Google Rankings: From Long Tail To Short Tail

google rankings longtails short tails keywords
You have a chance at a google ranking for a very competitive short tail keyword through the long tail keywords.

I was going through one of the ebooks of Mao Flynn, one of the truly over-delivering IMer in the internet marketing world, when I came across one of his tips: “Rank the long tail and the short tail will follow”. It immediately rang a bell and that’s because I agree with it 100%.

And why would I say that? Because I have first hand experience with this. Funny thing is, it happened with the very first site (outside this blog) I ever created. Looks like experience indeed is the best teacher.

Firsthand Google Ranking Experience

The very first site I ventured to create was born out of the very first few days of using Micro Niche Finder. Incidentally, this is the site from which I got back my MNF investment. I still remember shouting in glee as a long tail keyword sprang out with a green signal. My kid who was playing in the other PC leapt out of his seat and rushed to my side to see what’s going on. “I hit a gold mine!” was my over-acting cry when he asked what the big deal is.

The Long Tail and Short Tail Of It

At the time, newbie as I was (and I guess even now, I still am in a lot of ways), I still have no idea about going the ‘long tail’ way to get to the ‘short tail’. And of course, it never occured to me that I’ll ever get a chance at the short tail because the first time I checked it with MNF, it was screaming a red SOC (strength of competition) at me.

So, long story short, I did the best I could with SEO, both on-page and off-page. I detailed this ‘experiment’ in an article I posted several months ago called: Update to Keyword-In-Domain-Name Experiment. In three month’s time my site got to a stable number one status (meaning, no more erratic google dances) in the google serp for the long tail keyword. The succeeding months consists of minimal maintenance and a little more backlinking. Then, with Market Samurai, I noticed that the number of backlinks seems to grow for quite a time. I realized that those backlinks I’ve created before have now been gradually found and indexed by google or yahoo.

Long story shorter, I found a few more months afterwards that I’ve gotten within the first five entries on google’s first page for the short tail which was originally and still is sporting a red SOC in MNF. I found it out when I logged in again at, the free web stats tracker I used for my site. It showed that I am now drawing searchers of the short tail to my site.

I can’t pretend to know how to explain how this happened but I guess the following things that I did must have been right. You, of course, know all about these basic organic search engine optimization stuff to improve google search engine ranking already.

  • I used the long tail keywords as my domain name.
  • I got around 4% keyword density on the page.
  • I did backlinking work manually, in blogs and forums. It was still pretty exciting back then. Now, if I want to get bored, I do backlinking work.
  • I actually had a backlink on one of my articles on an article directory.
  • I added more pages using related keywords for each page.
  • I think 97% of my anchor links contain my exact longtail keyphrase.
  • Using Market Samurai, I saw that I have created around 8 edu backlinks for my site. All others below me in the serp didn’t have any.

Now, that I have a crack at the short tail, it follows that any further backlinking work would involve using the short tail keywords as my anchor links henceforth. That is of course just my guess at how to drive my site up the google serp ‘short tail-wise’. Maybe in a few months I’ll know if I’m right or wrong.

Long tail/Short tail Keywords Resources

See definition of ‘long tail’ according to wiki here.