As a reply to my post about how to spot a drooping tail and thus create an opportunity to increase revenue, I had a great question from Greg, which I simply had to answer as part of a separate post. The question goes like this:
“I don’t think we have a drooping tail (organic keywords dataset). It seems like we have the opposite! Is there any meaning from such a chart?”
This is a fantastic question that I actually cannot give a direct answer to. There is not much reliable literature available in regards to the proposed “Fat Head” – where on the other hand, there is a very well documented set of theories about the “Fat Tail” – which I would like to go into detail about later (from a “Making more money” point of view).
That said, we (as in me on Greg’s behalf) could assume that there is an “artificially” increased demand for those 4 or 5 outliners in his dataset that represents the “Fat Head” due to specific circumstances (aggressive SEO optimization on those words in particular, etc.)
On the contrary, the essential question is whether the form of the function in the middle part of the head, in the first place, can give any reliable estimation about the behaviour of the head itself. This reliability question cannot be answered by assessing this individual case; it requires the careful evaluation of various diverse cases.
Finally we should remember that there are some fundamental limitations using Zipf’s law as the “truth” for all given business models. You even see some uses of the long tail theory deliberately delete head and tail outliners.
So to conclude: Looking at the above data, I think we have a near perfect distribution and that we do definitely not have a drooping tail and the “Fat Head” is most likely “just” an effect of artificially increased demand for 4 or 5 keywords.
Cheers and thank you very much for a great question like this!
N.B. I am very open to other interpretations of the indicated Fat head, so you are more than welcome to email or comment critically on this. :-)