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Liverpool win Premier League (of desktop search visibility online)

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4th Jun 2015
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They may have gone into hiding on the pitch at various points during the 2014/15 football season, but analysis of how prominently and frequently Premier League football clubs’ websites rank in Google UK searches on desktop computers found Liverpool FC streets ahead of its nearest rivals, in terms of visibility.

Conversely, Arsenal perform best in terms of mobile phone searches, while eventual Premier League champions, Chelsea, were leaders only in terms of visibility on social networks.

The findings come from a study by Searchmetrics, which analysed the online visibility of the web sites of the Premier League teams that finished in the top 10 positions during the 2014/15 season.

The study, which uses a Desktop SEO visibility score developed to measure how prominently and frequently web sites rank in Google UK search results conducted on desktop and laptop computers, found that Liverpool’s www.liverpoolfc.com web site beats all its rivals with a score of 44,395.

Arsenal were runners up with 44,075, followed by Manchester United, who finished third with a score of 41,465. Chelsea were only fourth (23,909) with Premier League runners-up, Manchester City, sixth with a visibility score of just 13,690.

Arsenal may count themselves as the real winners, however, given that they top the equivalent mobile search chart, with Liverpool second and Manchester United third.

While search results vary from desktop onto mobile, Google recently changed its search settings to rank businesses with better mobile sites and higher visibility on mobile more favourably, a move the media dubbed ‘mobilegeddon’.

“Premier League football clubs face increasing competition to attract fans to their official sites, rather than seeing them visit broadcasters, newspapers or other online destinations,” says Marcus Tober, founder and CTO of Searchmetrics. Having a higher search visibility means people are more likely to click on their sites, giving clubs the chance to engage with them, sell merchandise, tickets and hospitality.

“Our analysis shows that many clubs are successfully optimising their sites in order to be found in searches, but success on the football pitch doesn’t necessarily translate into high online or social visibility. Indeed, teams such as Liverpool top the league for visibility, despite underperforming on the pitch this season, while champions Chelsea can only finish fourth.”

Social media visibility (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest) was measured by Searchmetrics using a score based on how often content from a web site is shared, liked or tweeted social networks. Chelsea currently dominates with 3.431 billion hits across platforms, compared to Man Utd’s 1.340 billion. Arsenal finished third with a score of 940 million.  

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