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Bing: "It turned out the long tail was much more important."

 6:03 pm on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Bing: "It turned out the long tail was much more important." [eweek.com]
Microsoft fell so far behind Google in the search engine market because it failed to retrieve relevant results for a long line of less popular queries, a senior Microsoft executive told the crowd at the Search Engine Strategies show here March 25.

Such was the key reason Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of the Online Audience Group for Microsoft Bing, offered for why Google is light-years ahead of Microsoft in the search market. Google commands 65 percent of the U.S. share search market, compared with 11.5 percent for Microsoft Bing.

Mehdi, responding to a keynote host's observation that Microsoft was late to the Internet and search, said, "We missed the boat early on that the focus was about the long tail. We actually focused a lot on the head of the queries. ... It turned out the long tail was much more important."



 6:20 pm on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Um, the head(first page) is very important, and the tail is semi-important. How is the tail much more important?


 9:24 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

no, not the head as in first page - but the head of the searches.

keyword "credit card" will get a couple of million hits

keyword "fluffy pink credit card 1st canadian bank of texas" will get almost zero hits

even though longtail terms are searched only a fraction of terms in the head, a majority of searches are into the longtail.


 9:36 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

"canadian bank of texas" is one reason why I've switched to bing. Google's pursuit of every word produces so much ...

Bing does have some catching up to do, but I hope they do not catch up with krap. See: [webmasterworld.com...]


 4:53 am on Mar 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree - that long tail is getting unwieldy.

I get better results on Bing for specific phrases than on Google. As with the Canadian Texas bank, on Google you get every hit for bank, canadian, and texas - in no apparent order.


 12:29 pm on Apr 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

What about the fact that Google won't even show your ad for long-tail searches unless the term is searched 100 times a month (that's a guess, but it's probably close). Major cop-out on Google's part. If you were bidding on "fluffy pink credit card 1st canadian bank of texas" you would never show up...even if that's what you were selling. That is BS.


 3:41 pm on Apr 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

Although longtail terms are only a fraction of terms in the head, the majority of searches are in the longtail.

1) The statement is not true. Generally, a handful of KWs account for 90% of traffic. Of 1,000 KWs, maybe 15-25 bring in the traffic. And often, one or two KWs produce about half of that traffic.

2) The statement is also not useful. Let's assume the statement is correct ("the majority of traffic is in the long tail"). But that traffic comes from 45,000 different keywords, and each one gets only a few clicks. With such low numbers, there is no statistically meaningful data. A keyword got five clicks and three conversions. So what? That is too little to draw any conclusions.

3) The statement also damages your Adwords account. If you add 45,000 KWs (fluffy pink credit card, furry green debit card, etc.), they'll not have keyword relevance, so your keyword quality score (shown in Adwords Editor) will be low. This will lower your cumulative quality score, which lowers your overall impression share and increases your cost-per-click (you get punished for a bad cumulative quality score).

PayMePerClick is correct: An ad with a very low traffic KW won't even show.

Listen to my cat. The long tail is skinny. Just bone. The good stuff is in the fat body.

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