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Putting FIFA World Cup 2010 and SEO together

Minie Ng
By Minie Ng on July 8th, 2010

Executive, Campaign Operations, clickTRUE.

in Search Engine Optimisation | Comments Off

World Cup 2010

I am not a huge soccer fan and I don’t even read or watch soccer-anything on a regular basis.  But every four years, I get sucked into watching the FIFA World Cup matches.

Other than the great entertainment value that the matches provide, I personally think it is a great bonding time with my friends and family as well.

For the food & beverages retailers, an increase in business is certainly expected, especially those who are broadcasting the live matches.

So what does the most watched sporting event mean to South Africa?  Billions of dollars in terms of economic impact, tourism, employment, business investors, etc.  However, in terms of search engine performance, the official South African government website for the 2010 FIFA World Cup may not be benefiting as much from the event.

The Google Keyword Tool estimates an average of 3 million searches conducted globally for the term “World Cup 2010″.  One would expect the South African website to be ranked on the first page results on

World Cup 2010 Keyword Search

Unfortunately, they are not.

The first 2 spots are taken by the official FIFA website and the third sport is taken by an independent website called that is owned by a Swedish man.  Note that it is ranking ahead of Wikipedia which has taken the fourth spot.  Following behind are the BBC, ESPN and Guardian.

World Cup 2010 Search Results

Now, where is the official South African website?  They are ranked 19th on page 2.

The official South African website states that the site serves as an entry point to provide information on the country, tourism and investment.  From there, users can then be directed to the more comprehensive relevant official sites.  The site also contains comprehensive information relating to the government activities in the context of hosting the World Cup 2010.

With such a heavy role to play, I thought the South African government should have considered allocating more resources into optimising the website so as to not miss out potential traffic that the 3 million searches could have brought them.  I am pretty sure the content editors worked very hard to put together such a comprehensive website.  I thought it is a great pity the website has been not optimised to achieve even better results.

To all the website owners out there, I hope you are considering allocating resources into optimising your website in order not to lose out on the potential traffic you may be missing out on already.

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