Beware of a short tail version of your long tail keyword!

Last Update: Dec 10, 2015

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25.5K followers

When looking for a long tail keyword, we find that although there is a very low competition for the exact keyword, it is still very difficult to rank! Why?

Take this long tail keyword for example: “what is the best keyword research tool”

When performing the search with quotes, your article will probably be on the first page! But most people don’t search with quotes… so we are interested in ranking without quotes!

What happens is that Google will rank strong websites based on their short tail keywords, which will outrank even your exact match keyword on the title!

So, you can find various articles with different titles on the first page of Google:

  • How to do keyword research
  • 10 best free keyword research tools
  • 10 great alternatives to the google keyword research tool

And you can't find yours!!! The highly authoritative websites have so much power in their short keywords like "keyword research", "free keyword research" that it doesn't matter much if you have the exact match! well, at least when your website is relatively new!

I have found that I rank much better for reviews! Why? Because not only the long tail keywords have a low competition, but the short ones as well!

I have an article about keyword research which is very badly ranked, even though the exact keyword has only 16 competitors. It is not so difficult to see why! Look how many articles talking about the same thing!

Now, how many articles will be talking about a specific MLM opportunity or a specific survey website? Not so many!

Therefore, we should consider the competition for the smaller version of our keywords. I think it will make a big difference, specially in the beginning when our websites are not an authority yet.

Take another example. Le'ts say you find a great keyword like "Is **** a scam? "

Well, i have found one very low competition option for that phrase. However, some strong competition are ranking higher than me, even though their title is ! Is *** legit?" or **** review

So, in that case, you might consider looking for just ****. See if this product is competitive for a variety of long tail keywords.

As I am not so experienced and this is my first blog giving an advice, please give me a feedback if that makes sense.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

~Stefan

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Recent Comments

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"When looking for a long tail keyword, we find that although there is a very low competition for the exact keyword, it is still very difficult to rank! Why?"

ANSWER: Some long tail keywords though with low competition belongs to giant e-commerce, and we cannot compete with them under Google's radar. I knew this from a blog post of one senior WA-er, but he provided no guideline for finding out how best to determine such type of long tail keywords, unfortunately. I think we need to be creative. Can anyone among us help us further?

I have seen this post from nathaniel where he points out it is possible to outrank big authorities, like amazon, the guardian etc... so I believe it is possible to compete with e-commerce sites, but we need to be realistic. If our website is new, then an article may sit on the bottom for ages!

That's why I think we should look for the competition of short tail keywords plus the presence of big e-commerce sites.

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