The tailing off of searches

Posted on December 29, 2011


SEOBook published a rather interesting infographic, highlighting how longtail searches are becoming a thing of the past.

A longtail search is essentially a more specific search query typed in by the user, with the hope of producing more relevant search results. As a result, many online marketers have worked to produce content to meet quite specialised searches.

However the evolution of Google has, according to SEOBook’s information, reduced the effectiveness of longtail content.

The reasons for this are many. Most transparently is the way Google Instant searches now prompts the user to select popular search terms. However, there are certain, far more “insidious” methods at work to cut the tail.

Google has also moved to populate results with their own verticals in organic searches. This has diluted the effectiveness of longtail content; it simply is not appearing as high up the rankings as it once would.

A further shortening of the impact it once had is as a result of the Panda update that penalizes sites with a lot of pages, in respect of their perceived brand size.

This particular area is proving challenging for smaller companies and start up businesses that have often populated their sites with longtail specific pages. However, with a good SEO strategy, such problems should be easy to manage.

The reason why there has been such determination to detract users from entering longer search terms is quite simple; it is all about the money.

Longtail searches are traditionally hard to profit from, so by directing what is searched for and how it is searched for, revenues can be driven consistently up.

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