Search Engines

Long Tail Keyword Phrase Search Volume Increases

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I don’t have a lot of long tail keyword domain names, but I do have some, and I really like them. Mike mentioned a statistic today that I think shows why long tail keyword strings .com domain names are valuable and will continue to grow in value – especially with a mini site built on it:

According to a Hitwise survey, “searches of five to more than eight words in length increased 7% from last year.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean that people are typing the full keyword into their browser, where many browsers like Safari automatically add a .com to the end. However, it does mean that when people type a long tail keyword phrase, there will generally be less competition for search results.I don’t advocate buying super long – long-tail keywords 5+, but if that segment is growing, I would bet 3-5 word searches are growing as well.

As I explained to someone who asked about the difference between long and short tail keyword phrases, if you look up the short tail phrase “Counseling Jobs” in Google, you will get 456,000 results. Now, if you look up the longer tail phrase, “Drug Counseling Jobs,” you only get 770 results.

Although a longer tail keyword is searched less times than the short keyword phrase, there is much less SERP competition. If you develop a mini site on your long tail keyword domain name, chances are very good that it will be in the top of the SERP (depending on the actual keywords of course), and if this happens, you are likely to increase your traffic.

Personally, I like the 3 word long-tail keywords best, but this Hitwise survey does seem to indicate that people do actually search for longer tail keyword strings.

Great Search Engine Resource

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One of the better search engine resources I’ve found is the YouTube channel of Matt Cutts, a Google employee who shares a ton of great knowledge about the way Google ranks websites. Matt gives in depth answers to a number of user submitted questions – many of which I have personally had over the past couple of years.

In addition to this, you should also be familiar with Google’s SEO Guidelines as well. This free pdf has a ton of information about SEO, which is perfect for someone who is beginning to develop websites.

There are a lot of great SEO resources out there, but you should at least come to the table with basic knowledge which can be gotten via these two free resources.

Strong Argument for Ad Sales

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A comm0n response to an advertising inquiry I’ve made numerous times for my websites is, “we already do our Internet advertising on Google.” Sure, Google can be a very effective source of leads, but it can also be expensive and might not send the most targeted traffic, depending on the Adwords campaign.

One of the best ways to close an advertising deal on a website or blog is to discuss the direct navigation traffic. It’s important to point out to a potential advertiser that direct navigation traffic can’t be purchased like traditional media buys. Visitors to a particular website that directly navigate, generally do so because they know what they want, and they either know they can get it at a particular website or they assume this. Companies who want to reach out to these visitors need to advertise directly on that website. In my brief experience, I have found this to be a compelling argument, and the same can be made by any domain owner whose domain name receives type-in traffic.

I was thrilled when traffic to TropicalBirds.com grew to over 90% search engine-based. It meant that I was doing something right in terms of SEO, and I was happy that people were visiting because of it. However, an advertiser could easily buy some of   this traffic simply by advertising on Google. However, direct navigation can’t be bought because it completely bypasses Google and Yahoo. IMO, this is a great deal closer.

Putting a Face Back on Ask.com

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Ask.com has decided to bring their butler “Jeeves” back into the fold in the UK. This aligns with the search company reverting back to its previous name, “Ask Jeeves.” The company also intends to leverage social media outlets to give Jeeves a personality. According to the Reuters article,

“Jeeves will have an account on social network Facebook on which he will post pictures of his fictional travels around the world searching for answers to users’ queries, as well as a presence on micro-blogging service Twitter.”

I recently read an article in Neuroscience Marketing that discussed how patient care was impacted as a result of having the patient’s photograph on medical files. Using this study, the author speculated that this information could be used by companies and businesses who wish to add personal photos to business cards and websites to give them a personal touch and a better likelihood of closing a deal.

Perhaps Ask.com is also subscribing to the belief that adding a face and personality – albeit a cartoon character face and made-up personality – will create a personal connection for visitors, and as a result, will increase usage?

Quick Hits for the Weekend

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Some quick (and informal) hits from the last week.

On Thursday, I was thisclose to buying a ticket to fly to Las Vegas for the Domain Madness finale. If it wasn’t for a trip to New Hampshire in a week, a cross country trip in 3 weeks, followed by a trip to Michigan right after, I would be at The Palms with the Domain Consultant crew.

SES is a great show with a lot of information for developers. If you can make one of the many shows, it’s worth attending. If you can’t afford to pay for the actual show (or if you don’t want to pay), get a free exhibition floor pass and meet with some of the companies that exhibit.

There have been more times in the past 2 weeks than I can ever remember where I started to respond to an ignorant/misinformed/stupid post on a domain forum and ended up deleting my post before hitting submit.

If you own a geodomain – especially if it’s a city, state, or country domain name, you NEED to be in San Diego for the GeoDomain Expo at the end of April. If you want to develop it, there are no better mentors and advisors than those who will be at the Expo (ie Dan, David/Mike, Skip, Jess, Fred, Mark, Sara, Josh, Shaun, Nat). If you are looking to partner (or maybe even sell), these people are your primary targets. I mean, who else are you going to turn to – newspapers? LOL. The agenda should be posted in the next few days, but no matter what the panels are, it’s the informal events that are best.

I am not investing in any .tel domain names. I simply don’t get the concept behind why I would want or need to have a .tel domain name, and if people don’t want/need them, investing in them will probably be a fruitless activity. If I want people to have all of my contact information, I make sure they have it. If someone can’t find my phone number or other contact information quickly, chances are very good that I don’t want that person to have it.

Speaking of .tel, have you noticed that most of the people who talk about alternative TLDs like these (ie mobi, asia, tv…etc) have significant investments in them? I don’t want to be an ambassador for an extension. It shouldn’t be the job of registrants to pump a particular extension.

I was very surprised to hear about Monster Venture Partners closing its doors. This is big news that will impact domainers in more of a trickle down affect, as the company invested in domain names and partnered with companies that own great domain names.

SES New York This Week

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Is anyone planning to attend SES New York this week at the Hilton in Manhattan?   The show is billed as a search engine marketing and optimization event. I am planning to hit the exhibition floor tomorrow and/or Wednesday, so please drop me a line if you are attending the conference and would like to get together. This should be a great show, since almost all of the best search-related companies will be attending.

At the moment, I am specifically looking for search help with Lowell.com and Burbank.com, but it would also be great to learn more about SEO for future projects.

If you know someone exhibiting that I should meet, please let me know.

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