Peter Krasilovsky, Program Director for The Kelsey Group hosted a session with Tom Bates, VP & GM, Kudzu, Cox Enterprises, John Busby, VP Product, Marchex, and Joel Toledano, CEO, Krillion

Peter began the session off with some of the advantages of verticals:

1. Verticals deliver consumers more relevant content.
2. Verticals deliver advertisers more qualified consumers.
3. They broaden the base of advertisers; are more searchable; and drive higher ad rates.
4. Rapid adoption will occur in some cases, but in others, there will be vertical “loss leaders” to build traffic and enhanced advertiser value.
5. Best practices for verticals can be freely applied from one to another

Peter also defined 3 types of verticals:

Vertical products – Subject-specific editorial product
Niche products – Demographic target editorial
Vertical search – Subject listings and ads

Verticals are playing an important role in on-line advertising and is a place where small business need to get listed. This was a very good talk hearing about Kudzu, which is based here in Atlanta and then how Marchex (Openlist) is growing and building a local network and then what Krillion is all about.  I encourage you to go to see each site.

Peter asked the panel a number of questions:

Q. Importance of content in verticals?  A. Definitely
Q. How long is the long tail?  A. Very long…
Q. How use SEO?  A. It is key to Openlist, not really for Krillion
Q. Is Google a threat to the verticals? A. No, Google could have taken them over a while back, but did not. They want to be horizontal search site, become your start page.

I thought this last question was important.