Robert_Charlton - 6:47 am on Dec 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
long tail phrases
With regard to long tail... I've been postulating for a while that Google's artificial intelligence would be working its way through short tail and into long tail as it gathers more data. As I posted in mid-September 2012 in the Zombie/Traffic Shaping/Throttling thread...
Basically, I think Google is doing what it's done on every algo I've seen it test... it's started with the short, competitive phrases and then gets into longer and more specific phrases. This is also consistent with how artificial intelligence learns. It needs lots of data, and data on long-tail takes longer to gather.
Additionally, I've felt I've been seeing the auto-complete suggestions getting more specific. (Perhaps this is even what's directly or indirectly causing the effect).
All of the above is conjecture, but it's consistent with what I think I've been seeing for a bunch of years now.
This may be Google feeding long tail queries to certain sites, bumping up traffic, to see how searchers react. I should add that rate of learning with AI increases exponentially, so the observation that Google is testing very long tail could be a sign that critical masses of data are beginning to accumulate and things will begin to move faster.