Charlene Li writes:
I’ve been noodling around the idea of the “Third Page” of search (credit goes to Perry Evans from LocalMatters for prompting this train of thought). The first page of search is the query page (like http://www.google.com), the second page is the search results, and the third is a destination page on yet another search engine or aggregator that’s been optimized for that query.
Here are some examples: seafood recipe, chinese restaurants in dallas, where the top results are a list from another site or search engine with better functionality to help with a structured search. And this makes sense — my hypothesis is that while a particular Chinese restaurant will try to climb to the top of the search results for such a query, it’s actually better for the user experience to see a list/aggregation of the restaurants.
Carrying that thought further, as vertical search engines develop, they will actively try to source much of their traffic from the general search engines, training consumers to actually seek out these brand names in the general interface and then drilling down into parametric, structured search on the vertical search site that’s better suited for their original intention.
Hence the evolution of the “third page” of search, which extends the search experience outside of the original general search engine.