Matrimonial website Shaadi.com is launching new vertical specific sites, going down the path that its peer and competitor Bharatmatrimony.com went past: sites like AssameseShaadi, BengaliShaadi, KashmiriShaadi, ParsiShaadi, among others. While Bharatmatrimony.com went rather over the top with the idea – launching as many as 250 community specific matrimonial websites, Shaadi.com is being more circumspect: the initial plan is to launch 15 sites, even though, as Gaurav Rakshit, Business Head of Shaadi.com told MediaNama, the company owns over 2000 domain names, primarily for protecting its brand.

“We’ve been working with this premise for some time. As Shaadi.com has grown, we’ve found communities within the site that is looking at marriage within the same community. Shaadi.com remains the umbrella site, but verticals, like tamilshaadi.com, which is specifically for tamils, allows us to do customize it for that community. Potentially, we could do UKShaadi.com for that geography,” Rakshit said. The database will be the same across the site, but a member registered with, say, parsishaadi.com will not be able to log into the main Shaadi.com website; specific database segments become accessible. It just makes discovery easy if they’re only looking to marry within a specific community. Users can choose to migrate their account though. Rakshit said that the segmentation is primarily a customer acquisition strategy. He didn’t comment further on how the customization of community portals will be done – whether sub-segments (sub-castes) will be added or not, or even language details.

Our take on this is that this is as much a defensive move as one for customer acquisition: people often prefer to marry within their own communities, and Bharatmatrimony.com may have started attracting the segmented audience. The segmentation also works well in case either company intends to roll out offline centers across states: a diverse approach to a diverse country.

The other interesting side note to this deployment is SEO: take a look at the sitemap for Kannadashaadi.com here. The phrase Tamil Matrimony (among others) links to TamilShaadi.com. Remember that Bharatmatrimony had taken Shaadi.com and Info Edge owned Jeevansathi.com to court over advertising using trademarks. Can’t do anything about SEO, right?

Details of the case:

September 21st 2009: Consim Info Sues Google, Jeevansathi, Shaadi, SimplyMarry; Implications For Competitive Ads
September 21st 2009: Consim Info CEO Murugavel Janakiraman On The Case Against Google, Shaadi, Jeevansathi & SimplyMarry
October 13th 2010: Updated: Both Consim Info & Shaadi Claim Madras HC Order Favors Them; Case Goes On

Disclosure: I’m related to Accentium founder Vivek Pahwa. Accentium operates the matrimonial portal SecondShaadi.com