Long Tail Keyword Phrase Search Volume Increases

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.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. Longtails sometimes pay out a lot more per click b/c of the ultra targeted nature. They still have not realized their true potential IMHO. One day mining those longtails is where the big money will be in Adsense or parking or however. When people type in those longtail keywords, generally they already know what they want and are closer to the buying point, which increases conversions for advertisers, and makes your traffic that much more valuable.

    • @Johnny

      Exactly… these visitors know exactly what they want, and if you can serve up that product/service (or an advertisement), they are most valuable.

  2. Yes, domainers tend to focus on acquiring one-word domains but the competition to position a one-word domain on page one of Google can be intense! I wouldn’t try developing sites with 5-6 words but often 2-3 word phrases will have ample search volume but much lower competition. I have one minisite we launched a few weeks ago which is already high on page two of Google and it was a fresh registration as well. The domain is three words but the site is getting about ten visitors a day as the phrase has decent search volume.

  3. Long tail keyword domains, ie; 3-4-5+ words .com generally aren’t profitable if parked and if they are, it is the exception and not the rule — so I would strongly advise against registering them thinking you got easy money coming, and besides, guys like Frank Schilling have already mined the longtails a long time ago.. The crap is what is left in dot com… If you want to make em work, gotta go the development route.

    Not too many people to begin with really type long domains though. Everybody uses google 🙂

    Also another important statistic to note… Most of the larger content sites (anything over 1000 pages) generate 90% if not more of their traffic off of longtail searches.

    It is not those primary keywords that people always want to target and rank for… It is all the related keywords that directly intersect with the topics.

  4. @Wanna…….Three and four keyword domains are profitable if you know what you are doing. It is trickier, but if you have developed methods of analyzing those you can find good ones. I run those three keyword + domains through about 15 different metrics before I purchase them. Some of my methods are unique I think and many other domainers have not learned these tricks. It took me YEARS to learn them.

    I’m probably the exception to the rule for domainers, but I DO know how to look at them and know if they will be profitable. I still make mistakes though, just like everyone.

    There still are three word + hand regs that are profitable, it’s just that guys like Wanna have not looked in the right places for them. They use the regular tools to work lists like Google Keyword tool…..that’s already been done. You gotta’ use your head. 🙂

  5. Due to the drop in domain tasting, there are plenty of quality long tail domains dropping. I probably find at least 10 to 20 a day that could justify mini site development. I can’t register or develop them all so I post the extras on my blog for those that can or want to.

  6. I am not sure if 4+ keyword domains will ever be valuable from a domaining viewpoint. I am, however, sure that they can be profitable from a developers viewpoint. The question is, if you buy them only with the purpose of driving traffic through SE by developing them and targeting this exact long tail keyword: why not just buy the .info for 1$ at Godaddy?

  7. SolidNamer……what if I told you that I got a $50 click just the other day on a four word domain? 🙂

    Ultra targeted = ultra valuable.

  8. Johnny nobody, you are full of shit.

    Why don’t you post at least one or two recent hand regs that are “profitable” and show us how exactly they are profitable right off the bat or what your plans are to make em profitable if they aren’t receiving any traffic.

    All of the best generic 2-3-4+ keyword domains have long been taken by the likes of Frank Schilling, Kevin Ham, Belgium Domains and various others.

    Unless you are Belgium Domains, Navigation Catalyst, Oversee, etc… You are full of s-h-i-t.

    Thanks to domain tasting, over the years… All of this types of domains are long gone and giving bad advice and hope to newbies, just as you are isn’t right.

    As I already said… This opportunity is long gone. Maybe one out of a hundred of this domains will be profitable, assuming you have done all your research and know what to do.

    There is no easy money in the domain game anymore… Unless you want to be like Johnny nobody and scan 15+ analysis reports on trademarks and play with fire.


  9. Happy Saturday Folks!

    I gotta agree with Johnny. I am amazed at how well one of my three word domains does in direct nav.

    I truly believe that there are plenty of worthwhile longtail unregistered domain names out there.

    You do have to put time in though.

    I call it earned noggin!


  10. @Mike,

    Love a lot of your recent posts over at wannadevelop.com but I have to disagree with you and agree with Johnny to some extent.

    I have been using our Type-In Traffic tool at DomainSuperstar.com to find a lot of good exact match keyword only .com domains available to register (the tool lets you enter in any word and then uses real time data from the Google Adwords Keyword tool to bulk check related exact match keyword domains hundreds at a time).

    I have been able to find plenty of 2 and 3 word exact match keyword .com domains w/ 1,000+ average monthly exact match Google searches and some w/ pretty high CPC’s as well.

    I have even found some 1 word domains that although not as great of numbers still it is very cool to be able to hand register a commercially oriented 1 word .com domain.

    Since you asked for examples – 2 recent 1 word .com commercially oriented keyword domains that I found using the type in traffic tool and hand registered was Marinater.com and Marinaters.com.

    Check out the type in traffic tool at DomainSuperstar.com and let me know what you think!

