IT.com uses a targeted crawler to build a database focusing only on information technology solutions for the enterprise.
Although placing search boxes to specialty/vertical databases on non-search sites like Forbes is not a new concept, it’s still a good one since it can help get the word out about these types of search tools.
In an email to me, Mark Conover the IT.com CEOwrote:
The top priority [for IT.com] is to provide the most relevant results for PARTICULAR audience being served.
It just so happens that the algorithm is “ungamable”.
As I touched on earlier this week, just because content can be crawled and searched doesn’t mean the searcher will see it. Use of a vertical/focused database can often help the user get the most relevant results in the shortest amount of time. Said in different words, the biggest database (in terms of overall size) doesn’t mean it’s the best database for every search. Conover is also correct in pointing out that verticals can also offer quality results by focusing on the needs of a specific user group.
With the increasing interest in verticals, I think more and more people are realizing that specialty engines are valuable and useful resources.