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 statcounter.com, 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.

Basic Manual Keyword Research Methods I Learned So Far

Keyword Research without Micro Niche Finder


Recently, I took a serious look at this keyword research thing that a lot of veteran bloggers are babbling about. I did a lot of googling about keyword research and the techniques (e.g. determining exact phrase count, etc.) people are using to reach whatever goals they have for themselves and their blogs. I noticed that a lot of them use some software to simplify the process. Some still talk about the traditional way of digging for keywords. One common term I encountered is ‘green’ keywords. This has its origin in a software called Micro Niche Finder where a keyword that is supposed to be profitable has a green symbol placed beside it to signify its status. So far, I’ve learned that a green keyword has a high search count, meaning a lot of people are searching for it; has low competition or low ‘exact phrase count’, meaning only a few bloggers are writing about it or targetting this particular keyword; has high commercial intent, meaning the keywords have high commercial value in the sense that most people who are searching for results in google using this term have a tendency to buy and click the ads; has low strength of competition.

I have of course read about the importance of keywords or keyphrases before, but I never really gave it much weight as my purpose for blogging has nothing to do with earning money, at least initially. My first idea about blogging is akin to having a diary to record my experiences and thoughts and everything the never-resting mind can conceive. Sticking to this idea however, I learned later, means there is not much chance of earning something out of the work you did for the blog. One can always write about interesting things and still earn from it. And this is done supposedly in a manner where you do a research for specific key words to use in the article you write that can bring in adsense revenue. I guess, this is not a bad idea.

The power of softwares like Micro Niche Finder is that it makes keyword research a piece of cake, saving you lots of time and energy. However it does cost a lot. And being wary about shelling out such amount considering my status as a newbie blogger who has yet to appreciate the value of keywords, I thought I’d just take the hard way for a while. That is, I’ll just do my keyword research the traditional, manual and laborious way.

Based on the discussions and videos I have so far seen about Micro Niche Finder’s capabilities, the following factors are considered significant in determining the profitability of a keyword or keyphrase:

  • Search Count
  • Exact Phrase Count
  • Search Volume Trend
  • Ad Cost
  • Commercial Value
  • Strength of Competition

There are other items that are also considered relevant, but basically the above-listed ones are the major items to be reckoned with.

I’m pretty sure there are several other tools and methods I have yet to discover but at this point I have learned about some tools and methods that one can utilize in the absence of a software like Micro Niche Finder.

Search Count: This is the number of searches, usually per month, for the subject keyword or keyphrase. This can be retrieved through Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool. This of course does not include the number of searches made through other search engines, eg. Yahoo.

Exact Phrase Count: This reveals the number of indexed pages having the same exact phrase. Obviously, the lower this number, the better. This ‘exact phrase count’ can be retrieved by typing on the google search box the keyphrase enclosed in quotation marks.

Search Volume Trend: This is an indicator of the stability of a keyword or phrase. This tells us if the keyword is being searched throughout the year or is search seasonally. This data can also be retrieved using Google’s Adwords Keyword tool. This is not shown by default. You have to choose to have it displayed using the dropdown menu just above the table of results.

There is also this site, http://trend.icerocket.com/, which sort of provides this same data.

Ad Cost: This gives the estimated cost per click of a keyword or keyphrase. Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool gives this data. Again this is not displayed by default.

Commercial Value: This is given in percentage terms. This indicates the probability of a searcher buying something based on his searched phrase. This is more popularly known as Online Commercial Intent or OCI. This value can be obtained by going to a Microsoft site called: http://adlab.microsoft.com/Online-Commercial-Intention/.

I stumbled upon this video about a free Commercial Intent Tool.

Competition: In Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool, this is shown as a horizontal box to the right of each keyword/phrase. The fill color inside the box indicates low, medium/average, high advertiser competition. For purposes of earning thru adsense, the higher this value is, the better. Micro Niche Finder however seems to have a different competition index indicator. It labels it as SOC, for Strength of Competition. A low value, with a corresponding green color indicator reveals that a keyword/phrase has low competition.

I have a feeling that whatever Micro Niche Finder can find automatically, anyone can also find manually. The time difference to accomplish the same thing however would be exponentially big. As soon as I get a grip on the real value of keyword/phrase targetting, which at this point I’m beginning to have, and obtain actual evidence of its effectiveness personally, I won’t hesitate to purchase Micro Niche Finder. This James Jones must be a genius.


I’ll henceforth be continuously researching for the proper use of keywords and how to process them for profitability. It pays to listen to the gurus through their free lessons which crowd my email inbox everyday. Best of luck to me and to those who are starting to raise a leg to step on the first rung on the 100-rung keyword mastery stairway.