    Thanks! – Joel

  11. telling someone they are full of s*** when you yourself are also full of hot air is amusing. There are several targeted domains out there that get dropped everyday. So what if Johnny scans every day. At least, he is scanning and being proactive in his endeavors.
    The more targeted the traffic is, the more apt you are to get more money from the clicks. However what I may suggest is to continuously build and do SEO on your desired keywords to drive the traffic that isn’t so targeted.
    I have a few targeted long tail domains and while I get alot of type ins, I don’t get that much traffic unless I optimize and do SEO.
    Wannadevelop, it really wasn’t necessary to call Johnny out like that and he doesn’t need to expose his trade secrets, unless you plan on doing as well..

    To Success,

  12. Long tail Keywords 3-4 can be a money making machine.

    But it’s all about development. Content, Content, Content that is the key. Forget PPC! Accumulating own advertisers or leadpartners is hard work but for those in the game and in it for the long run? Development is the name of the game.

    You only need one full blown website to put yourself in business, that’s all. One domain which can rule a great part of a certain market can be your money maker. No need for thousands of domains. A few hundred good choices of names is enough to build your business strategy.

    For those wanting to make a quick buck? They would be better off investing there money playing the lottery.

  13. If you want to go bankrupt and have a portfolio of 100s of 3-4 .com keyword domains of which if you are lucky 1 – 2% will get a few type ins over their lifetime and naturally make some money… Go for it!!!

    You can thank Johnny nobody exactly 400 days after dropping the domain for the helpful advice 😉


    Finding good domains with “potential” is easy. There is no shortage of finding good domains to develop… What johnny was hinting at though, is totally incorrect and he is so full of it.

  14. Although multiple keyword longtail domains are not currently accorded premium status (with commensurate resale prices), in time that will change. I am in the process of buying as many of these as I can at reg. fee because that well is quickly running dry.

    While it’s true that type-in traffic may not be anything to write home about, the major search engines consistently rank these domains within the first three pages of search results. It’s not at all unusual to see a first page ranking within two or three weeks of publishing.

    If you choose a longtail phrase with more than 1,000 [EXACT} Google searches per month, the search engines have good reason to match your domain with an exact search for your keywords. So long as you have good content relating to the subject matter of your longtail domain, the search engines would be foolish not to.

    Do all the SEO you like, but when all is said and done, a search inquiry that exactly matches a longtail multiple keyword .com domain name is the closest thing an algorithm will ever see to a perfect match!

  15. Good God, can we please have some sort of “mike cohen” “wannadevelop” filter on blog comments?

    I didn’t want this to be a commentary on Cohen’s acerbic writing style and lack of etiquette and professionalism, but he made some points that are completely without merit.

    Longtails don’t make money? Really? What is a longtail, Mike? Is it a domain with characters over a certain count, like, fifteen? Or is it a domain with more than two-three keywords that count out 12 characters?

    You don’t know because you also are so uneducated in domain research and analysis, you don’t realize that tens of thousands of “longtails”, very valuable, are waiting to be discovered and bought OOTB.

    I’m not dropping any of my 14 years of domain buying experience here, but I can promise to people that El Silver’s article rings completely TRUE if you do your homework. There is a process to understanding longtails and how to monetize them. They can be very successful. I have made money from longtails parking them at WhyPark.com, the best service available to getting those esoteric “longtail searches” that more people are making each year. And if you know the right keyword “phrasing”, especially in an industry niche, you can bring in some serious high payout clicks and CPA conversions.

    In the future, Mike CoHindrance, wait until you get a decade of experience in ALL aspects of domain monetization before you have the impolite gall to tell another domainer publicly he’s “full of sh*t”. What you accomplish with this kind of statement is to prove one thing:

    Mike, if YOU tell someone they are “full of “sh*t”, it’s only because you probably tried to force-feed them your opinion and mistakenly believed they swallowed it.

    http://www.galvanizedsteeltubing.com (three words, 20 characters, Google quoted search results – 24,700, adsense ads – 11, including a listing on Business.com.)

  16. Very nice and up to date article Elliot. I also appreciate and totally agree with Johnny’s post thanks for that.

    I would like to add that there are still profitable 2 keyword .com domains left to register especially in niche markets. Ok, some of them may not earn a lot; one domain, I earned $14,- trough adsense only over 6 months but it easily covers the yearly reg fee few times over. Now repeat this process several times and it will generate enough to re-invest (or pay some bills). I have similar projects in the pipeline that will do better.

  17. I have hundreds of Longtail-Geo-Domain.com names. I get 30% of my business from 4 three page web sites I built through Godaddy. I use the domain name as the keyword used in the sites. I use may city name + the name of my profession .com. 98% of the time I come up 1st,2nd or 3rd below the Google paid ads.

    Think about it, if you are looking for Nashville Barber, Plumber or Attorney you are going to Google search: “Nashville Barber”, “Nashville Barber” or “Nashville Attorney”.


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