Forbes Adds IT Vertical Search

Forbes.com added to its offerings on Thursday with a vertical search engine for information technology professionals. Powered by IT.com, the search box will be located within various technology channels and section pages on the site.

"Without leaving our site, our readers can now search from a targeted database before making significant enterprise purchases," said Mike Smith, vice president and general manager of operations for Forbes.com. "There's no end in sight to the potential depth of our publishing platform."

IT.com uses a proprietary algorithm to crawl sites that are relevant only to enterprise IT, and displays listings using a ranking system called "Dynamic Peer Ranking," which returns results based on the market presence of various vendors in the space being queried, according to Mark Cordover, CEO of IT.com.

"This goes way beyond crude Boolean logic," said Cordover. The top priority, Cordover said, is to ensure that the engine is large enough to be "ungameable"--in other words, secure from parties with an interest in manipulating the information that searches derive.

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"Tech professionals want some kind of proxy for unbiased peer review--high-quality media sites, news groups, blogs," Cordover said. "Our algorithm keeps out all the White Papers, case studies, which are just bought, and vendor influence, so searchers get what they want."

Forbes.com is considering other vertical engines to focus on other areas, confirmed Smith. He said Forbes had an internal timeline for their deploy, but would not share it at this time.

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