Top Generic Keywords or Longtail? Which Should You Go After? (Part 2)

Longtail Keywords The less competitive and more specific ‘longtail keywords’ are the epitome of opportunity. There is almost endless amounts of longtail traffic out there and if optimised in the right way, sites can capture a great deal of them. But is it worth spending time creating lots of content and optimising it to pull in longtail traffic? Pros: Firstly, websites don’t necessarily need to be all that powerful to rank for longtail keywords. This means that if you have new or weak site and you cannot compete for the top terms yet, you can always tap into the longtail search at some level. It is very difficult indeed to rank well for a whole host of generic terms as well, whilst there isn’t really anything stopping you ranking for many thousands of longtail terms. This post shows that in order to pull in more longtail traffic, 50% of the work you need to do is onsite work, compared to only 5% onsite work for the top level keywords. With this in mind, if you are not proficient in link-building, but can look after your onsite optimisation and copy, you can still perform well under your own steam, rather than having to outsource any offsite work. The most important thing to say about longtail search terms though, is that they convert much better. As mentioned earlier in part 1, longer keyword searches perform better than short, and so even though traffic might be lower with longtail, sales can still be higher. Cons: Longtail search terms can be something of an unknown entity when it comes to predicting just how...

Top Generic Keywords or Longtail? Which Should You Go After? (Part 1)

There is a tendency in SEO to go blazing after the most competitive “glamour keywords” in an attempt to get them ranking high in the SERPS. This is certainly not a fool’s pursuit as there are benefits to ranking for such terms. However, more SEOs these days are waking up to the potential power of longtail search terms and some are even finding they give a much better ROI. So which should you be going after, the head or tail of the search term beast? Top Generic Terms The competiveness of top level terms within each niche varies. Trying to rank for “fishing equipment” for example, is likely to be a lot harder than trying to ranking for “tree surgery equipment”. However, as the SERPS become more competitive each day, it can require a lot of time and effort to reach the first page in even the smallest markets. So should we really be investing our blood, sweat and tears in trying to rank a few measly keywords. Pros: First of all, the most generic keywords tend have the highest search volumes. Therefore, if you can get into a good position in the SERPS, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get some traffic from them. Also, by going after the top level terms and building links using these terms in the anchor text, you’re likely to pull in a number of the longer-tail keywords at the same. For example, if you do a lot of work on the term “car insurance” and you see movement up the rankings, you’re likely to see some boost for terms such as “car insurance...

Whatever Happened to the Google Killer?

Back in July of this year, the internet was buzzing with news that a new search engine was coming, a Google-Killer that could unseat the giant of the search engine world. Part of the buzz surrounding this product was the fact that it was being designed by former Google employees Anna Patterson, Russell Power, and Louis Monier. This supposed Google-Killer was called Cuil (pronounced cool). So what happened? Google is still the giant of the search engine world, and most people probably don’t even remember Cuil since its launch at the end of July of 2008. Did it collapse? Has Cuil shut down? What happened to this highly touted search engine that was supposed to draw us all away from Google? Like most of those that attempt to overtake Google (see MSN Live, Yahoo, Ask, Excite, Alta Vista, really just about anybody), Cuil just didn’t have what it took to draw users away from the search engine that has quickly come to dominate everything we do with the web. Some blamed the preponderance of irrelevant search results that Cuil seemed to like displaying. Others blamed the unconventional style with which Cuil displayed results (see image below). But what really killed Cuil? In the end, the only thing that killed Cuil was Google. Not by actively battling them, but by simply doing what they do – being the best. Sure, Cuil claimed to have more sites indexed than any other search engine, but by returning irrelevant search results, it didn’t matter how many websites they had indexed, nobody could find what they were looking for. Google continues to capture around...