New HitTail Live Widget being Tested

HitTail News Aug 4, 2007

Hey baby, wanna see my HitTail?

Would you share the first page of your HitTail Search Hits data with the world?

Well, it used to be that you had to log into your own site (or as Connors) to see how cool and addicting our real-time Search Hit tab in HitTail is. But we wanted to start giving everyone a feel for the “black river of keywords” that exists in any site without logging in.

So, we’re testing this new “HitTail Live” widget on our own site for now—but based on whether people like this feature, we might make it available to the public. First, I’m interested in what you think. So, comment!

This widget it somewhat in the spirit of the “search voyeur” features that used to be built into sites like Excite and AOL Search in years past, where you can have insight to the “search stream”. Lately, this has been supplanted by Google Zeitgeist. But somehow, we still think that viewing the real-time flow in a voyeuristic fashion is still hugely appealing. It’s the same issue as day-after Google Analytics, vs. the viewing the real-time click-stream that makes folks like this blogger continue to use HitTail over other choices. Both have their uses, but as this writer states, there’s just something about watching those hits come in.

So, if you’re interested in using this widget on your website, let us know with comments. It’s not a sure thing. For example, would you actually be OK with SHOWING OTHERS the flow of traffic leading into your site? Is it giving too much away?

Personally, I feel it will help reveal the trends on the Internet that the online marketing community doesn’t want to acknowledge: natural search is king. Paid search (which is indistinguishable from natural search from a referrer perspective), which you can identify by the “lack” of a natural listing, is just way less common than people think. Sure, it can drive traffic, but can it even begin to compete with natural search niche domination?

By showing you this widget, we’re now also showing you a slice of the traffic coming to the HitTail site itself. It’s also a wonderful example of how awesome our filters are. Doing this should by all reason pollute our data with people surfing or referrer links. But it won’t. Think about that. If you click one of those links in the Widget, and surf BACK INTO the HitTail site using a reproduced Google search, shouldn’t you see that you just did that in our widget? Shouldn’t that sort of self-referential referrer loop ruin the data?

In any other tracking system, it would.

And THAT sort of subtlety is why folks like Tatraplan detect something special about HitTail’s particular brand of showing referrers.

And with this new public-facing widget, we think there’s a much easier way to check out HitTail’s coolness, without “logging in as Connors”.

If you agree, and might like one of these for yourself, let us know.

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    That’s pretty neat, plus it will have the added benefit of making those links be more visible to search engines, even if only temporarily :-/

    I’m not sure how to make something like this without some coding. Maybe a HitTail API? :-))

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    Oh, I see someone read my blog 🙂

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    It does look interesting seeing the search results there on the right

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    Noah Beal

    Hi Mike,

    I’ll stick it up on mine (

    Let me know when its available.


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