iVillage Rebranding Women.com as Women’s Search Engine
iVillage will be relaunching its Women.com domain as Women.com, “Search for Women” , taking vertical search to the sexes. iVillage purchased Women.com for $47 million in 2001 and ran the site as an iVillage news spinoff of dating, beauty and romantic content until they decided to dump the site altogether and then just redirect the domain to iVillage.com.
paidContent picked up the info in the iVillage conference call transcript; “We anticipate launching the new Search at the end of the second quarter 2006. Our objective with Search for Women is to enhance and further customize our users and advertisers experience by participating in the so-called vertical search marketplace…this new product will allow us to promote iVillage brand by blanketing the Internet with add campaign promoting Search for the Women’s Intuition.”
Greg Sterling, Vertical Search Ninja, feels that iVillage may be taking the Vertical market place a bit far:
Let’s assume that this isn’t simply a marketing ploy and that the new Women.com is going to try to provide a better Web-search experience for women in general — a daunting task given how broad a category “women” is. And calling “search for women” vertical search almost renders the term “vertical search” meaningless. (I make the same argument when people say Local is a vertical.)
Yet women are arguably the most important constituency online. They are driving e-commerce and online shopping and they’re the ones writing the reviews on JudysBook and InsiderPages and engaging in the “social networking” activities, much more so than men.
So trying to grab the attention — and some of the wallet — of this group is wise. But what will Women.com provide (assuming again that it’s Web search for women) that Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Ask or InfoSpace/DogPile cannot?
Greg goes on to note that iVillage may be working indeed with Eurekster, the social search sharing engine and that such a partnership targeted towards the vibrant female online community may indeed be a success.