I read a blog post today from HitWise about the long tail of search phrases used in the UK market.
Robin Goad wrote an excellent analysis on the evolvement of the long tail in the last three years, and detected the pattern where people use the search engine / search toolbar as a navigational application thus performing what Robin calls “navigational search”.
This type of search is used when someone types the direct URL or a brand name into the search box instead of typing the URL in the address bar. Lately, I’ve seen it happen quite a lot on meetings and presentations – but when I read Robin’s post and saw the charts – it all started to make more sense.
So let’s try and summarize the findings:
1. The loooong list of unique phrases and terms used (what we call “long tail”) is getting much longer
2. The small list of terms which produces the most traffic (what we call “short tail”) is getting shorter and consolidated
3. The segment of “navogational terms” in the short tail is getting shorter (i.e. bavigational searchers are looking for the domain name/brand name)
4. The segment of “non-navigational terms” is getting longer and longer
1. Long Tail Rules
2. Keyword Research Rules
3. Brand Name and domain name searches are important to rank for