a search engine or tool designed to cater to a single industry.
A traditional search engine, like Google, is more of a “horizontal” search engine.
I will likely be struck down as I’ve now corrected one of the search deities, so I’m going to go sacrifice a mouse…
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More