All About Content

7 out of 10 Searchers Using More Than 2 Words Per Search

Posted by Melanie Phung on Sunday, July 30, 2006 at 11:33 am this week reported that fewer and fewer people are conducting single keyword queries as the Internet population as a whole is getting more sophisticated. In fact, in the United States, searchers are predominantly using 3- and 4-word search phrases. According to the OneStat study, search behavior broke out like this:

1. 3 word phrases 28.83%
2. 4 word phrase 22.28%
3. 2 word phrases 20.43%
4. 5 word phrases 11.97%
5. 1 word phrases 6.19%
6. 6 word phrases 5.76%
7. 7 word phrases 2.59%

Any good SEO will have been optimizing for search phrases all along, but given that only about 6.19% of U.S. Internet users are conducting searches on single words, and more than half are using more than two words, that gives us more ammunition when faced with the inevitable “Why aren’t we ranked #1 for [insert ridiculously competitive keyword here]?” Not only is optimizing for single keywords not very effective, nor do single-keyword searches result in quality traffic and conversions, but there also are now so few people are doing them that optimizing for 2- and 3-word phrases can no longer be considered chasing “the tail.” (Think of it like this: The tail is the new black.)

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Category: Data

Search the Daqmey pat in tlhIngan Hol!

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, July 27, 2006 at 1:15 pm

I can only assume “Daqmey pat” means “the Web” and “tlhIngan Hol” is “the Klingon language.” Of course, Google in Klingon, that’s what the Web’s been missing! How else would a Klingon search for adult naghmey beQ?

See for yourself: juHDaqlIj mojlaH Google! (translation: ??)

Be careful about clicking around on the links; I think one of those links sets Klingon as your default language.

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Category: Google

Google Takes 50% Market Share in June

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, July 24, 2006 at 7:38 am

It’s not on the Nielsen/NetRatings website yet, but the company’s latest press release summarizes marketshare of June’s search traffic.

In the words of MarketingVox (why put this all in my own words if someone else has already summarized it): Google searches totaled an estimated 2.67 billion, up 31% from June 2005 and accounting for 49.4% of all U.S. searches conducted in June, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Yahoo followed with 23.0% of searches, or 1.24 billion, up 29% a year ago. MSN was third with 10.3% of searches, or 556 million, an increase of only 3% year over year. AOL and rounded out the top 5, with 371 million and 126 million searches – and 6.9% and 2.3% share – respectively.

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Category: Data

All About Me. Me, Me, Me, Me, Me!

Posted by Melanie Phung on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at 6:33 pm

All the Web’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely Players;
They have their Egos and Alteregos,
And 76 percent of Bloggers blog about Themselves…

According to the latest study released by The Pew Internet and American Life Project, titled Bloggers: A portrait of the internet’s new storytellers, 37% of bloggers say they are their own favorite subject. About 76% claim their personal experiences as a reason, if not the reason to blog (although many of them do so anonymously), summarizes WebProNews’s Jason Lee Miller.

Okay, so let’s get back on topic: me and my blog.

My Blog and My Name
This month I finally accomplished one of the goals of this blog — to push that embarrassing “I am a comment spammer” page off the first results page on searches for my name. It took 9 months, a blog, a Flickr account, a couple of profile pages, and some well-placed comments on or contributions to other sites. Obviously I could have done it faster, but I wanted to see how long it would take to happen “organically.”

Monetizing My Blog
I got my very first check for money I made off my blog. It’s a commission from, whose ads I had placed on my site (in the previous “design”) to give me better insight into how people interact with advertising. LinkShare is also the program my company uses for affiliates, so I wanted to sign up and understand the user experience, see how the creative was presented, and so on. Didn’t sell anything for my company… well, actually… turns out I didn’t sell anything at all. I signed up for Netflix using one of the affiliate links, and got paid a commission for that. (Is that against the TOS? I think that’s fair; that’s not like PPC click fraud since I actually purchased something, right? If anyone at LinkShare disagrees, let me know and I’ll give you the nine bucks back.)

Shameless Self-Promotion
Keep leaving comments folks, and link to my blog, why dontcha. And if you don’t have anything better to do, check out some of my photography on Flickr.

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Category: Navel-Gazing

Link Building is Haaard…

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, July 20, 2006 at 11:46 pm

I recently asked the g00gl3r at to add me to his (or her?) blogroll. And he/she agreed in exchange for a post where I link to him/her. A blogroll link for a single post? Oh yeah, baby, the g00gl3r must have been impressed with my PR5 homepage. [ed. Apparently it didn’t come across that I was trying to be a little ironic. I think Toolbar PR is silly and is actually fairly meaningless.]

Okay, done. Now let’s see if my link gets added to another SEO blogroll. Now you’re probably asking, “Is that all it takes? Isn’t that too easy? Why don’t you just do that a few dozen times with a bunch of obscure blogs and then you’ll have hundreds if not thousands of inbound links?”

And that would be a very insightful question/comment on your part. The truth is that it wouldn’t be worth the work. Back in the bad old days before Google (and cohorts) got wise to link spam farms that was one of the first and easiest SEO strategies to address, but the data show that sheer number of IBLs is not as important anymore.

Quality, Not Quantity, of Links Counts
A recent case study by Fortune Interactive shows that the quality of inbound links, not quantity, is the most important factor in SEO.

In fact, the report says, “IBL Quantity is of least relative importance among the off-page factors across the board.”

WebProNews explains:

For Google, it’s not about how many people you know or how many people seem to like you. It’s about, mostly, who points to you and says “there’s a person worth visiting.” Fortune Interactive’s reverse engineering to decode how search algorithms work suggests that one weighty somebody is worth more than a multitude of nobodies. …

Though each engine weighted IBL quality differently, Fortune Interactive determined with its proprietary SEMLogic technology that what happens off the webpage is more important that what happens on the webpage. In fact, IBL reputation was more important than even IBL relevance.

The fact that link building is important in SEO efforts is hardly breaking news, but now that reputation counts Ć¼ber alles, there really is very little you can do cheaply and easily to manipulate your link juice significantly. The only sure-fire strategy: Write killer content and get important people to link to you. If you write killer content consistently then you might get added to a “worthwhile” blogroll. Or, even better, get slashdotted.

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Category: Link Building,Navel-Gazing