While most of us are used to searching the web in general, there is also a different kind of online search known as vertical search. SearchCore (OTCQX: SRER), a diversified internet marketing company that specializes in creating content rich, hyper local, vertical finder websites, reported a 270% growth in quarter on quarter revenue in 2013.
Consumers want specific information, for specific industries. And they want details, profiles and content. Long gone are the days that consumers will do general searches on the internet. We’ve become more sophisticated, and more aware of our time limitations. In short, we want it fast, specific, geo-targeted and content rich. That’s what SearchCore.com delivers. A vertical search is a specialty search and different from a general web search inasmuch as it relates to a specific online content. Basically, a finder site is a destination on the internet which consumers would want to visit to find a certain product or service within in a specific industry. For example, if you go to SearchCore-developed tattoo site, Tattoo.com, all that you need to do is visit the site and it pops up a list of tattoo shops in your geo targeted area.
SearchCore – Business Model
Founded in 2010, SearchCore creates content rich, expansive geo located finder sites with expansive content for very specific industries. The company derives revenues from retailers who pay a monthly subscription for populating their businesses on the finder site specific to their industry.
Subscription depends upon the extent of service and may start from $99 per month for a basic profile. Subscription amount depends largely on services provided and the extent of information about the dealer’s or service provider’s business. A premium membership would involve a visit to the retailer’s facility, providing links to videos and digitals – the whole spectrum – to show the quality of product and/or work provided by the retailer. A premium subscription may run up to as much as $1,000 a month.
A recent example is of SearchCore’s profiling of Tattoo 3Sixty. Tattoo.com, which is managed and operated by SearchCore is one of the finder sites is the hyper local, content rich destination tattoo site where consumers can find a tattoo shop and products located in their geo-targeted area. Tattoo 3Sixty is a series of videos that profile selected tattoo artists and shops.
The company has a set selection procedure designed for choosing niche markets with industries where its goal is to create the number 1 or number 2 vertical finder website in the chosen industry. The primary criterion for choosing industries is to find industries that, according to the company CEO, Mr. Jim Pakulis, are “fragmented and disjointed” and have not been technologically captured by others. The size of the industry is also important – should preferably be bigger than at least a quarter of billion – so that it can generate a certain amount of income for SearchCore at the end of the year.
Initially, the company finds as many retailers as it can and puts them up on the finder site. This is for free, or known as the “freemium” model. Later, the company approaches retailers to explain to them how it can help them with technology-based marketing solutions for growing their businesses. In short, SearchCore drives traffic to the business through people looking for certain product or services in their area. Those businesses who agree, pay the company a monthly subscription fee.
Ancillary Revenue Streams
SearchCore has developed a strategy that allows it to maximize revenue from finder sites it creates. The company calls it ancillary revenue streams. Apart from stores, shops, businesses or dealers that subscribe for getting their businesses on the finder site created for the industry, SearchCore places listings of ancillary businesses associated with the industry. For example, on ManufacturedHomes.com, one of the best sites out there, apart from dealers and sellers it also has listings of insurance companies and brokers, mortgage companies and mortgage brokers. Excluding the “freemium” model, these various ancillary service providers will also pay a monthly subscription fee on ManufacturedHomes.com.
Seasoned Management Team
Developing indentifying industries and creating finder sites is a turf that the SearhCore’s management team has traversed before with success. They have done it before and proved that the business model is viable.
The team working at SearchCore is part of the same team that developed, created and commercialized one of the most successful alternative medicine finder sites. Created in 2010, the management worked hard to grow the alternative medicine finder site to a position of six million page views and $1.5 million revenue per month. SearchCore later sold the finder site for a comfortable profit.
From the experience it gained from the alternative medicine project, the team worked virtually non-stop and built a platform that is expandable and capable of growing to significant levels. They have a system in place that has the capability of creating 30-50 finder sites over the next five years.
After the success of Tattoo.com, SearchCore has recently rolled out ManufacturedHomes.com – 2,500 dealers and more than 300 floor plans. The company is currently involved in coding for modular homes (ModularHomes.com), as it is different from manufactured homes. ModularHomes.com, which markets homes that are partially built at a factory and at the home site, is a separate $3 billion industry. SearchCore also believes they will capture some of the commercial market for the modular industries, such as apartments, condominiums and office buildings. Other projects that the company has taken up include Sportify.com for gaming enthusiasts, Karate.com and Rodeo.com. Karate.com becomes functional as soon as the company is able to upload the 48,000-strong database it has collected. Rodeo.com, which is in development stage, appears to have worldwide application.
SearchCore is particularly enthusiastic about Toyhaulers.com/Traveltrailers.com, which will come up as a single website for people who love formula driving and on motorcycles and need to transport their toys in travel trailers.
Further growth in 2014 is predicated on finding new industries.
The company hopes to provide greater exposure to the investment community by getting listed on a larger exchange soon.
Content is King
The internet is driven by content. People want more content with every passing day. If one wants to go to a karate shop one wants to know everything there is about the shop, the facility and the instructor you want to go to. The management team at SearchCore has demonstrated that it not only has the ability to muster tremendous amount of content but also the ability to upload it on the site to create hyper rich finder sites. The SearchCore team worked on collecting content – video clips, images and blogs and blog stories – since January 2013 for ManufacturedHomes.com before the site was launched in September.
With revenue from ManufacturedHomes.com to start rolling in from the fourth quarter 2013, SearhCore is a company on the move.