The ‘verticalization’ of search continues. Bing, which already
serves up specialized search results for verticals including travel and
shopping, is adding another niche to its portfolio: recipes.

new recipe results pull in data from popular recipe websites and give
searchers the ability to display and filter recipe results via a
recipe-specific interface. The goal, obviously, is to give consumers
searching for their next home cooked meal one more reason to use
Microsoft’s ‘decision engine‘.

Recipe results are integrated with Bing’s traditional SERPs. A search for ‘salmon‘ returns a standard results page which contains a link to ‘Recipes for salmon‘ and thumbnails of several recipes it has indexed.

Once you click on the recipes link, you get a results page that displays pertinent information about the recipe, its source and a handful of filters that Microsoft thinks will make it easier for you to answer the question, ‘What’s for dinner?

While Bing recipe search is a minor feature in the overall scheme of things, it’s yet another reminder that search engines are adapting to consumer needs. In an effort to help consumers more efficiently find information on the web, search engines are moving beyond standard SERPs and providing specialized interfaces for specific types of information. To make the most out of this, of course, search engines and content providers have to work together so that the right data can be aggregated and displayed. But clearly search engines are betting that the potential rewards of this extra work outweigh the costs.

When it comes to search engines, Google, of course, isn’t standing idly by. It has been participating in the verticalization trend too. For better or worse, however, Google’s early forays into potentially lucrative verticals potentially put it in direct competition with some of its own advertisers. While the outcome of this remains to be seen, the logic behind verticalization in general is solid: as consumers become more sophisticated information seekers online, one-size-fits-all search just won’t cut it. The largest search engines can either get into the action and take advantage of the trust they’ve built up with consumers, or they can let upstarts build the market.

All signs are they’re not interested in that, so the only question now is what verticals Bing and Google will enter next.