Are you looking to get more value from your advertising dollar?

December 4, 2007 at 3:37 pm | Posted in Blog | 1 Comment
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Google AdWords flipped the advertising industry on its head with a very simple idea. Advertise to people when, and only when, they’re searching for what you’re selling. Why waste money advertising on people who aren’t interested? With AdWords, advertisers were finally in control.  As long as we know what search terms people will use to find us, we’re all set.

The problem is, how can we know what terms people will use to find us?

If you go to your favorite search engine and type in “ice cream”, that’s very generic. “Ice cream” can refer to the thousands of different flavors, the different companies who produce them, the production process, the ingredients, the history of ice cream, etc etc. In short, “ice cream” isn’t given any context. As a result, your search results won’t be very relevant to you. What every Internet user learns very quickly is that we can refine our searches by adding more words. So, if you’re interested in learning how to make ice cream, you might literally search “how to make ice cream”.  You added words to clarify what you want to know.  We call these clarified search queries “long tail search terms”.The problem, for advertisers, is it’s almost impossible to know what someone will type into that search box. With AdWords, you need to specify which search queries you want to advertise on.

Did you know…

  • …that over 80% of web traffic is generated from long tail search queries?
  • …that every month, twenty percent of all searches done on Google are search terms that are brand new to the engine?

That last one is the really startling. 20%! That means 1 out of every 5 search queries has never, ever, been conducted before.

Let’s translate that in terms of what it means for your advertising dollar:

  • If you can’t think of every relevant long tail search query someone might use to find your product, you’re missing out on over 80% of the web.
  • 20% of the time, people interested in what you’re selling are using terms Google’s never heard of before.
  • The people you are advertising to, the people you’re paying good money to reach, are mostly not all that interested in you. They’re being advertised to based on generic terms, because getting specific is far too difficult.

We’re faced with a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand, the people who are the most interested in buying from you are the ones using detailed search queries (like “double chocolate ice cream”). On the other hand, if you’re in the ice cream business, it’s simply not realistic to try to take into account all the different ways someone might search for your products. Sure, you might compile a list of every flavor. But with every word, every new combination of words, the list of potential search terms increases exponentially in complexity. It’s just not doable.

What can you do? Are we really stuck paying for generic traffic in the hopes that someone might be willing to buy?

Isn’t there a better way?

Enter News Radars.  Let’s say you create a Radar for “ice cream”, that generic search term mentioned above.  Our News Radars will scour the web for any mention of “ice cream”.  Over time, this all gets collected in your News Radar, and, more importantly, search engines see that.  That means whenever anyone on the web writes something about “double chocolate ice cream”, which contains our generic term “ice cream”, it will show up in the News Radar.  Which means your News Radar will now be indexed by the search gods for, among a great list of long tail search terms, “double chocolate ice cream”.

News Radars become aggregators (collection buckets) for long tail search terms!

Think about that for a moment.  You can’t possibly think of every search query someone might use to find you.  But there’s a pretty good chance someone, at some point, will use those words in a blog posting or article somewhere on the Web.  Since your News Radar will find those, the Radar becomes associated, in the eyes of the search engines, with all of those long tail search terms.  People searching for “double chocolate ice cream” will find your Radar. A Radar you can advertise on.

Long Tail Aggregation Advertising

If you’re interested in exploring alternatives to the existing ad models, give us a shout.  Within the next month or so we’ll be launching a new service and some new features to help you take advantage of the Long Tail.


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  1. […] However, since March 2009, we’ve noticed that when the Vince update has been implemented in North America that our Search Engine Rankings (SERs) bumped up for quite a few generic “head” keywords (as opposed to more specific and odd “long tail” keywords). […]

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