Keyword Tools Useless for Long Tail

Today’s keyword research tools are simply worthless for finding [tag]long tail[/tag] phrases that have search value.

I have this list of keywords I just wanted to run through an analysis tool to tell me which words were the best performing on raw search data.

I don’t care about competition, duh, because I am looking for long tail. (i.e. no competition. Not anyone that I have to worry about anyway.)

Everyone and their sister is writing about “internet marketing” in my niche because of keyword tools, even Google’s, being so out of touch with today’s publishers’ ranking needs.

All you get back from all the keyword tools is silly, nonsense phrases that are all mixed up if they are 3-5 words, or simple two word phrases that everyone goes after.

The other drawback of [tag]keyword analysis tools[/tag] today is they assume we are all building massive niche site networks and that we don’t already know the market we are serving or might have our own list to start with.

I am not looking for a new niche. I want to know more about searches in my own niche.

Know how I am finding the most valuable information on phrases people use to find stuff in my niche?

My log files!

That’s right. That’s my high-tech market research. Sad thing is it is better than any [tag]keyword tool[/tag] on the market for telling me about my niche and the actual terms people are using to find this site.

Guess what? Virtually NONE of the terms people use to find this site come up in keyword reports as valuable terms to write around!

I don’t care what software or service you use, you are getting very bad data from today’s keyword tools.

They seem to draw a picture of your niche that you can “count on” but more often than not the list of words generated is worthless garbage for people like me who want long tail traffic.

I gave up competing for stupid terms like “internet marketing” long ago. Who wants a bunch of traffic from that term anyway?

What on Earth is someone really looking for when they type such a bland, generic, catch-all term into their engine of choice?

Yet those are the kinds of terms you get out of keyword research tools for all niches; the ones every other person who has already researched your niche is going for right along with you.

I don’t know how it can be done, or if I would let it be done (I would get venture capital just to buy it and keep it off the market I think) but a tool for long tail phrases would really make my day right about now.

The ultimate tool would be one that accesses the log files of all the top sites in your niche and finds exactly what people are really using to find those sites.

Yes, I know that is impossible, illegal and all that. But think about this: what would a list generated by Google’s keyword suggestion tool, or Wordtracker, or (ugh) Overture look like up against a list generated from actual searches used to find the top sites in a niche?

Totally different is the answer. Because people use phrases to search nowadays more than ever. Long phrases. Detailed phrases.

Who wants some aimless person visiting their site who found them through the most searched, yet most generic keyword for their niche?

Not me. I want visitors who know what they want and type what they want specifically into Google. No matter how long the damn phrase is!

Surfers of the world are far advanced of the webmasters who use keyword analysis and research tools available today.

What the tools are spitting out doesn’t match what the long tail searchers are using to find information…period.

And a massive amount of traffic is being missed out on in all niches because publishers like me are guessing at phrases or simply lucking out by constantly writing on hot topics and hoping for the best.

I don’t mind getting hit out of the blue with a search phrase I never actively pursued (a phrase that just happened to hit big in Google that no one else is competing for yet gets a lot of searches.)

But I’d love to peek into some REAL search intelligence and get the phrases for my niche that I haven’t nailed yet.

Heard of any tools that I might have missed?

Let us know about them below!


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Jack Humphrey

I've been free and thriving as a "digital nomad" for 20 years. And I've helped tens of thousands of people along the way to build and grow businesses that enable them to cut their own trail in life outside the conventional birth-school-work-grave life cycle so many are unfortunate to have to endure. If you meet me soon enough, your cycle could be birth-school-freedom. But it's never too late to break the cycle, either! If you are ready to take your business higher while increasing the time you have for living your biggest life, I just might be able to help you out.