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  #1  
Old 03-06-2006, 11:52 AM
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John Scott John Scott is offline
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The Long Tail in Search

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/050314-164653

Been thinking a lot about the "long tail". I hear people repeating those words a lot recently, some people doing so intelligently and some, well, otherwise.

I tend to be old fashioned. I don't want the tail end of anything. Give me the high end of the graph.

But I am open to discuss it and interested in hearing opinions on the matter.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2006, 01:16 PM
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Ferre Ferre is offline
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I do understand that very well and anyone with a shop (not an online shop) can tell you that.

When you sell cars, you will sell a lot more of the cheaper models than you sell the top model. If Mercedes, for example, would only have one model, the expensive S type, it would not make the amount of sales as it is doing now with their whole range of cars.

same goes for keywords. When you have a site with 10 highly optimized pages targetting 10 keywpords that all are in the top of the searched keywords, you still won't get as much traffic as those who have a site with 50000 pages of which also 10 target top keywords and the rest targets 'lesser keywords'

..but you must know that already John, it's easy to see for anyone who has a website + an attached (established) forum. the main website will usually target top keywords while the forum attracts people comming via all kind of random searches and it all counts up.
 
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:33 AM
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Top search engine rankings can rise and fall quite a lot so any sites that are happy making money from a few top keywords are in a dangerous position.

I have had experience with marketing sites to catch thousands of low traffic keywords and they all add up to a lot of extra traffic. If these keywords are related to the main genre of the site then even if it loses the ranking on the main keywords there is still relevant traffic to back it up.

Having a wide spread of rankings is also a good way to get more 'authority status' in the search engines I believe.
 
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:44 AM
webprofessor webprofessor is offline
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I think that the long tail keyword strategy is like climbing ladder.

With a ladder you start from the low steps and climb your way up to the top, if you tried to hop to the top rung first your likely to fail and maybe get hurt, unless you are very skilled. The same is true for marketing a site, it is very difficult to go for the one or two word keyword phrase that everyone wants and is super expensive right out of the gate. If you start working with the 4 word phrases and the two and three word phrases that are not being exploited its easier to build your site up to the point where you can finally go for the top phrases.

Just my opinion of course.

//added:
So yes it is useful but its just a strategy to be considered when developing your own.

Last edited by webprofessor; 03-07-2006 at 08:48 AM.
 
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  #5  
Old 03-08-2006, 01:22 PM
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I get found in Google for approx. 2500 different key phrases, my first 3 tagetted keywords brings approx. 4500 hits/month each but that's only a fraction of the hits I get from searches, and searches are only a fraction (15.2%) of my total visitors.

Apart from giving the advice to get 'the tail' working for you, I also advice not to depend too much on search engines for your traffic but to do a lot of other kinds of marketing as well.

If all the search engines would stop working for me today I wouldn't worry at all because I'd loose only 15.2% of my traffic, which is still climbing in a steady paste btw and search engines are not at all responcible for the biggest part it.

 
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Old 03-08-2006, 01:27 PM
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Sometimes I go after the tail, but not always with a lot of luck. It's funny because the tail-end type keywords I have that actually generate revenue, I didn't even try for.

The ones that I did try for, and established good ranking on, dont' usually pay out, lol. I need to work on my keyword-selection strategies.
 
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Old 10-24-2006, 06:39 AM
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What kind of tails do you go for? City, State, Country and Postal Code?
 
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2006, 06:47 AM
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I find city to be very good.
 
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:01 AM
Marketing Guy Marketing Guy is offline
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I agree with Ferre here - niche type searches can really add up and count for a large % of your overall traffic. Also they are a good target for new sites - no point spending 6-12 months aiming high and making no money when you can use that incubation period to start build traffic as well.

City searches can be much better than state / county / postcode simply because people tend to be searching for local services, etc and as such they convert to sales much better too. That said, there are a lot of mass-generated content sites that try to cover every city in their target location with little content, which IMO isn't a great strategy.
 
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:08 AM
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although my site receives a lot of "tail traffic" generally they are not selling terms. I judge this via revenue tracking in web trends.
 
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2006, 11:03 AM
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The Long-tail is one of the latest catch phrases and frenzies in keyword marketing. I think the average person does not fully understand it though, as I see people repeatedly spreading out ineffectively to irrelevant keywords.

Long-tail does not mean just dump the dictionary and use all the words for keywords. You have to find those more obscure or less known phrases and words people use to search on a very specific subject. You need to get creative and expand the field for that specific term figuring out how people wanting information about it might search for it.

Like I said, too often I see people putting together irrelevant keyword lists and wondering why nothing is working for them.
 
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2006, 04:17 PM
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Manish Pandey Manish Pandey is offline
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Long tail... is benefited for those sites that are just starting... the sites that are there for long time wont be defeated atleast for a year... and if you want some small amount of traffic through SEs then definitely go with this... and as John said "I tend to be old fashioned. I don't want the tail end of anything. Give me the high end of the graph." well me too... the trick that i do is... get the inner pages in the long tail...
 
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:24 PM
A.N.Onym A.N.Onym is offline
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When targetting the Long Tail of search, you not only try to find less competitive targeted phrases, you structure, write and interlink your content in such a way that your pages are associated with a variety of related relevant keywords.

In general, it means writing plenty of content, using synonyms, derivatives (stemmings), getting linked to with a variety of anchor texts (preferrably naturally), etc.

In a way, targetting the Long Tail of search is easier than targetting the competitive phrases. You don't simply target keyphrases like you used to, but you target the way the searchers will find your website.

Of course, you need to remember your main keyphrases to actually attempt to get lots of targeted traffic in the long run.

By the way, if you only target the long tail, you won't get much without using competitive keyphrases there and keyword research. As Chris said in his book, if you target only the Long Tail, you will lose, because you will have no focus, no specific theme. I'll add that you won't have a niche there, which may be easier understandable here.
 
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Old 10-27-2006, 04:15 PM
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I think the thing that really helped me grasp the whole long tail concept was watching one of my forums grow and tracking the keywords people were using to find my site. Amazingly enough with a properly configured forum, the Thread titles make good page titles and can really trigger a lot of long-tail search landings. Once I started seeing this in action it became much clearer to me.

If I had a site about cycling and let us say had information about Lance Armstrong, I might find a lot of competition for the keyword "Lance Armstrong". I might find less competition for "kid schwinn bike red" but would also find that traffic not terribly relevant to my site either. However, if I got a hit for "Lance Armstrong steroid scandal france", I might find that visitor is interested in what my site has to offer, and might not find the same level of highly targeted competition.
 
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