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Manchester City may have risen to the upper echelons of the Premier League in the past few seasons, but the team’s success on the pitch hasn’t made an impact where it really matters, in Google's rankings.

In fact a new study that analysed the search visibility of the 20 Premier League clubs found that Man City lie in sixth place, while unsurprisingly Man Utd top the table.

Searchmetrics used its SEO Visibility tool to measure how prominently and frequently each teams’ website appeared in Google UK search results.

Man Utd achieved the top score of 44,954, followed by Arsenal (42,784) and Liverpool (32,176). Man City came sixth but had a relatively low score of 14,974. 

Searchmetrics also measured the clubs’ visibility on the major social networks – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Scores are based on how often content from a website is shared, liked or tweeted.

Chelsea is actually the top-performing club in this category with a score of 50.3m, followed by Man Utd (32.6m) and Arsenal (22.2m). Man City come is in fourth place despite the fact that it has invested a great deal in social marketing.

At a recent conference Man City’s digital innovation consultant Richard Ayers said that the club was aiming to create native experiences within Facebook rather than simply using it to drive traffic elsewhere.

He said the challenge is to avoid pushing out corporate brand messages, so instead the club has created a Facebook timeline that engages fans through content such as an advent calendar, fancam, live stream Q&As and a shirt competition.

However, these stats suggest that it still has some work to do before it can match the reach of rival clubs. 

Another interesting point that became apparent while writing this post is the dreadful usability of the top clubs’ websites.

Many of them interstitials or splash pages that try to sell you something before you can actually enter the site.

Liverpool’s is particularly bad as the most prominent link is an ad for a credit card – where do you go if you want team news? 

David Moth

Published 24 October, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1680 more posts from this author

Comments (9)

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Dragon

The only reason Chelsea are top on social media is because of terry and cole saga's. Guarantee that next year the social media side will refelct google.

almost 4 years ago

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Dave

How is this measured? Man U has the most FB followers? Also missing a word from the first paragraph :)

almost 4 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@dave, thanks, changed now!

almost 4 years ago

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Matt Stannard

Interesting, I agree, there are a lot of factors than can Skew this.

I'd love to see what was measured too as Reading is both a Town and a Football club, whereas Manchester United is something that's just a club.

I'd love to see this broken up with number of fans to give some kind of measure.

almost 4 years ago

Andrew McGarry

Andrew McGarry, Managing Director at McGarry Fashion

"measure how prominently and frequently each teams’ website appeared in Google UK search results."

But for what search phrases?

How does this compare with global reach, where all of these clubs aim to increase revenue?

This article tells me nothing of any value.

Context please.

almost 4 years ago

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John Grange

I think the point about search terms is relevant because some of these stats can be misleading. I wonder to what end social media can benefit the clubs in this country in terms or generating revenue.

almost 4 years ago

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

Interesting results. I think the way Chelsea use social media is spot on. Users are constantly updated with fresh data, clips, interviews and offers.

almost 4 years ago

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Matthew Quinn

This is the most ridiculous thing I have read for a while..

"but the team’s success on the pitch hasn’t made an impact where it really matters, in Google's rankings."

I'm sure the team at City, the board, the owners and the fans don't rate the Google rankings anywhere near as high as the many other targets they will have set themselves.

What really matters is success on the pitch. Winning the league, then then entry into European football, then winning everything else, then the commercialisation of its assets via licensing, sponsors, partnerships, increased fan revenue etc. to continue to drive success and investment into youth players, transfer money, sports science and other back room staff etc, all to continue with the winning to increase the monetisation - the football circle of life.

Yes they have an excellent digital strategy and its working brilliantly, but you have to remember that clubs like United and Liverpool have global fan bases that exceed those of other clubs due to years of domination both domestically and in Europe. City's recent financial and on pitch success is still relatively fresh and their fan base is smaller. Less fans = less searches.

over 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Matthew. I was being sarcastic. But thanks for your comment.

over 3 years ago

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