Longtail keywords are terms and phrases with 3,4 or more words in the search term people use in Google and other search engines. For example “google long tail keywords” may qualify as a longtail keyword. Targeting long tail keywords is famous SEO practice that’s practices by veteran website owners and blogger for many years now. Much fewer people search for “what is crazy turkey army doing now” than just typing “turkey army” in google, but when many turkey army related long tail keywords searches are aggregated then it’s amounts to considerable amount of traffic
When I read about this some years ago I also thought this was a easy way to increase my search engine traffic to my then blogs such as Planet Apex and Old Ford Trucks. But this was not so. I was successful with some long tail search terms such as Dubai Palm islands and beautiful sceneries that brought some good traffic at one time but didn’t make me much money such as other terms are doing for me now. In fact the article another article in Planet Apex which had a higher commercial value got make more money for me over the years than that article about beautiful scenery did getting ten times more traffic from search engines and comments from visitors.
Anyway there is a good article I read today about long tail search keywords and terms. It’s called Google Confirms “Mayday” Update Impacts Long Tail Traffic and written by Vanessa Fox. She had attended a meeting with Google Search Guru (and Chief Search Engineer?) Matt Cutts and gives such very interesting facts about long term search keywords.
Some interesting points in the article that caught my attention are
1) Google made between 350 and 550 changes in its organic search algorithms in 2009.
2) In May 2010 Google had done a major long term change in that affected long tail keywords and reduced traffic for many big high ranking sites in the web. She says;
This change seems to have primarily impacted very large sites with “item” pages that don’t have many individual links into them, might be several clicks from the home page, and may not have substantial unique and value-added content on them. For instance, ecommerce sites often have this structure. The individual product pages are unlikely to attract external links and the majority of the content may be imported from a manufacturer database.
Based on Matt’s comment at Google I/O, the pages that are now ranking well for these long tail queries are from “higher quality” sites (or perhaps are “higher quality” pages).
3) Is it dooms day for large sites that get traffic from long tail keywords? Not exactly if managed properly. Case in point Amazon.com.
For instance, I have no way of knowing how amazon.com has fared during this update, but they’ve done a fairly good job of making individual item pages with duplicated content from manufacturer’s databases unique and compelling by the addition of content like of user reviews. They have set up a fairly robust internal linking (and anchor text) structure with things like recommended items and lists. And they attract external links with features such as the my favorites widget.
4) So what are we to do if we have a large site and target longtail keywords? There is a solution but not easy.
It can be difficult to create compelling content and attract links to these types of pages. My best suggestion to those who have been hit by this is to isolate a set of queries for which the site now is getting less traffic and check out the search results to see what pages are ranking instead. What qualities do they have that make them seen as valuable?
In other word lets learn from Amazon’s model of how to target longtail keywords to continuasly get free unique content and search engine traffic. Websites specially blogs with comments facility are one step ahead in this game than other websites. But comments are only one factor. Finding and targeting and writing for longtail keywords? That’s the priority. What do you say? I say if you want a website designed for you call Colombo web solutions 😉