6 Responses

  1. Marcel
    Marcel February 8, 2014 at 01:37 | | Reply

    Interesting – but you say “HitTail goes through your site’s incoming search terms in real-time, i.e. keywords people (and not spiders) use to land on your site”. Given that most incoming keywords are now encrypted and cannot be read any more – at least those coming in from Google, how does HitTail go through what people are searching for real time? Thanks

  2. Stephen Cronin
    Stephen Cronin February 10, 2014 at 06:55 | | Reply

    Oh dear. To write this and not even include the words “not provided” in the article seems irresponsible to me. I don’t use HitTail, but it seems to me that it must be having major problems with Google encrypting keywords.

    HitTail sweeps through your website’s incoming keywords (i.e. search terms people use to find your site) and suggests the ones you could rank higher for

    The incoming keywords are “not provided” for pretty much all traffic from Google. There are no keywords anymore. HitTail can’t conjure this data up from nowhere. If Google doesn’t pass the keywords along, HitTail doesn’t get the data.

    You will get keywords for traffic you get from Bing or Yahoo, although Yahoo is encrypting more and Bing is considering encryption as well and the traffic for these is general much lower.

    I’m not even going to get into the effects of Hummingbird on this style of keyword research (basically, keyword research is shifting away from the HitTail model).

    I don’t want to say that HitTail won’t provide any value, but the value it does provide must be far diminished over what it could provide 6 months ago – and I think you need to state that in your article rather than mislead people who get their expectations up.

  3. Jean Galea
    Jean Galea February 10, 2014 at 17:53 | | Reply

    Here’s how HitTail is dealing with “not provided” keywords:

    1. This change from Google makes each keyword you can grab that much more valuable since they are now hard to get. The new Keyword Planner is not very good (not sure if you’ve tried it). So HitTail has become more valuable for most folks, since most other sources of keywords are quickly drying up.

    2. Google is 67% of U.S. search traffic. HitTail supports all of the major engines, so it still can value from the other 33% of searches.

    3. There is no charge for “not provided” keywords.

    The guys at HitTail are also working on some changes that will result in HitTail being able to provide more suggestions even though Google is no longer providing keyword data, and I’m looking forward to see what they can come up with.

  4. Stephen Cronin
    Stephen Cronin February 10, 2014 at 19:27 | | Reply

    Hi Jean,

    It’s not only Google that has moved to secure search. Yahoo has moved to secure search as well and Bing has started down that road too (although most user will be using the non secure version for the forseeable future).

    And there are plenty of SEOs out there saying that (for Google at least) keyword research has fundamentally changed (or will shortly) due to the Hummingbird algorithm.

    So HitTail have some significant challenges in front of them. I hope they can roll with it and pivot in a way that allows them to provide continued value to customers. I’m sure there’s a path there for them that will allow them to do that.

    However, leaving all that aside, I thought that this article should have at least mentioned some of the issues. If it had explained these issues and then said, “but go ahead and try it yourself, using the free trial (you’ve got nothing to lose)”, then would have been fine!

    As it stands, it looks like it’s hiding issues that potential buyers should be aware of.. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but it doesn’t seem right.

    1. Jean Galea
      Jean Galea February 10, 2014 at 20:44 | | Reply

      Thanks for the feedback Stephen, it’s clear that you are very knowledgeable in this area and many of us are already aware of the changes in the SEO landscape. Hopefully tools like HitTail can keep evolving to give us that extra help that keeps us delivering content people are actually searching for.

  5. Stephen Cronin
    Stephen Cronin February 11, 2014 at 09:37 | | Reply

    Hi Jean,

    This isn’t about me being knowledgeable. It’s about WP Mayor sending people to an affiliate link without explaining a significant issue.

    Like I said, I don’t think that was done on purpose and I think it’s fine to send people there (after acknowledging the issue).

    Anyway, I don’t mean to troll you, so I’ll leave it there! 🙂

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