Technology

Jan Moir: an SEO lesson from the long tail of search results

The Google search statistics for people coming to my article about Jan Moir, Stephen Gately and the PCC written for Lib Dem Voice are a handy reminder of just how big the long tail is on many search terms.

Overall the post has done well at picking up traffic via Google searches, but only 16% of that search traffic has come through the most popular search term – “Jan Moir”. There is a lot of variation on the theme of her name, the Daily Mail, Stephen Gately, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) and how to make a complaint in all the different search combinations that drove traffic to the piece.

A reminder, then, that normally you shouldn’t obsess about optimising a page for search traffic on one specific phrase. That’s because in practice search traffic is likely to be dispersed over a large number of related but different phrases. Good search engine optimisation (SEO) factors that in.

7 responses to “Jan Moir: an SEO lesson from the long tail of search results”

  1. What it proves, Mark, is that long held mantra for SEO. What you need is content, content, content.

    To the trash with tricksy things, keyword stuffing, rafts of circular loops of inbound links. Just create a good clean page of content inside a good clean page of HTML.

    Telling a few folk about it does no harm either.

    • Mostly agree with that Tim. Many people spend too much time fussing over the SEO technical side (for want of a better phrase) rather than content or sensible ways to publicise what they’ve published to others.

  2. Oh there are a few other sane and sensible things to do as well, things that a decent webmaster should know as a matter of course. But none of them are sneaky, clandestine, or just plain stupid like some of the SEO proposals I’ve rejected over the years.

    And content needs to be well written and fit for the web, not just a brochure replacement. It also has to be interesting! Finding the site is all very well, but reading it is what is needed, and then following the call to action. Almost any fool can get found!

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