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While Google, Yahoo and other major internet companies try to dominate mass-market search, smaller competitors are carving profitable niches in sectors their larger contemporaries are ignoring.

Convera, which has provided high-end search services for government agencies and businesses, on Tuesday launches Excalibur, a white-label vertical search product aimed initially at markets such as media and publishing, health and life sciences and financial services.

And this month, Healthline launched itself as the leading vertical search engine for consumers looking for answers to medical queries. Both claim designs that set them apart from the major search engines.

Excalibur will blend a company’s internal content with filtered web content to provide move relevant results and deliver vertical views of the web for branded websites. It says its technology can pull up valuable content from unread results pages and make it more visible for users.

At launch on November 1, it said it would have 4bn web pages indexed, 500m images, 5m videos and 15m pieces of audio. More than 200 prospective customers have been trying the test Excalibur site.

“Providing these vertical views means domain owners can attract specific advertisers – web search is still very broad and untapped and a lot of other businesses can exist in this space,” said Pat Condo, chief executive of the Nasdaq-listed company

Healthline.com launched two weeks ago as “the first internet search engine dedicated to consumer health care.”

With illnesses going by different names and having many different variations, Healthline has linked 800,000 consumer synonyms for health conditions with medical dictionaries and diseases mapped by physicians to make searches easier and more relevant.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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