Google Search Explained In Soccer Terminology

Google Search Explained In Soccer Terminology

If I know one thing, it’s soccer.  I have spent the majority of my life playing, watching, living, and breathing soccer.

Google Search Explained In Soccer Terminology

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As I have transitioned from youth into adulthood, my passion for search engine supremacy has become my new focus. Nowadays, I live, watch, eat, and breath the strategies and tactics that help businesses rise above their competition. Coincidentally, there are some synergies between search engine rankings and soccer.

I am going to try and explain a couple of Search related subjects using soccer analogies.

SEO – The Fair Play Analogy

I have found that I can look at Google in the same way as the Premier League in England, because Google operates in a similar fashion.

Teams can buy the best players, and agencies can buy the best links. Teams can spend as much money as they want, and Internet marketing agencies can do the same. As a bi-product of this spending, it’s harder for the smaller teams to win, and harder for small agencies and businesses to Get Ranked. The EPL (English Premier League) is now attempting to create a fair playing ground by implementing new rules to even the playing field. On that note, Google has done the same by deciding to release its zoo animals (Penguin, Panda and Penguin 2.0) on the search world.


The EPL has new fair play rules where teams must recoup the money they spend in order to avoid penalties i.e. dropping down in the league. Similarly, Google now demands that businesses be fair regarding where they link, and businesses must make sure those links are relevant. If businesses fail to heed the warning, they will face penalties and will drop down in search results, potentially relegating themselves to the second page.

The Paid Search Transfer Market

I like to look at PPC the same way as soccer managers approach the transfer market.  Here, we will call keywords “Players.”  Every player is for sale. The question is whether or not you have enough money for the best player.  Sometimes you have to find ways around the market by trying to get cheaper players that will work just as hard to get the same results. Remember how Billy Beane applied “Moneyball” tactics for the Oakland A’s? The same methodology applies (there goes all of my knowledge on baseball).

SEO the Free Transfer Market

Now this is different to the Paid Search market. The biggest budget doesn’t always get the best player. This is where we have to be tactical.  We have many positions to fill on the field (pages on our site). It’s about finding the best player to fill the role (The right content).  We can pick who we want for free, and we can utilize the player in the correct way (Optimize your Keywords).  When it comes to search rankings, we don’t want to use the same keyword too many times or else you’ll be penalized by Google. Similarly, you don’t want to have too many players competing for the same position on the pitch, as that can create a roster imbalance.  For search purposes, we want to aggressively target a handful of keywords. In soccer, you want to have around two good players, easily managed and trained.  In both cases, if the player or keyword is fresh, well utilized, and in good position, you can find yourself climbing up the table making significant progress.

I am going to leave it there as I could give soccer analogies all day. The end result is this, you need to find the right components to create a winning formula- whether we’re talking soccer or search engine supremacy.

Post By Daniel Keogh (1 Posts)

Daniel is always on top of and analyzing the latest technologies and newest trends in the internet marketing industry.


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  • avatar

    I never thought about it in this way! Love the comparison. Thanks for taking the time to share:)

  • avatar

    I love this analogy… Pretty clever way of explaining the Google search and SEO principles. I have to revisit my blogs to check on the amount of times I used the same keyword. It might explain why I do not get as much traffic for some of them.
    Google’s push for fair play as really affected some of the unfair practices and advantages that some players used to enjoy. I like that.

  • avatar

    I love the Fair Play analogy. I think that exactly describes Google’s intent when implementing their most recent algorithm changes.

  • avatar
    Ashok Patidar 


    Interesting. Soccer and SEM could be related with each other at greater extent. Nice way to elaborate it.

  • avatar

    Thank you so much to take thé time to
    share such well written and interesting post

  • avatar

    An analogy like this is a great way of introducing the concept of internet marketing. It also gives it a feeling of being in the real world ot just in cyberspace which helps people identify with and understand what internet marketing is about.

  • avatar

    Great article. I think Google’s recent announcement about ranking for mobile friendly sites has everyone paying closer attention to SEO right now. I personally thought they were already scoring for mobile friendliness–but maybe I’m just an overachiever. Hah.
    With each new release, Google is getting smarter and smarter, judging the number and especially the quality and relevance of your site’s links. I think it’s great because it will lead to better websites and a BETTER user experience! I believe this will be another point for content marketing and hopefully another point for user generated content as the content experience on any site (B2C or B2B) is most important.

    • avatar
      Daniel Keogh 


      I agree @Emily Frye. I like your scoring pun. I do feel that Google is playing catch up with all of these new updates and release and I do believe that it will result in a better user experience with relevancy and quality. My team went to a Google conference a few months back and one of the key messages we received was that searches by SMART PHONES would eclipse desktop searches by 2015.

  • avatar

    Absolutely brilliant. Such a clever way of creating a comparison between the two. Granted if you don’t know or like soccer it could be just as confusing, but come on … who doesn’t watch soccer.
    Thanks Daniel really enjoyed it. Going to signup to get your future posts this just made my day. I think I can finally explain to friends how it works.

    • avatar
      Daniel Keogh 


      Thanks @wwalford, this was my first professional blog and I wasn’t too sure on what to write about. I thought to myself “how I could I try and explain my job to friends?” and this is a fun thing I came up with.

  • avatar

    I really like your writing style! But seriously I can’t agree more with you, I love how I can relate so easily. It’s like what you said GETTING RANKED.

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