The Long Tail of the Google Search Results Page
One question we hear occassionally is, "Why do I need Local PPC Spy, when I can get everything I need to know from one localized search?". If all you need to know is who the heavy hitters are, then one search might be enough. In fact, we haved added a free tool to our tools section to make it easy for you to do.
But the Google search page has a long tail that you will miss if you only do a few searches. We recently did a report for "divorce lawyers" in a mid-sized midwest city. After running over 150 searches over a week, Local PPC Spy found 24 different advertisers, with half of them showing up less than 10% of the time. This is the long tail, which reveals what's really going on that space.
Since the paid ad section of the search results page can change quickly, it's not surprising that section is so varied in the Local PPC Spy report. One surprising thing is how often the organic section changes. The organics section is based on SEO. Tweaking SEO is not easy. And it can take a while for Google to update page rank. Yet, in our report, we see almost 40 different websites that show up on the search results page at one time or another. 2/3's show up less than 20% of the time. This indicates Google is experimenting with ways to fill out that section of the page. If you are one of those businesses, it looks like tweaking your SEO could have a big impact.