Natural Search Blog

Sneak Peek: Chasing The Long Tail of Natural Search

Phew – After 7 long months slogging away, we will finally officially release the long awaited white paper “Chasing the Long Tail of Natural Search” next week Monday (Aug 7th) at SES San Jose and the Etail Philadelphia show.

One is always a little cautious about postulating grand theories into the wide world. But after studying over 1 million unique unbranded keywords across 25 major retailer search programs, we couldn’t resist – referring to the concept we outline as “Page Yield Theory.” This is an underpinning notion that the “long tail” of unbranded search keyword traffic is inextricably linked to the website’s number of uniquely indexable site pages. To those of us who subscribe to the “every-page-should-sing-its-own-song” philosophy, that seems like an obvious statement.

Yet the challenge behind it, and the impetus for the research, arose from the fact that many (unoptimized) well-branded multichannel retailers have 10’s/100’s of thousands of unique and indexed website pages. However most of their natural search traffic (usually over 90%) comes from searches related to their own company name. How could such strong brands and massive websites produce such little traffic for generic terms, terms other than the company name?


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