The ‘What time does the Super Bowl start?’ SEO trick loses its luster
Surely you did not land on this article by searching for the kickoff time for Sunday’s Super Bowl. This isn’t 2012, after all. No, if anything, you perhaps found us looking for information on how to watch the Super Bowl online. We will provide you with answers to both later. First, however, we’ll tell you why one search term is falling out of favor with publishers for the other.
For starters, a history lesson: The Internet can blame the Huffington Post for the item that launched a thousand SEO monkeyshines. In 2011, a dutiful “Trends and Traffic Editor” noticed people were searching the Super Bowl start time without getting an easy answer. Trending terms included “what time is the Super Bowl 2011” and “superbowl kickoff time 2011.” And so, like Prometheus giving fire to the mortals, the Huffington Post gave the world the answer it was looking for.
The resulting post was so well optimized — loaded up with keywords, essentially — that it resulted in a windfall of traffic for the publisher. It also left a lasting legacy: an annual tradition of traffic-thirsty copycats trying to cadge some search traffic. Google says the big game is one its most searched items ever each year, making it attractive for publishers to game the algorithm and try to have it results float to the top.
“The year we did that at the Huffington Post, it was actually useful,” said former Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry, who now runs RebelMouse. “Now there are still hundreds of questions in people’s minds that Google won’t just automatically answer.”
Indeed, the trend appears to be dying, killed off by Google itself. Searching the question, which nets 158 million results, now displays the answer top-and-center so there’s no reason to click on anything anymore — and no incentive for publishers to gin up a shady post. (The Huffington Post doesn’t even appear on the first page of results any more.)
Just like AOL, however, the phenomenon is not completely dead. The Big Lead, the International Business Times, CBS Sports, and even the UK’s The Telegraph, where it’s admittedly a harder question to answer because of time zones, all appear on the first page of search results. Ka-ching.
Another tactic of capitalizing on the trend has been the reverse SEO troll — in which publishers can have their traffic cake and eat it too by mocking “what time does the Super Bowl start” gimmicks while reaping its benefits as well. See: Gawker, CNN Money and GQ, but certainly not Digiday.
But with cord-cutting growing in popularity, people are now searching for how to watch the game online, officially making that question the easy SEO-trick du jour. It’s also a easier way to get shares for a publisher, which is the new search. “How to watch the Super Bowl online” garners Forbes, CBS Sports and the Washington Post landing on the front page.
For the record: the Super Bowl starts at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 7. It can be watched on television for free with a cheap antenna or it’s streaming free on CBSSports.com.
Advertising, mired in racism, has a long road to recovery
Companies need to respond to the racism row with genuine intentions or not participate in the conversation at all, anything in between can be very disingenuous.
‘The boundaries have broken’: Employers deal with the reality of workers bringing their ‘whole selves’
ven as employers have touted “bring your whole self to work” theorems over the past couple of years, it’s forgotten that that privilege has only really been afforded to a few. For many, bringing your whole selves to work isn’t an option. And the realities of the current work-from-home brigade mean that many haven’t been given a choice: When work is literally in your home, how do you keep it at arm’s length?
How publishers are changing branded content operations to remotely produce high-res campaigns
By using emerging technology like camera drop kits to ensure higher resolution content, branded content studios are able to ensure clients achieve brand safety.
SponsoredVideo: Marketers discuss the future state of less interruptive in-stream ads
In a new video, experts from GumGum, The Martin Agency and Pinterest discuss the future of video advertising — and outline their vision for how video ads can be less disruptive.
MediaMath explores a possible sale
The ad tech company is working with investment bank Centerview Partners on the process -- which could also include a debt refinancing -- according to people familiar with the matter.
With the latest crisis, media needs to back up words with actions
For the media industry, this was a week of introspection -- and a time of decision. For all the progressive ideals espoused by publishers, marketers and agencies, most fall well short when it comes to turning words into action.