The vertical search field in Bulgaria has seen some development in the last six to 12 months and in this post I will try to cover the current situation and outline the future trends.
Only two years ago virtually no vertical search engines existed in the Bulgarian web. There were some rudimentary attempts at vertical search but they were either performing poor or were marketed badly. Interestingly enough, some of the first attempts were in the field of shopping search, despite the low penetration of online shopping.
Now there are about a dozen vertical search engines operating in the Bulgarian web and even international players have entered the field. Four types of search engines are on the market right now: real estate, comparison shopping, news and music.
Real estate search engines
Comparison shopping search engines
News search engines
Music search engines
Job search engines
Some of these are still not “true” search engines in the sense that they do not have a crawler but get feeded by RSS (Imotera.com, Pazaruvaj.com, Rss.bg, Alfarss.com). All of the search engines listed above are developed and owned by Bulgarian companies except Pazaruvaj.com, which is owned by the Hungarian company Arukereso.hu Ltd.
In terms of visitors and popularity comparison shopping engines stand far above all other types of vertical search. This could be attributed to numerous factors like the marketing of the services, competition in their field, etc.
When it comes to advertising budgets spent on vertical search ads – there are no publicly available statistics. From what is visible as running banner and text ads on those engines one can make the conclusion that this is still an undeveloped area. My hopes as developer and owner of one of the listed engines – Izgodnobg.com is that this is about to change.