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Does Low Search Volume Benefit Big Brands?
Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4460743 posted 2:23 pm on Jun 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi there, Everyone:

Has anyone have any opinions on whether the volume level of search traffic have an effect on what kinds of results google is likely to return?

For example; if a search term is low volume, is it possible that google is MORE likely to return larger, well branded sites, possibly at the sake of less relevance?

Or are people seeing larger brands with less relevant content ranking across high volume keywords as well?

Thanks in advance.

 

outland88

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4460743 posted 7:07 pm on Jun 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

For example; if a search term is low volume, is it possible that google is MORE likely to return larger, well branded sites, possibly at the sake of less relevance?

Or are people seeing larger brands with less relevant content ranking across high volume keywords as well?


I was testing this on June 1 with about fifteen rather exotic user submitted search phrases. In each case Bing returned exactly what I expected to see. Google on the other hand with low volume searches did not seem to be interested in the accuracy and flooded the sections with off topic brands. Google’s accuracy increased with the volume of searches but then again that is where you would expect to see the brands. Bottom line this definitely shouldn’t have been happening and begs the question whether these are rigged results.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4460743 posted 8:02 pm on Jun 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ outland88:

Thanks so much for your observations! I hope others can chime in.


Bottom line this definitely shouldn�t have been happening and begs the question whether these are rigged results.


I think it might give us a little more of an insight on how search volume helps the algo learn.

Then again, it might just be as you hypothesized. Google is going to return big brands no matter what; just that big brands don't have content in the low volume terms, but they have content for the high volume search terms.

scooterdude



 
Msg#: 4460743 posted 10:23 pm on Jun 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

A few moons ago, there was a statement from someone, whether speculation, or directly fro G, I don't remember,

that until recently , the G algo was unable to make "qualitative" judgements on the websites results shown for long tail searches, however, an update within the last year, according to this statement enabled the g algo to make quality judgements about sites returned on long tail searches,

Anyway, sinces then, many webmasters have reported dramatic losses of long tail traffic, seeing as that lost traffic has gone somewhere else, that may or may not tie in with the posts above

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4460743 posted 12:07 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ scooterdude

...however, an update within the last year, according to this statement enabled the g algo to make quality judgements about sites returned on long tail searches...


thanks for the note. I will see if I can find that quote by google somewhere.

I kind of thought that the MayDay update of 2010 was supposed to deal with that?

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4460743 posted 1:10 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I also want to encourage anyone who is concerned about competing with "big brands" to simply focus building "a" brand, and it doesn't necessarily need to be big. One sign of success would be an increase in searches for your business/website name. You can focus on brand building by focusing on customer retention - repeat business and simply repeat traffic.

You can slso help your own cause with conversion optimization, which naturally includes A/B or multivariate testing. An added advantage here is that you get more revenue for the same amount of traffic.

When you start building a brand, Google does take notice. No, you may not outrank Amazon for low search volume phrases - but at the very least, you can show up n the same page. It's happened for some sites that I work with.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4460743 posted 1:48 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I also want to encourage anyone who is concerned about competing with "big brands" to simply focus building "a" brand, and it doesn't necessarily need to be big.


Yes, but then you would have to have a viable business model and sell stuff that people actually want ;)

Joking aside:

One particularly dilemma for me is what to do with my 12 year old site:

inarticulate-name.com

What's worse is that the domain name - besides being verbose, hard to spell, AND hyphenated - doesn't really convey what the site is about, nor give any clear idea who the site is for (i.e., what demographic it is for).

Aside from that, the domain name is PERFECT! ;)

The thing is, the site has been around since 2000 and while it has less than 200 inbound links, I am scared to lose any authority / trust / google mojo that it MIGHT have by moving to a new domain.

Google... Oy Vey!

Simsi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4460743 posted 5:28 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

...simply focus building "a" brand, and it doesn't necessarily need to be big. One sign of success would be an increase in searches for your business/website name.


I'd like to add some experience here. I have been doing that gradually to the point after 2 years, around 30-40% of searchers that arrive on my site have used the brand name. During that time however, my long-tail rankings have totally dropped away, although overall traffic has increased a little. It's almost like a replacement.

The brand itself is a manufactured word (ie: widgetwombles) and a large percentage of the brand searches are *just* the brand name. Even though (as in the example just used) my brand includes the singular name of the market (widgets) I'm in, I am left wondering if Google really understands what business my brand is representing.

That said, I'm not complaining. As Tedster says, the brand awareness is worth just as much if not more and a nice plus is that you don't really need to rank to diversify traffic. Plus, the conversion rate is higher than on generic terms.

Just strikes me as odd: the more Google sees people searching for your brand, you'd have thought the more it would trust it in related searches.

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