Alongside real estate search engines such as Nestoria and more general search engines like Trovit, another vertical search option has been establishing its presence in Europe over the past year. Italian startup WickedIn is casting a wider net than many other VSEs, but its CEO says he expects it will become one of the major players.
WickedIn was first established eight months ago, covering real estate, jobs, cars and a range of other merchandise in the UK, Italy and Spain. CEO Alessandro Cirinei says the search engine has seen considerable growth since its launch, sharing Nielsen figures from December 2010 that place it seventh on a list of Italian VSEs.
That said, these figures also show that wickedin.it has quite a way to go before catching up to the top Italian VSE, Trovit Italia. Trovit's Italian audience is at 1,547,000 unique visitors, according to the figures, while wickedin.it has 141,000. To catch up, the newcomer will have to overtake jobs-specific offerings such as jobcrawler.it and careerjet.it, along with another generalist search engine, yakaz.it.
Cirinei says part of what will help him achieve this is WickedIn's wider coverage of categories such as boats and pets along with the more traditional real estate and jobs listings. At the moment, 500 different sources feed WickedIn's listing search, and the website is offering bloggers and webmasters the ability to republish these listings on their own websites. Publishers choose the category and geographical area they want to cover, then add the WickedIn widget to their website. Once they have registered, WickedIn shares 50 percent of the total Google AdSense revenue generated by the publisher.
Cirinei admits that his is an "ambitious" project, explaining that he will be leaning on his previous experience with companies including JobPilot and Trader Classified Media. In 2011, he plans to open the website in France, Argentina, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Portugal and Switzerland.
At the moment, wickedin.co.uk has nearly 33,000 property listings, while its Italian and Spanish counterparts have over 2 million and 48,000 respectively. Some of the property websites with listings in the WickedIn network include rentright.co.uk, tucasa.com, and idealista.it.