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Long Tail Distribution Curve Keyword Selection (Video)

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Long Tail Distribution Curve Keyword Selection (Video)


This video article is part of the series, “Understanding SEO for the Small Business Entrepreneur”.

Series Contents


Get Your Articles to the Top of The Search Engines

Today I’m going to show you how to get your articles and web pages closer to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) and in front of the kind of people who are looking for just the type of information you have to offer.



Long Tail Distribution

This video lesson is all about the long tail distribution curve, what it is and how to really use it to your advantage when writing articles and web pages for the internet. Those of you who studied statistics might remember what long tail distribution is.

The long tail is the name for a feature of some statistical distributions such as the power laws.

  • In “long-tailed” distributions a high-popularity is followed by a low-popularity which gradually “tails off” asymptotically (a line that draws increasingly nearer to a curve without ever meeting it). The events at the far end of the tail have a very low, but never zero, probability of occurrence.


Long Tail Distribution and the Power Law

An example of a power law graph showing popularity ranking. To the left (the head) are the few that dominate. To the right is the long tail; Notice that the areas of both regions are equal. Source: Wikipedia


As you can probably guess, the only area of the curve we’re interested in today, is the long tail.

The theory behind our current use of the Long Tail is that our global cultures and economies are increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” at the head of the demand curve and toward the huge number of niche opportunities in the tail.

The Long Tail Phenomenon

This is known as the long tail phenomenon, which states, “if consumers are given unlimited choices then everything becomes available”. With the expansion of the internet, this unlimited choice scenario has become a reality.

  • In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other distribution bottlenecks, niche targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.

What the Long Tail is Not

Invoking the Long Tail is not a magic wand. Don’t use it to explain away an apparent lack of demand for your product or service.

  • The Long Tail will not help bad products, services or ideas. If it’s not good enough to be commercially interesting, the Long Tail will not help. Cut your loses and move on. Lets face it, most of the “niche” products in the long tail are simply rubbish. I’m sure your product isn’t one of them, and in fact a significant fraction of them aren’t, it’s just a matter of separating the good from the bad, but those who do find the good ones will appreciate them.

Fringe Products

If what you’re selling is considered fringe, it may well enjoy Long Tail benefits, but only if it can fit nicely into an existing market that has the capacity to drive demand.

Article Marketers

For article marketers, the long tail refers to the distribution of keywords or keyword phrases which are used for internet searches in a particular niche or market.


Long Tail SEO Distribution Curve

Long Tail SEO Distribution Curve


High Competition

That means the head of the long tail distribution curve is a single, broad context keyword. It has high content supply, combined with high demand and high competition but it has a low target audience.

Moderate Competition

The middle of the distribution curve has two to three keywords and will have moderate content supply, moderate demand and moderate competition, and of course a moderate target audience.

Lower Competition

The tail of the distribution curve is a four or more keyword phrase that has low content supply, lower demand and lower competition yet has a higher target audience. What that means is, if you write articles based on the long tail those articles have a much better change of appearing at the top of the search results for the chosen long tail keyword.

How to Find Keywords

So how do you find the words and phrases that people are entering into the search engines for your particular niche?

Well the easiest way is to pretend to be one of your own customers, and that’s not as easy as it sounds because you have background information on your product or service, you have inside information, prior knowledge, which your customers don’t have.

  • The first thing you need to do is forget about your product or service and approach the problem with the same perspective as your customers.

Target Audience

So, pretending to be a member of your target audience, go to a search engine and type in a query which is representative of the item you are trying to promote. Then refine the query, until you start to get results which are representative of the long tail.

SEO and Keyword Research Tools

You can also use research tools such as:

  • WordTracker which generates words and phrases for search engine optimisation (SEO).
  • Keyword Discovery which compiles search statistics from the search engines. Good Keywords, which also queries the popular search engines to identify good words and phrases for you to use.
  • Google AdWords, which is an extremely powerful keyword research tool that allows you to query the most relevant searches entered into the Google search engine in the last year.
  • Google Alerts, will email you updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your query selection. This allows you to monitor the web for interesting new content on a regular basis.

You can find the links to these tools and many other SEO and Keyword tools on my SEO and Keyword Research Tools page.

Long Tail Distribution Curve Keyword Selection (Video) Conclusion

Understanding and writing for the long tail is extremely beneficial and effective because it puts your articles in front of the people who are looking for that specific product or service at the very moment they are ready to take action.

This is an ideal situation for you. A visitor has found your site using a very specific phrase and they are ready for you to fulfil their need. Presuming you have a quality product or service the rest should be a quick conversion.

Writing for the long tail puts you in front of people who are ready to take action by putting your articles near the top of the search results.

Well, I hope you found something useful and enjoyed this video article, please don’t forget to let me have your thoughts in the comment box below. See you soon. is hosted on JustHost

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