|Copyright 2005 Sharon Housley
What are Topical Search Engines?
Simply put, topical search engines are search engines focused on a specific industry, sector or topic.
While many marketers are scrambling for links, any links, an area that is often overlooked is topic-specific search engines. What many don't realize is that these engines do produce traffic, and they often contain traffic that is very targeted. Anyone who has taken the time to analyze weblogs and track sales sources will likely see that targeted traffic converts at a significantly higher rate than non-targeted traffic.
A savvy online marketer realizes that often, the quality of the visitor is far more important than the quantity of visitors. Web marketers should focus their energies on attracting targeted traffic whenever possible.
For example, if you sell saddles, advertising on a site related to horses or advertising on a topical search engine like http://www.horse-stall.net will bring significantly more sales than advertising on a generic web site or search engine.
Niche engines are considerably smaller than general search engines but they can still be quite lucrative. The small size of a niche or topic-specific engine ensures that the there are few competitors, and advertisers are generally willing to pay a little more for the focused traffic. Advertisers appreciate the unique benefit of reaching a very targeted audience who have a higher likelihood of purchasing their product or service. As a result, topic-specific search engines and directories are a burgeoning market. There is far less competition in niche directories and dominating a specific market segment and establishing brand recognition is significantly easier.
It is virtual suicide to attempt to compete with the behemoth search engines like Google. Web-surfers are interested in simplicity and efficiency, which translates to as few clicks as possible. This is an area where Google really cannot compete with a topic-specific search engine. Creating a simple, clear navigational structure of related content while cross-promoting related products or services will increase the site's value.
Advertisers will also flock to search portals that are industry-specific, as they appreciate the unique benefit of reaching a very targeted audience who have a higher likelihood of purchasing their product or service.
Consider the niche search engine, Alarm Tools - http://www.alarm-tools.net . The traffic this portal attracts will be of significant interest to manufacturers of security equipment or emergency supplies. Imagine the targeted traffic that an alarm company could receive from a link in the above search directory.
Comtemplate the quality traffic a financial planner could glean from an RSS search directory focussed on finance and investing at http://www.finance-investing.com .
Locating topic-specific search engines is not all that difficult. Consider using the resources provided by Search Engine Watch, Web Search Engines, and Search Engine Guide to locate engines that are topic-specific:
Search Engine Watch - http://searchenginewatch.com/links/article.php/2156351
Web Search Engines - http://www.web-search-engines.net/directory/topic-specific.html
Search Engine Guide - http://www.searchengineguide.com/searchengines.html
Qualified 'clickers' or interested buyers is what it is all about; whether you are selling a product or advertising, the more targeted the traffic the better the fit. As an advertiser, consider topic- specific search engines. As an online marketer, consider creating a niche search portal, as the market is ripe.
About the author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.comsoftware for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.neta wireless text messaging software company.
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