A Victory for Vertical Search


Healthline Networks and Ask.com have teamed up to launch Health Smart Answers featuring Healthline. The new service is designed to help Ask.com users find reliable health information more quickly. They will be able to access medical definitions, images and links to physician-reviewed content.

Healthline is known for its taxonomy-driven medically guided search platform used by consumers and business partners. The search platform is comprised of a database containing more than one million medical terms. In addition to Ask.com, other Healthline customers include prominent organizations, such as Aetna, Merck and U.S. News & World Report.

This certainly isn't a large announcement, but its impact could be rather enormous. Essentially, this represents a general search engine featuring content from a vertical search engine. While traditional search engines have received the lion's share of attention in recent years, it seems it's now becoming the vertical search engines' time to shine. Companies of all types now recognize how valuable vertical search engines are in collecting and organizing relevant data for consumption by users. These users want and expect more specific and targeted results and vertical search capabilities are the answer. As Healthline continues to build its customer base, expect Ask.com to explore partnerships with vertical search specialists in other subject areas.

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