Sports, business & technology

Sports strike out in search engines?

A couple of weeks ago, Hitwise – a firm that measures online usage and data (or “online competitive intelligence”) – released its figures for March searches in the United States. Not surprisingly, in a sample of 10 million users, Google came out on top of the four engines with 67.25 percent of searches that month, followed by Yahoo! (20.29 percent), MSN (6.65) and (4.09).

But then the numbers for “category traffic” told an interesting tale. “Sports” is one of 172 different categories that Hitwise keeps track of, containing, at last count, 6,628 Web sites alone, according to Matt Tatham, the firm’s director of media relations. The percentage of category traffic from search engines for last month was just 12.93 percent, which was lower than categories like “Health and Medical” and “Shopping and Classified.” The Google numbers for the Sports category weren’t high either (for the full report, go to Hitwise’s Apr. 7 press release). Which begs the question: why?

“Search plays less of a role for the more popular sports like Football, Baseball and Basketball,” Tatham told Sportsbiztech. “We noticed that more of the outlier sports like Boxing, Soccer, Fishing, Track and Field, etc. are on average receiving more traffic from search engines year over year.”

In other words, if you’re a Yankees fan looking for the team’s official site, chances are that you pretty much already know which URL to go to without having to consult Google for help. Be afraid of the big brand. Be very afraid.


April 21, 2008 - Posted by | Web sites | ,


  1. I agree sports seems like such a niche market that people know where to go and who to buy from. However at the same time, I still think strategic advertising including SEO is still essential.

    Comment by Joe Gill | September 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. There is obviously a lot to learn. There are some good points here.

    Robert Shumake Fifth Third

    Comment by Robert Shumake | February 2, 2010 | Reply

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