In the Battle of Keywords, Short Tail or Long Tail?

In the Battle of Keywords, Short Tail or Long Tail?

Keywords are the building blocks of Search Engine Optimization. The success and the failure of an SEO strategy are single-handedly decided by them.

Broadly speaking, keywords are of two types: Short tail and Long tail keywords. Now, let’s have a quick glimpse of what they are.

Short Tail Keywords

These are the smallest combination of words which might not make complete sense but apparently, makes some sense when typed on the internet. Most of the times short tail keywords are of 3 words or less.

They are not very specific but target a wide audience. For instance: “best smartphones”, “Vatican tour online”, “Chinese food delivery”, “temples” and so on. These keywords are basically the head terms out of the nascent idea, which first strikes our mind.

Vatican tours online

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords can be defined as the mature version of the short-tail keywords. They are usually more than 3 words and make sense. Furthermore, they have specifications included which are tweaked according to the wants of the users. 

They are very specific and do not target a wide audience but the right audience. For example, “best psychedelic rock songs by Pink Floyd”, “TMT steel bars production in India”, “guitar tapping lesson by Guthrie Govan”, “credit risk modelling certification” and the likes.

credit risk modelling certification

Which one to go for? A Comparative Analysis

Speculations are always high when it comes to short-tail and long-tail keywords, with each having their own share of advantages and disadvantages. So, let’s dig deep into them:

Volume of Traffic

If you want to increase the volume of the searches, tirelessly, then you should desert your long-tail keywords and instead go for their shorter versions. So, opt for the short tail keywords and rank them first to get your website running with a good amount of organic traffic.

Thus, the short-tail keywords win it comfortably when it comes to Traffic Volume.


You would have to involve a large team or else you would need a while to rank your short tail keywords for sure. This is because the competition for the short tail keywords is extremely high.

This is quite obvious because the search volume for these keywords generally remains pretty high in contradiction to the long-tail keywords, which are easier to rank, with less competition and a low search volume.

Long-tail keywords score big in terms of Competition.


When it comes to short-tail keywords, as they are less specific, you would see irrelevant results popping up annoying you all the time. But, as far as the long-tail keywords are concerned, they are very much specific and adequately filtered to provide you with the results you want.

Thus, the long-tail keywords steal it from the short-tail keywords when Focus is concerned.


Cost-effectiveness would depend completely on how experienced and efficient a person or his team is, in SEO. However, talking about the general expense, the short-tail keywords have a hell lot of money involved to get them going. Google AdWords would manage to squeeze a pretty large sum if you opt for the short-tail keywords. This is because of the higher volume of searches that they fetch. On the contrary, expenses are pretty less if you are looking for the long-tail keywords.

Therefore, if you have a limited budget, it is always recommended to get past the little amount of competition and rank your website on the long-tail keywords.


If you look at the conversion rates, it is definitely high if you have the right traffic on your website. This is only possible with the long-tail keywords, which are pinpointed. The short tail keywords, on the other hand, will encourage huge traffic with a wee bit of conversions.

We hope this post has been helpful to you. In conclusion, you should be aware of everything and confident in your SEO strategies to rank your website. It doesn’t matter whether you use short tail or long-tail keywords and/or variations of them, but the keywords you choose and the niche of your website are paramount in importance. So, be focused and determined in the long run to succeed!

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Google’s Search Console Update 13/7/17: Why the Change Was So Drastic?

Soon after Google’s recent update about the manner in which impressions and average position are reported in the Google Search Console interface, seasoned webmasters had a trivial panic attack. Quite a handful number of clients at a renowned performance marketing agency saw drastic drops in average position after the update. Check this:

On July 13, 2017 Google confirmed the update:

An incremental improvement in Google’s logging system now provides better accounting for results in lower positions…

And included it in their Search Console Data Anomalies page.

Can you discern anything from the update? We guess not, because the update is quite vague, leaving a lot of room to search for answers about what really happened, what kind of changes took place and why the reports are so much different.

In this blog, we will formulate crucial insights based on a study conducted by a well-renowned research analyst firm pointing out why the change was so drastic and how the firm witnessed a significant increase in the total number of keywords reported per day.

What actually happened?

Owing to the limitations of regular GSC interface, the search engine experts resorted to the Search Analytics API to derive a complete data set in order to peep into from where the drop in average position was coming from. As they were already aware of all the standard engagement metrics of Impressions, CTR, Clicks, and Average Position, they decided to seek through another metric that might reveal them their desirable answers: the total number of unique queries pulled in with the API per day.

What the data revealed?

The highly skilled webmasters decided to select three sites from three different domains that were positioned closest to the median number of ranking queries per day across all the sites for which they stored Google Search Console (GSC) data.

Out of three, two sites witnessed a prominent and consistent increase in the number of ranking keywords dragged from the API per day. In the third site, the average number of ranking queries per day increased post update, but the increase was ambiguous.

Interestingly, the analysts saw a slight decrease in the number of keywords extracted by the API per day for tablet devices: which signifies that though the average percent change was higher than predicted, the total change might not be that remarkable.

So, based on the given information that Google shared, the web-experts were able to come to an assumption: Google is now tracking low ranking keywords more significantly- which eventually drags down average position throughout the site.

Curiously, their data reveals something else:

While there’s been a crisp increase in the number of queries with an average position across the first page of results, one may also see a notable increase in the number of queries reported with ranks in position 10 or better.

On an average, the number of queries ranked in position 10 or better spiked up post the update by around 7.1 percent. On the other hand, the fair number of keywords from position 11 or more increased by about 7.8 percent.