A couple of years ago, Microsoft admitted that they didn’t understand long tail marketing. They also said that long tail marketing is important; it was an uncharacteristic admission of incompetence from the folks in Redmond.

I’ve been telling you about the importance of long tail marketing for quite some time. Today, I’m going to open up the curtain on some details of how long tail marketing works that you wouldn’t expect to see a search engine optimization company reveal unless you paid them for the information.

Search Queries

Our volume of search results is getting pretty large. Google now sees Answer Guy Central as results-worthy for almost 7,000 search phrases, including us in the search results they show people over 170,000 times each month. I like these numbers,  even more when I compare them to the search results we were getting ten months ago; back then Google search-ranked us for 2,600 phrases, showing us in results 75,000 times.

This search engine optimization stuff works. And the bigger your pool of information gets, the longer your long tail becomes.

I promised details, though. So download these two files (.CSVs, well-read by any spreadsheet program, or, less-well-formatted in a word processor or text editor):

The file showing search engine results arranged according to ranking reveals that we’re in the top ten results for just over 250 different search phrases. Interesting enough, and an indication that we’re pretty good at getting Google to think we’re important. But it’s the second file that’s even more interesting.

When you look at the full breadth of that 7,000 search terms for which Answer Guy
Central ranks arranged alphabetically, you see that Google sees us as worth finding for many nearly-but-not-quite-the-same search terms. Here are thirty variants on “customer service”, alone:

customer service
customer service acer
customer service apple
customer service apple store
customer service bad
customer service business
customer service coaching
customer service consulting
customer service day
customer service expectations
customer service groupon
customer service guy
customer service headset
customer service images
customer service in business
customer service listening
customer service logo
customer service logos
customer service man
customer service model
customer service models
customer service names
customer service nissan
customer service number for verizon
customer service optimization
customer service philosophy example
customer service phrases
customer service resume
customer service supervisor
customer services

And that doesn’t even account for phrases that have “customer service” in them, but not as their lead (for example, “nissan of manhattan customer service”, which Google thinks should point you to this page).

Does it matter in a granular sense that we’re the #1 search result for the phrase “who really caught Osama”? Of course not. And even though we get a lot of traffic about Facebook’s Timeline Becoming Permanent, even that more popular topic doesn’t mean much to us except when people trying to learn how to “do” social media or search engine optimization stumble across our work and have an “ah-ha!” moment.

Here’s that ah-ha: need help with your long tail marketing, SEO, or customer service? Contact me here.

I’d like to think that our success getting Google to believe we matter has something to do with our Search Engine Optimization Philosophy. And I guess the numbers I’ve shared with you here prove it does; long-tail marketing works.


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