Friday, June 22, 2007

The Long Tail of Search

This is amazing. Time4Learning lives off the long tail so it was exciting to find an article on it:

Chasing The Long Tail.......How big is this phenomena? At Google's Universal Search announcement, Udi Manber put up a slide that stated that 20% to 25% of the search queries Google sees every day are search queries it has never seen before. Let that sink in for a moment. To me, that number was startlingly large.

While this is an amazing fact, it is this next one which I think is understated and of more business significance....

The sum of the searches on all the low volume terms = the sum of the traffic on all the high volume terms.

1. This depends on definitions.
2. All the same, most people believe that the volume is in the big search terms, nto the small ones. So this is big news to them.
3. I believe that: the volume in small search terms > the volume in big search terms.
4. I have successfully figured out how to take advantage of this in natural search, but not in paid search. (more on my recent trials and frustrations in paid search later). Basically, even with broad matching, if you build enough terms, you can bid on relevant keyphrases at a much lower rate. I had figured this out when I was very active in PPC a few years ago. I'm now on my second consultant to try and resucsitate my PPC campaign and so far, he has not shown substantial progress. BTW - remember my seo joke?

There are basically two ways to pursue the long tail:
Write in depth articles. This provides you access to long tail terms simply through the natural combination of words that the search engine will extract from your article. The scope of this is somewhat limited, of course, as there are so many word combinations that can be extracted from one article.
Implement lots of pages all targeted at different terms. The trick with this approach is to make the pages unique and different from each other, so they are not seen as spammy duplicate content.

Posted by Eric Enge on May. 21, 2007 on Clickz as Chasing The Long Tail

PS - Note to self. It is way past time for me to figure out how to do trackbacks and other social bookmarking or referencing systems so that I can participate in the discussions properly.

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