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The Long Tail
The phrase the Long Tail was first coined by Chris Anderson in his book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More (2006). I will not be discussing this here so if you want a quick update on all the various aspects and benefits of the “Long Tail” I strongly suggest you look here.
In SEO terms however this is an area that is often, surprisingly, overlooked as people chase after rankings for keywords with a high search volume. Whilst this may be important and beneficial for some industries and niches it is not always the best solution to producing traffic and sales for many niches.
Whilst Amazon is perhaps the best known example of this Long Tail sales strategy we should not forget the the banking and finance business where the most important shift in business model due to the Long Tail has come from the various forms of micro-finance developed. The banks that have followed this strategy of selling services to the low-frequency long tail of the sector have found that it can be a very profitable niche, and one long ignored by consumer banks, making it less competitive.
OK so how do we measure and apply the Long Tail to keywords and SEO?
This is a discussion that could take most of this page however I have been sent a video (see below) by Rand Fishkin (aka randfish) Co founder and CEO of SEO MOZ that illustrates this succinctly and I thought it would be more interesting for my readers to watch that rather than read another 1000 word diatribe. Additionally you could subscribe to Rand’s blog – Anyway without further ado here is the video: