SEO: The Long Tail

Monk Development has launched a concept (3Prophet System) we thought was somewhat revolutionary in the web/seo world. It turns out the Editor of Wired Magazine wrote about this in October 2004 and coined the phrase the Long Tail.

The 3Prophet System allows companies to target 3 & 4 word phrases people search for online. We launched Musolist (some SEO Results) and it has worked so well we plan on launching a few more sites. (Chic Salons, League List, Direct Mortgage Group, Time to Get Awesome!, MusoSource, IT People and more…all of these will be aggregated at ZipWatch)

The phrase “The Long Tail”, as a proper noun, was first coined1 by Chris Anderson. Beginning in a series of speeches in early 2004 and culminating with the publication of a Wired Magazine article in October 2004, Anderson described the effects of the long tail on current and future business models. Anderson observed that products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters, if the store or distribution channel is large enough. Examples of such mega-stores include Amazon.com, Netflix and even Wikipedia. The Long Tail is a potential market and, as the examples illustrate, successfully tapping in to that long tail market is often enabled by the distribution and sales channel opportunities the Internet creates. (Full wikipedia on the long tail.)

One of my favorite quotes came from Joe Kraus, a founder of Excite. “The top 10 searches were thousands of times more popular than the average search, yet these top-10 searches represented only 3% of our total volume. 97% of our traffic came from the ‘long tail’ ‚Äì queries asked a little over once a day.” (full Long Tail post)