One Word SEO Demo

HitTail Best Practices Apr 11, 2007

This may be a fleeting occurrence based on the rapid recent construction of links to the HitTail site as a result of some very high-profile coverage (thanks, John!).

But yes, we come up very high right now on the single word “demo”.

I only know this because someone clicked through on it about 5 minutes ago, and HitTail issued it as a suggestion.

We debated over whether to allow single-words to ever reach the suggestion tab on their own. And after long deliberation, we’ve decided to call them out under the Keywords tab, but not move them to suggestions, because of the futility of working them up.

But now having HitTail appear for the word “demo” in Google 4 pages in, I am sorely tested. It is at least worth HitTailing one post. I particularly liked the double-entendre of the headline I got to use.

But the rub is that Google is particularly sensitive to the RATE at which links are being constructed. So if a whole bunch of links just got created to us on the term “demo”, it pushes us up short-term for the word demo.

This is a warning we always give to our clients. Don’t get too excited with brand-new eerily cool results. The elation is premature. Premature Googlelation?

WOW, I would have loved to have used THAT as the headline. But the idea here is to get into the path of pre-existing traffic patterns with the headline alone. So, the headline is really where you need to make as few compromises as possible on word choice and arrangement from the HitTail suggestion.

There are a few things to point out.

The process of discovering where we position on a word we’re not yet monitoring, is sometimes known as Passive Rank Analysis. Some competitors make a big deal of this as a feature, because it reduces the need to proactively spider the search results, and therefore violate the terms of use of most search engines, or alternatively, use their API, where the results are not necessarily the same as a genuine search.

Well, we’ve never made a big deal of passive rank analysis. We just figured that’s how HitTail should work. It’s not about tracking positions of your known keywords (benchmarks). Instead, it’s about reporting on the activity of ACTUAL keyword hits (actuals). HitTail lives in the actuals.

The next point here is that Connors regularly gets the coveted one-word keywords for our clients. We thought long and hard before making this statement, but yes, we have several hard-and-fast cases. The downside is that one-word keywords, as cool as they are, are actually less significant than one may think, as they are excessively general, and don’t necessarily produce the targeted traffic you desire. But none-the-less, it’s desirable, because you’re in a much better position on that word plus any other word.

A third point to make here is that I thought our one-word “root” for which we ascended was going to be “long” or “tail” or the made-up “longtail”. And indeed, we’re rising on all three (page 3 for just tail). But picking up a strong position on the term “demo” is just a logical bonus.

I had locked myself in a room for a week to make the long tail demo of which they speak. And it was apparently a very worthwhile endeavor, and worth the effort, as we are referred to as the way to understand long tail thinking (aside from Chris’ book, of course). Or perhaps as the fastest pitch evah. It could be that the YouTube version has thousands of views, and is joining the ranks of viral video in terms of pure reach. Or maybe, people recognize it as one of the most creative demos and websites they ever came across.

And finally, it’s really unrealistic to take the steps one would have to take from an SEO standpoint at this point to fortify HitTail on the term, demo. We’re just not in the business of demos (though we’re repeatedly asked). The work it would take to truly fortify a one-word term is ridiculous; landing page 4 is one thing, but the increased resistance encountered as you creep up the SERPs is enormous.

I’d be spending all my time doing that instead of doing it for paying Clients, or blogging for the HitTail community.

One response
  1. Avatar

    It’s an honor to be mentioned on the HitTail blog about a post I wrote called “ is one of the most creative web sites”.

    In my eyes, HitTail fits right along beside important applications like WinZip, FireFox and DivX player in terms of importance. HitTail is one of my top 10 most useful programs that I’ve grown to love.

    There’s no doubt that is one of the most creative web sites.

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