There are some good SEO questions:
IE8 or Internet Explorer 8?
E-mail or email?
For online marketers and SEO experts, this World Cup 2010 the greatest question of all is:
Should I optimize my English language sports website or blog with soccer or football?
The answer is: it all depends.
Depends on what?
Here are some insights into this critical question for the period June 11 – July 11, 2010.
Soccer or Football Search Trends through Google Trends
Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. The graph above shows the searches from the terms “soccer” and “football” from 2004 to 2010, ranked by “football”.
When Google Trends detects a spike in the volume of news stories for a particular search term, it labels the graph and displays the headline of an automatically selected Google News story written near the time of that spike. Currently, there are 6 news that generated a spike in news stories (marked as A, B, C, D, E and F).
The 2 key years to observe are 2006 and 2010 because those are the years when the World Cup 2010 was held (2006: Germany and 2010: South Africa). However, this graph only provides 2 clear insights:
- On years when the World Cup is celebrated, the number of searches of “soccer” and “football” on Google tends to be closer in number that in non-World Cup years.
- The “soccer” news references volume is higher in 2010 that it was 2006.
Who is Searching for Football
The blue indicates the volume of “football” searches, while the red indicates the volume of “soccer” searches.
The U.K. clearly dominates the search of “football” in Google with 8 of the top 10 cities in the world searching for this term.
Who is Searching for Soccer
Football purists might jump to say the United States, however the actual results are surprising.
The host country of the 2010 edition of the World Cup lead the pack in the search of “soccer” at Google. Surprisingly, the Canadians, Australians, and Irish are searching for “soccer” at Google more often than the Americans.
Despite its 5th position on the top countries looking for “soccer” at Google, still the U.S. has 5 out of the top 10 cities in the world.
What about Demand?
LinkWorth, a Dallas, Texas based company that specializes in search engine marketing, reports for the term “football” the following keywords that are currently (as of 06/18/2010) being bid for in their system:
On the “soccer” side, there are only bids for: soccer goal.
While there is no guarantee that the presented football terms are strictly related to the FIFA sport and not to the NFL sport, it does appear that there is more SEO demand for football keywords than for soccer keywords.
So what is a SEO expert to do: soccer or football?
Here are some rules of thumb:
- If you are optimizing your website for SEO and SEM within the United States, you must clearly optimize for “soccer”. Also, if you’re planning to purchase some keywords through Google Adwords, take a look at the prices in the following cities: Washington, D.C.; Richardson, TX; Seattle, WA; Dallas, TX and Chicago, IL. These are cities generating most searches for soccer in Google for the United States.
- If you are optimizing your website for SEO and SEM for any other country in the world (except Canada and South Africa), you should optimize for “football”. If you’re planning to purchase some keywords through Google Adwords, take a look at the British market because it offers the lion’s share of the search engine market looking for “football”. However, be aware that you will need a considerable budget in order to efficiently compete in Google Adwords for this region.
- In Canada, you need to optimize for both “soccer” and “football”.
- No matter whether you optimize for “soccer” or “football’, the term “soccer goal” is a keyword to always keep in mind. Owners of YouTube channels featuring highlight reels of goals, pay close attention to all the possible variations of this keyword when selecting the tags for your videos.