On April 28 to roughly May 30th of 2010, Webmaster’s world announced a new algorithmic change code named “Mayday”. This quality change, which is one of over 400 that Google releases per year, was implemented to make long tail search queries more relevant to the surfer. A long tail search is a search that contains more direct keywords than say someone just searching for “football uniforms” and instead would be something more like a search containing the words “Nike men’s football uniforms”. When a surfer enters a long tail search, Google understands that the surfer has a good guess of what exactly he or she is searching for and it is much more important here to show more relevant search results.
After the release it affected many sites, either boosting or decreasing their ranks. Google’s explanation to this was simply that it was not a temporary algorithmic change and that it was implemented to give more credit to the websites who had greater domain authority and offered better original content on its individual pages. The result to the change was pages on websites with lower authority decreased in ranks. They declared it as a quality win as most long tail searches were now querying better matches.
Listening closely to what Google had to say on their Mayday algorithm change gives an assumption that websites who have original and quality content along with authority will rank higher. Taking this and putting it into SEO terms means that link building strategies, on and off page, need to be geared towards long tail keywords.
The chart below shows an example of the list of key phrases a website ranks for. The key phrases to the left are the highly competitive, but highly searched for key words, while the key phrases to the right are the less competitive, less searched for long tail key phrases. A look at the chart shows that even if a site is getting 5-10 referrals for that long tail search, when you add up all of the small searches, they exceed the big boys.
In addition, these long tail keywords are also easier to rank for and as well convert at a better rate because they are more specific. If a site is ranked for “football uniforms” it will get a lot of traffic, but if it is ranked for “Nike men’s football uniforms” it will get much more qualified traffic looking to actually buy a football uniform.
If you need help deciding which long tail keywords to go after comment below and we will help you do a free keyword analysis for the homepage of your website.