Long-tail keywords or short-tail keywords.

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[When I m analyzing keywords for my site, which is the best- long-tail keywords or short-tail keywords?]

You guys seem to be using the term “short tail” incorrectly. The term “long tail” is a term used in statistical analysis to describe the long tail of a power-law graph as applied to the market. In some cases, there is no long tail, and that is where the term “short tail” is properly used.

You guys seem to be using the term “shorttail” when referring to the “head” of the graph. The proper term is “head keywords” or simply “primary” or “main” keywords as is most often used.

This is often misunderstood by the layperson because they mistakenly think that the terms “long tail” or “short tail” refers to the length or number of words in a keyword phrase. These terms, however, refer to the frequency of occurrence (searches, visits or purchases) and have nothing to do with the length or number of words.

I only mention this because some folks are looking for reliable and accurate information on this forum and I hope to encourage a common and accurate use of terminology.

I think your post about anchor text is somewhat misinformed. I believe it incorrect to assert that Google is looking at how “natural” your link promotion is done to determine whether or not it is spam. They are much more granular in their approach. They can tell which links are spam and which are meritorious on an individual basis.

There is no need for search engines to look at your overall promotional profile except to speed the process of devaluing your spam. The problem with using a “natural” looking pattern for your spam is that it only serves to buy you a few extra days in most cases before you spam is devalued anyway. Most serious spammers realize this and therefore go with the mass all out spamming approach. At least until they realize they are, in effect, on a treadmill which stops working soon after they stop spamming. They are not really building anything that lasts and severely limit the overall growth of their business. I think that is why we see so many spammers reform after a year or two.

I meant to say that you needn’t worry about “looking” natural if you aren’t spamming. What would be the point of worrying about how natural your links look if they don’t spam? Google doesn’t devalue meritorious links unless they are on a page with spam.

It’s called “head keywords”, “main keywords” or “primary keywords”. “Short tail” keywords mean almost exactly the same as “long tail”. The usage of “short” simply signifies that there are relatively few of them while “long tail” indicates there are many.

Do you guys say “heads or tails” when flipping a coin? Or do you say “short tails or long tails?”

The “long tail”, “short tail” terminology is common in marketing analytics, and you guys sound a little silly when you use these terms incorrectly. Imagine someone saying:

“He combed the hair on his short tail [head].”
“Her performance was short tail [head] and shoulders above the rest.”
“He charged short tail [head] first into the issue.”

That is kind of how you guys sound to anyone who knows what those terms actually mean.

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