Introduction: Oodle Rolls out Personal Search
Personals is a booming industry, a recent Pew Study notes that “31 percent of all American adults (63 million people) know someone who has used a dating Web site, while 26 percent (53 million people) know someone who has gone out with a person he or she met through a dating Web site.”(1)
With such a large market available, Oodle Personals has found a useful niche:
- With over 800 dating sites on the web, it will be difficult for a person to necessarily find a niche dating website catering the to the person’s criteria.(2) Oodle helps a person discover these websites.
- Relating to above, Oodle can help smaller niche online personal websites with greater exposure, with a person finding a website they would not other wise meet if they stick to the majors like Match.com. As in its classifieds sections (or search engines for that matter), listings returned based on a user’s query links directly back to the original websites.
- Oodle seems to allow for more flexible keyword-based queries on personal listings than would be currently possible on some of the sites it indexes.
- Oodle crawls beyond strictly dating sites to include social networks like Friendster to increase the pool of profiles to view.
Vertical Search: Expending the Definition of Search Engine Optimization
Indeed, as mentioned in “Organic Traffic Optimization? Doing Agnostic SEO“, the growing lists of vertical search engines places emphasis on the need at ensuring a website’s content is indexed beyond Google, Yahoo and MSN. Content should also be looked at how competitively positioned it is on vertical search tools. For example, people doing online dating search can be very picky – on ethnicity, religion, age, interests – does the profile easily lists all of such data? Is the data listed in a way people would search for? Available on feeds to engines like Oodle? Publicly (like LinkedIn does now)? Note that there are also privacy issues like “What control does the user has to be indexed by a third-party?”
Disclaimer: I know several Oodlers quite well and have even attended a Oodle sponsored event (To SMCers: and not, I didnt get a free drink out of it).
- Gottlieb, Lori, “How Do I Love Thee”, The Atlantic, March 2006