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What the Premier League can teach us about SEO

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
CEO
28 April 2009

Footie and SEO – never the twain… till now

Ahead of the all important, not to me mind, Champions league matches it suddenly occured to me that there are a lot of similarities between the Premier League and SEO. So I thought I would dive in and see just what we can learn from the Premier League.

Lets look at the League Table first up. It's all about being number one. And unfortunately for us the wrong team is at ranked #1 on the first page of the SERPs. (This is the right team but I digress, and dream)

But how did they get there? Well lets do some basic SEO. Offsite and onsite. And I know I am taking liberties but roll with it OK?

So onsite. Let's think about the content, or the players. They have the best, they all have a clearly defined role (except Tevez as he seems to run all over the shop), it's refreshed regularly, well as often as the transfer window (IT Support) will allow, but the old content (Giggs, Scholes) is also kept in the there as it still performs really well, albeit not as well and not as often.

Think about the site, (club). Is it well run (structure), how old is it (domain) has it performed well and consistantly over the last few years (sadly yes) – all of these help  give the search engines pointers as to why it may rank well.

What about on the field? So for tactics, think how Sir Alex uses his subs (grrrrrrr, too well) and think of this as some PR sculpting. Making sure that the key pages (players) are used tactically for greater impact and success.

And what about influence with the referrees (Search Engines)? Having established trust and authority perhaps they can afford to be more aggressive and push the Search Engines further and harder?   

But its is not all, thankfully, about Man Yoo. There is still some great gains to be had from ranking below the #1 position. After all Liverpool were European Champs and not Premiere League champions at the time.

So the key is to be at least above the fold or in the Chamipons League spot. That at least will drive buckets of (TV) revenue your way.

And for those below the fold, think of the income you can generate from the positions (make sure you offer a great deal, snippets) and focus on ranking higher to at least get into the new Europa League.

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But of course there is offsite influences to think about as well. So let's look at the backlink (fans) profile of the top clubs. Of course their fans have a long history and have been built up over the years (nice profile). And for the really successful clubs there are lots of them, and all bang on theme (misguided loyalty in most cases).

But beware, for those clubs that get too successful too quickly there is always a chance or relegation (penalty) and of course we have in mind Wimbledon. But as we have seen you can bounce back (play offs) and sometimes a new domain (Wimbledon AFC or even two, Milton Keyne Dons) can get you back through the leagues again. Just don't overcook it this time!

And what of those on page 2 (mid table mediocrity) of the SERPs (table)? Well, they need to get better players (content), more fans (links), make sure their manager (SEO agency or internal) are clear about what they want and need in order to deliver.

And of course the prize that awaits those who get to and stay above the fold well it is of course greater brand awareness and of course the Champions League! 

I am sure I missed out on a few decent analogies but I am off to watch Chelsea vs Barcelona. And I don't often say this but come on Chelsea! And for tomorrow night best of luck to the best red team in north London against the second best team in Manchester.

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