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If you type in your company’s name and bad press and/or content show up in the SERP’s, you need reputation management. That’s pretty much an industry standard. Rep management practices have become pretty standard too: get lots of good content out there to basically force out the bad press. See Nelson’s latest post on black hat white hat industry practices for more on suspect reputation management. Ok good, stay with me.

Now introduce long tail optimization into your reputation management. That won’t do any good you say! Long tail optimization should not be a focus! High traffic keywords should receive all our time, attention and effort! Blasphemy! Now look here, son. Wait for me to explain.

Why Long Tail In The First Place?

While most people ignore long tail due to lack of volume and traffic, long tail actually makes up nearly 75% of searches in search engines. So think about it, monopolize long tail traffic for your site and you have just won 75% of all potential search traffic. That is hard to ignore. For all you visual learners, here is a graphic illustration of my point. (Thank you Rand Fishkin at SEOMoz for your awesome Whiteboard Friday! For more detailed information and explanation on this graph see his post Ignore the Long Tail at Your Peril!)

longtailThe red bar is the high volume searches, general terms like “computer.” These searches receive millions of searches a month! It is hard to make a space for yourself with that kind of competition. The yellow bar is secondary terms, like “computer cases” or “computer mouse.” These phrases receive 10’s of thousands of searches a month.

The green section is where the term “long tail” came from. It is the longest part of the curve, or tail. These terms or phrases receive 0-5 searches a month and consist of phrases like “Where can I find a computer case in Nashville TN?” or something similar. This is mostly uncharted territory, a place for you to create a space and authority for yourself. And it is relatively easy to do, creating content, linking, and other basics will do the trick. Pretty sweet huh?

Once you dominate longer tail keywords, your other primary keywords will improve from this effort. An analogy is similar to Robyn’s explanation of deep linking to boost home page juice. It works the same way. Boost your authority and presence through content production in long tail, and this can boost your main domain in other larger trafficked terms.


An illustration should help put this all together. My father’s website, when you type in his full name and title, doesn’t show up. Instead a competitor’s name shows up before him on the SERPs. Now that’s just wrong. He doesn’t even own his own digital name space.

A good SEO company can fix this quite easily. Focusing on long tail optimization, his company can produce content in the form of articles, press releases, etc. Using considerably less time and effort, he can rise to the top of the SERPs for his full name. His rankings for other high volume keywords will increase because of the presence and authority he has created with long tail optimization. Obviously, similar tactics for the high traffic terms will always benefit and work nicely in improving his image on the net.