Vertical BTB search on the fast path

The number of business-to-business vertical search engines on the Internet increased by at least 26 percent in just the past six months, according to a new white paper from BTB marketing agency Slack Barshinger and SearchChannel.

According to new research in the white paper and provided by Outsell Inc., total revenues from BTB search engines is growing at a 15 percent annual rate and will reach $1 billion in three years. In addition, information users report a 32 percent failure rate on general search engines such as Yahoo or Google.

Industries in which professionals face the greatest search failure rates include advertising and public relations, computers and software, electronics and semiconductors and telecommunications.

Specialized search engines can improve results while reducing time spent on failed searches, according to the white paper.

Media companies have taken a leading role in developing specialized search sites, according to vertical applications services provider SearchChannel, Oak Brook, IL. Of the 38 Web sites it tracked, media companies represent half the entries. SearchChannel has built 10 BTB search engines since spring 2006 and has at least half a dozen in the works for 2007.

Niche-oriented search tools for BTB marketers serve two distinct audiences: professionals who need information fast and those who need to efficiently target their online advertising dollars to the right audience, according to Slack Barshinger, Chicago. 

The paper, “The Emerging Opportunity in Vertical Search,“ is available for download at both companies’ Web sites: and

Posted by Chantal Todé
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