What Is Long Tail Search

 What Is Long Tail Searchlong tail keywords - The counterpart to understanding how a search engine works is understanding how searching works. How do users find the products and information they are looking for when they go to a search engine?

A lot of research has gone into answering that question, but it looks as if it always comes back to the same principles that are used in so many other areas - economics, science, mathematics, and even chaos theory. As with everything in the universe, searching happens in patterns.

Finding happens in patterns, too. Your job, as you optimize your web site, is to recognize and tap into those patterns. Fortunately, many have come before you and left behind information that makes your job much easier.

You can go after two different types of keywords: broad and narrow. Broad keywords are extremely competitive. Narrow keywords are typically attributed to much lower levels of competition.

You may be able to rank for broad keywords. However, ranking high on the first page of Google is very hard to do and requires a lot of effort.

Let's define a few principles that explain how users search :
  • Zipf's Law: Developed by the linguist George Kingsley Zipf, this essentially states that the specificity of any word is inversely proportional to its rank on a frequency table. In other words, a word used often is likely to be a broad, common word, whereas a word used less often is likely to be a narrower, more specific word.
  • Pareto's Principal: Also known as the 80\/20 Rule, this principle holds that for any given event, 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the activity. For example, if you subscribe to Pareto's Principle, then you probably believe that 80 percent of the work in any organization is performed by about 20 percent of the employees.
  • The Long Tail: The Long Tail is a phrase coined by Chris Anderson in an October 2004 article in Wired magazine that essentially explained how a small portion of very popular products generate a sizable income; however, a large portion of semipopular products generate small amounts of income that when added together can be equal to or larger than the income generated by the very popular products.

How do a linguistic principle and two economic principles come together to explain how users search? It's all explained in the theory of Long Tail search, which grew from Anderson's article on the Long Tail of economics.

What is long tail keywords search ?
The Long Tail or long tail refers to the statistical property that a larger share of population rests within the tail of a probability distribution than observed under a 'normal' or Gaussian distribution.

A long tail distortion will arise with the inclusion of some unusually high (or low) values which increase (decrease) the mean, skewing the distribution to the right (or left).

It is wonderful to deal with keywords that have 5,000 searches per day, or even 500 searches per day, but in reality these “popular” search terms actually comprise less than 30% of the overall searches performed on the Web. The remaining 70% lie in what’s commonly called the “long tail” of search.

The tail contains hundreds of millions of unique searches that might be conducted a few times in any given day, or even only once ever, but when assessed in aggregate they comprise the majority of the world’s demand for information through search engines.

The Long Tail in action
The Long Tail, then, is roughly the reverse of Pareto's Principle, which would hold that 20 percent of a company's products generate 80 percent of its sales. (Keep in mind that this is an estimate.

The exact ratio of products to sales varies by company. You'll see estimates of everything from 20\/80 to 50\/50.) The important point of this Long Tail theory is that a large number of niche products can, and do, generate a huge volume of sales. Companies such as eBay prove it.

eBay is a niche product company. Search for products on eBay and you'll find all kinds of very obscure and yet in-demand products. The adage, ''One man's junk is another man's treasure,'' applies, just as it applies to Long Tail search theories, too.

How Does This Apply to Your SEO Plan?
In SEO, a short-head search is something like <motel>, while a long-tail search might be <baltimore pool motel airport>. The short-head search is broad and is used commonly, whereas the long-tail search is specific and is used much less frequently.

Compared to organic optimization, paid search makes it much easier for you to target long-tail searchers. Here’s why: In organic SEO, each key phrase you target takes a certain minimum commitment of time and energy, so it wouldn’t make sense to put hours of eff ort into rewriting your site for once-a-month, ultra-focused queries.

In a pay-per-click advertising model, on the other hand, you can add your long-tail keywords to your account for free—and pay only when they receive clicks. Why sponsor long-tail searches? By the time a searcher is using a long-tail term, they are probably closer to the end of the buying process. This makes long-tail searchers a very desirable group.

Experiment with some long-tail terms in your paid search campaign, and you may discover some top performers that become candidates for future organic SEO efforts.

Characteristics of Long Tail keywords
Long Tail keywords are not actually keywords. They're more key phrases that are very specific; and all Long Tail search queries have a few things in common:
  • Average 3-5 words in length
  • Usually not competitive phrases
  • Usually directly related to a product or specific bit of information
  • Each phrase generates only a few clicks each month.
How do you know which Long Tail phrases are appropriate for your web site? To know that, you have to understand a little about how people search.

People rarely search for random information - they are usually looking for something specific. If you have an idea of what visitors might be searching for, then you know how to target each of those searches, using both broad terms and narrower Long Tail phrases. Here are some bits of information that people use search engines to find:
  • Product names
  • Product functionality
  • Product appeal
  • Product quality
  • Product usefulness
  • Uses of products
  • Solutions to problems
  • General industry terms
  • Specific industry terms
  • General terms and geographical locations
  • Specific terms and geographical locations
These are pretty general, but if you begin to apply key terms from your web site topic to these bits of information, then you can see the different ways that you might apply both broad terms and Long Tail key phrases to your SEO efforts.

Clearly, Long Tail keywords can be a very important part of your SEO strategy. They can account for a sizable chunk of the clicks that are generated on your site each day. And that's to say nothing of the value of clicks that result from Long Tail keywords.

Understanding the search demand curve is critical, because it stresses the importance of longtail- targeted content pages with information that is not directed at any particular single, popular query, but rather that captures a much broader range of the types of queries users enter into search engines.


  1. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write ups thanks once again.
    SEO tools


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