Archive for the ‘Long Tail’ Category

Tool: What it’s Worth to Rank in Google, Yahoo and MSN

Want to know what it means to rank 4th in MSN? How about to rank 2nd in Yahoo? Or what about ranking 1st in Google and 3rd in MSN?

Well then grab the number of overture searches the term had last month and use our new “Expected Clicks by Rank in Google, Yahoo, MSN and Other Tool.

By combining the AOL User Search Data, Hitwise Search Engine Market Share and Overture Search Tool, you can now estimate with some certainty how many clicks to expect for ranking anywhere in any search engine for any term.

The AOL user search data has been harvested to determine the CTR (Click Through Rate) for ranking number 1 vs. number 2-10. The sample size is large enough and broad enough that we can infer that this average holds true across many verticals:

Results from:
Total Searches:9,038,794
Total Clicks: 4,926,623

Ranking Number 1 receives 42.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 2 receives 11.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 3 receives 8.5 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 4 receives 6.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 5 receives 4.9 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 6 receives 4.1 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 7 receives 3.4 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 8 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 9 receives 2.8 percent of click throughs.
Ranking Number 10 receives 3.0 percent of click throughs.

The rest of the Long Tail (ranks 11-1000) = 11.3 percent of click throughs.

Search Engine Ranking #1: 2,075,765 clicks
Search Engine Ranking #2: 586,100 clicks = 3.5x less
Search Engine Ranking #3: 418,643 clicks = 4.9x less
Search Engine Ranking #4: 298,532 clicks = 6.9x less
Search Engine Ranking #5: 242,169 clicks = 8.5x less
Search Engine Ranking #6: 199,541 clicks = 10.4x less
Search Engine Ranking #7: 168,080 clicks = 12.3x less
Search Engine Ranking #8: 148,489 clicks = 14.0x less
Search Engine Ranking #9: 140,356 clicks = 14.8x less
Search Engine Ranking #10 147,551 clicks = 14.1x less

Search Engine Ranking 11+: 501,397 clicks

Now you may want to know the Market Share of the Search Engines Google, Yahoo, MSN and Everyone else: From Hitwise, we find:

The Search Market Share for Google: 60.2%
The Search Market Share for Yahoo: 22.5%
The Search Market Share for MSN: 11.80
The Market Share fore Everyone Else: 5.5%

Hoax Marketing – SEO in an Attention Ecconomy

The Information age is an attention economy. Attention is getting more scarce; therefore, what you will need to do to get attention will continue to get more difficult. Don’t worry about how you will monetize attention once you have it. What is important is that you get attention. Without it, you are nothing.

Link bait is alive and well. However, there is a subsection of link bait called “Hoax Marketing.” Hoax marketing is the most viral way to get attention on the Net. People love a good Hoax and there doesn’t seem to be a better way to get the attention of millions and get tons of quality backlinks.

Take the recent example of the fake video showing vandals spraying graffiti on Air Force One. This story has over 185 links in Google News from mainstream news outlets. This Hoax got Millions and millions of viewers and probably tens of thousands of backlinks. Sure it cost a bit to pull off this hoax. But how much would you pay for 10,000 REAL backlinks including over 185 from high ranking news sites and more than 10 million visitors?

Another example of hoax marketing making a killing from the SERPs is Zug who is ranking #8 in Google for Viagra. That hoax brings more than 10k search visitors per day for very lucrative search terms. Zugg also has tons of other pranks for other competitive serch terms like credit cards and penis pills.

Hoax marketing is so powerful because first you get all the traffic from the direct links and then all those links generate traffic from the search engines (The Long Tail). Remember, it doesn’t matter how crazy your story is because people will believe anything.

Hoax Marketing is already an incredible force for Search Engine Optimization – people are just now beginning to realize it. The skillset of the best SEOs in the world must continue to evolve. Hoax Marketing is one logical evolotionary growth path that will prove to be extremely profitable.

The Long Tail of a Black Hat

Chris Anderson’s Long Tail theory:

our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail.

Kevin Marks looks further down the tail and notes:

A true long tail business is one that copes with the ultimate niches – where there are just one, or even zero customers. You need to be sure that your submission model can cope with these limiting cases and not choke, especially as you do not know a priori which ones are going to garner customers. So, what businesses fit this model?

Answer: Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (AKA Search Engine Spamming).

Many SEO Black Hats create millions of pages over hundreds of domains using some form of automated website creation software. Each page is optimized for an obscure keyword phrase – perhaps one that is only searched for 50 times per month.

Just one of a Search Engine Spammer’s spam sites could have 30,000 pages. This site might receives just one unique visitor on less than 10% of the pages per day. Of those 3,000 visitors if only 2% (60) click on a 10 cent Adsense word, this site would generate $6.00 per day or $180 per month.

So does the smart search engine spammer stop at 1 or 5 site? Of course not. A true SEO Black Hat has hundreds (and in many cases thousands) of these sites operating at once.

As a black hat automates more steps in the site creation process, the time investment decreases dramatically. Recently, I spoke with a Search Engine Spammer who told me that he has automated EVERY step in the process from domain registration to Keyword selection, to new CSS design, to splog indexing. He claimed he can create and index a 50,000+ page website with less than a minute’s worth of incremental keystrokes.

As the cost of page creation, hosting and advertising (production and distribution) approaches zero, the number of customers required for a profitable search engine spamming business drops to much less than one per page (or micro-niche).

Search engine spamming is a business that “copes with the ultimate niches – where there are just one, or even zero customers.” It will therefore be interesting to see if Anderson devotes a few pages to Search Engine Spammers in his upcoming Long Tail Book.

Niche Selection for Black Hat SEO

As an Internet entrepreneur, you should understand the economics of media 2.0. Part of why Black Hat SEO works today is because the Internet is shifting potential economic opportunities from hits to niches as Chris Anderson describes on his Long Tail Blog.

Without going into the specifics about projects we are working on, there are seemingly endless opportunities for Effective Niche Aggregators to be almost completely automated. Whether you call this Black Hat or White hat is entirely up to you. But when I see opportunities to have low maintenance computer scripts constantly updates a site with relevant information to generates highly targeted traffic, I call it money in the bank.

Media 2.0 is all about the economics of attention (open .ppt with OpenOffice) as described in bubblegeneration.

“Media will be unbundled and rebundled at the personal (not mass) level Beyond narrowcasting, nichecasting to personal control over the ‘cast”

Today, the search engines give the personal control of the casting or “slicing” of data inquires to end users. Black Hat SEO opportunities exist because:

1. Search engines give more weight to specific “repackaging” of existing information and
2. Contextual ads services like as adsense allow the SEO Black Hats to monetize almost any niche or sub niche.

By targeting and optimizing for literally millions of relatively obscure search phrases (200-2500 Searches per month) the SEO Black Hat has two incredible competitive advantages over a pure play niche content producers:

The SEO 1. More Highly skilled at search engine optimization techniques (the repackaging of existing information) than other Niche specialists.
& the Blackhat 2. Gross profit of less than 10 cents per search phrase will sustain a highly profitable business.

Through technical SEO prowess, finely slicing niches and sheer volume, Black Hat SEO becomes an extremely viable and profitable business model.

So what does this mean for the Niche selection of an SEO Black Hat beginner? Effectively, one can profitably select any and all Niches that can generate advertising revenue. However, for beginners, I don’t recommend highly competitive SEO niches like prescription drugs. You be outclassed by people with both more technical SEO skills and more “authoritative resources” (High PR sites). Instead, go after the millions of low hanging fruits that have weak SEO competition. This will be tied to Keyword selection in a later post.