The small dragon and its ‘long tail”

In statistics, a long tail of in a distributions of number is the portion of the distribution having a large number of occurrences far from the “head” or central part of the distribution. This concept transferred to marketing means selling small volumes of hard-to-find items to many customers instead of only selling large volumes of a limited number of popular items. The total sales of this large number of “non-hit items” is called “the long tail”. Since the long tail was popularized by Chris Anderson in an October 2004 Wired magazine article, in which he mentioned Amazon.com, Apple and Yahoo! as examples of businesses applying this strategy, the concept has been a popular way to approach several behaviours inside the digital environment.

Unfortunately, this strategy seemed for a long time unsuitable for the marketers interested in the search engine positioning. To invest resources in the less popular search engines such as Bing, Yahoo or Ask didn’t work mainly because it was easier to invest in the long tail of keywords of Google. If you were a marketer interested in positioning on non-hit keywords, Google was providing you with a better set of tools to achieve this than anyone else. Probably if Bing had been focused on optimising its engine for this kind of searches, his position would be much stronger than it is now, after competing with the big dragon (Google) in the “all-round” field.

Don’t worry Bing… Edge comes to help.

But how can the irruption of Edge web browser influence the search engine market? How can Microsoft Edge turn the long tail of search engines into an attractive option? Well, since Edge is gathering positive reviews regarding its performance from specialised media like Techradar or The Verge an increase in popularity of the new browser is the most probable consequence.  It’s a fact that Edge currently features the fastest website loading among available browsers. The test of tech radar pointed, that “Using Sunspider 1.0.2 to test JavaScript performance, Microsoft Edge gave us a score of 118ms compared to Internet Explorer 11, which gave us a score of 137ms. Firefox 37 turned in 260ms and Chrome 43 303ms. Not too shabby”.

This advantage must not be underrated in a world were time is gold. One of the main historic problems of Chrome is its very slow loading of websites. Even Opera is faster than Chrome. Bing, as the default search engine of the new Edge browser, can acquire this attribute by association. This, together with the usual campaign recommending Bing for Edge (as well as vice-versa) will likely result in a significant growth in terms of traffic for Bing. Some people will argue that Bing has been the default search engine of Internet Explorer for a long time without any effect. It’s true, but there is a big difference. Edge is cool and fast while Internet Explorer was slow and outdated even in its late versions. One instance of such successful synergy was the case of Yahoo-Firefox cooperation. As a result of this alliance at the beginning of this year Yahoo has noted a two-point increase in search market share (you can read the full report here).

Getting closer to the edge is not longer a risk. Bet on Bing.

In addition to the announced Mobilegeddon (a change in Bing’s algorithm rewarding mobile-friendly sites) this situation will provide performance marketing actors with a chance to experience a substantial growth. It will not only help in terms of SEM, it will facilitate more efficient collection of new mobile sources for direct advertising as well. Sources with a lot of potential and operating in an area, where the presence of the big networks is weaker and the required investment is lower. As with most changes in the search engine environment it seems taking early action might bring benefits that significantly outweigh the risks.

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Carlos Aceituno

Carlos Aceituno

When I´m not setting performance marketing campaigns I become into ¨The Digital Insighter”: a resilient digger looking for interesting trends in the online marketing to write about.

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