free html hit counter HitTail: An Interesting Service | John Battelle's Search Blog

HitTail: An Interesting Service

By - September 14, 2006

Hittail

Interesting news from a PR agency, Connors Communications. They’ve created HitTail, a service that “reveals in real-time the least utilized, most promising search terms hidden in the “long tail” of a Web site’s natural search results.” The short of it: It promises to teach you the words that might get your site better ranked in organic search, so you can use those words on your site. Is this a good thing? Well, nothing bad about having more information. But….something about it strikes me as…well…inorganic. I recall fondly how editors would respond to surveys we’d do telling them what to write about….What do you think?

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8 thoughts on “HitTail: An Interesting Service

  1. Stephen Munday says:

    Sounds very similar to what 103 (ten to the power 3) bees (www.103bees.com) have been offering for a while….

  2. Kris says:

    Keep things simple and to the point. Content is King but don’t stray from topic to topic, I use google adwords Keyword tool to help my key in on my quality keywords. I make sure that my Top 4 searched words/phrases play 2% of my content I try to pack more than 1500 five plus letter words in to my page. And keep links to other domaind to no more then 10 per page. Has been working great for me.

  3. leafar says:

    I’ve been using the service since its early days (nearly 5 months). It’s nice, it gives you another eye on your traffic, and gives new idea on content that could proxy what you’ve already done (I think it’s the best way to use it).
    A huge problem is that it does not add request with same words. My blog has 15 different request with kilimandjaro that do not sum up… so you still have to screen it by hand which is difficult with massive traffic.
    But I recommand it as it still gives you nice input.
    A Hall of fame if i use the U.[lik] rating system.

  4. EGM says:

    I’ve been using the service for a while and it’s OK. There is a lot of chaff that you have to sift through to get to the wheat. I have found some unexpected gems though. And when you then take those “gem” phrases and target a page (or blog article) on them, it does seem to work pretty well. You could get a lot of this information from your web logs, of course (which is what I did before using this tool). But this tool makes it a bit easier to track and manage words you might want to remember for later use.

    It isn’t the panacea they might want you to believe it is. But if used as part of a nutritious breakfast, er….I mean an overall organic optimization effort, it could be a useful adjunct.

    *shrug*

  5. Jamie says:

    by and large the entire SEO industry is “inorganic”

  6. Alok says:

    By and large the entire HTML content industry is “inorganic”. Never heard of HTML pages which can grow naturally in the field …

    Hate that term being applied to mean “doctored page-rank”. Would’nt want search results to feed my mouth in a zillion years.

  7. Mike Levin says:

    Thanks to John for the mention. It was a VERY pleasant surprise after you passed the Web 2.0 product review baton to Michael Arrington. And I definitely appreciate the choice of the word “inorganic” for the controversial aspect. I could have thought of much worse myself. One keen writer likened us to the SEO Mafia leaning on our users to writing about particular topics if they know what’s good for them.

    Humor aside, we plan on differentiating ourselves by helping marketers navigate that turbulent line between innovative writing and pandering to search. In short, you get the manipulation and pandering out of the way in constructing an assuredly search-effective headline, thereby freeing the whole rest of the page for your craft. We encourage HitTailers to speak with their own genuine voice and put their own reputation out there along with their blog. We thing this creates some balance to marketers” urge to spam. And as a PR firm, we’re sensitive to reputation issues and strive to steer our users right.

    Even so, we see the controversies breaking out. The more editor-like types and corporate site managers recommend that you carefully evaluate each suggestion made by our service for appropriateness, while a more ad-driven site manager (and Ph.D.) has described himself as a slave to HitTail, taking it wherever it leads him.

  8. Manny says:

    I was using Extreme Tracking (extremetracking.com) for my site, and hit tail seems to be a better way to track your traffic. I think you have to be careful of the suggestions hit tail gives you for your site, and use discernment before going through with anything that will drastically change the normal direction or subject matter of your website.