Liverpool And Arsenal Top Table For Premier League Search Visibility On Google

Champions Chelsea score highest for social media visibility, research finds

London, June 2, 2015__While Chelsea Football Club finished the season as 2014/15 English Premier League champions, new research reveals its website trails rivals when it comes to visibility in Google UK searches, finishing just fourth in the table for searches conducted on both computers and mobile phones. Liverpool FC, which finished sixth in the League, is the most visible in searches conducted on computers, while Arsenal performs best in mobile phone searches. Chelsea leads the way when it comes to visibility on social media networks.
The findings come from a study by, Searchmetrics, the leader in search and content optimisation, which analysed the online visibility of the web sites of the Premier League teams that finished in the top 10 positions in the 2014/15 season.

Marcus Tober, founder and CTO of Searchmetrics explained: “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. 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.”

The study, which uses a Desktop SEO Visibility score that Searchmetrics has 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 web site beats all its rivals with a score of 44,395. Arsenal are runners up with 44,075, followed by Manchester United, who finished third with a score of 41,465. Chelsea are only fourth (23,909) with Premier League runners-up, Manchester City, sixth with a Desktop SEO Visibility of just 13,690.

Google presents different search results on mobile devices and the study found that Arsenal topped the table for search performance on mobile phones which Searchmetrics tracks using a separate Mobile SEO Visibility score. High visibility in mobile phone searches is  increasingly sought after and Google recently introduced an the algorithm change designed to downgrade the mobile search rankings of those web pages not deemed to be user-friendly on mobile phone displays.

Desktop and Mobile Search Visibility of Top 10 English Premier League Football Club Web Sites

Club URL Desktop SEO Visibility Mobile SEO Visibility (position) League position
1 Liverpool 44,395 44,333 (2nd) 6
2 Arsenal 44,075 47,776 (1st) 3
3 Manchester United 41,465 39,286 (3rd) 4
4 Chelsea 23,909 23,259 (4th) 1
5 Tottenham Hotspur 15,627 15,799 (5th) 5
6 Manchester City 13,690 12,872 (6th) 2
7 Crystal Palace 3,351 3,124 (7th) 10
8 Stoke City 2,732 2,690 (8th) 9
9 Southampton 2,213 2,032 (9th) 7
10 Swansea City 1,295 1,171 (10th) 8

Visibility on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest) is measured by Searchmetrics using a Social Visibility score based on how often content from a web site is shared, liked, tweeted etc on social sites. The company’s findings show that Chelsea currently dominates in terms of Social Visibility, with a score of 3.431 billion, compared to Man Utd’s 1.340 billion. Arsenal finished third, mirroring their actual league position, with a Social Visibility score of 940.524 million.

Social Visibility of English Premier League Football Club Web Sites

Club URL Social Visibility League position
1 Chelsea 3.431 billion 1
2 Manchester United 1.340 billion 4
3 Arsenal 940.524 million 3
4 Manchester City 612.746 million 2
5 Liverpool 155.321 million 6
6 Tottenham Hotspur 136.198 million 5
7 Southampton 19.463 million 7
8 Crystal Palace 4.233 million 10
9 Swansea City 3.408 million 8
10 Stoke City 2.772 million 9

“Social media is a major battleground for clubs looking to engage with fans, and the gap between top and bottom seems to be widening. Global brands such as Chelsea and Manchester United seem to be racing ahead, while smaller teams such as Crystal Palace and Stoke City are propping up the bottom of the social media performance table.” concluded Tober.


About the research

Searchmetrics analysed data on the search and social visibility of the top 10 UK Premier League football club web sites during w/c 25 May 2015.

Searchmetrics tracks the paid and organic search ranking of millions of keywords every week.  It calculates the desktop and mobile SEO visibility scores based on several relevant parameters, some of which are:

  • The number of times a domain appears in the search engine results pages (SERPs) across the keyword set within desktop and mobile searches.
  • Its prominence within those SERPs (a higher ranking equates to a higher visibility score)
  • The competitiveness of the keyword (higher search volumes equate to a higher visibility score)
  • The SERP click-through-rates (CTRs), (the probability of a result being clicked according to its position on the search engine results page)

The mobile visibility score is an estimate based on national search performance (in reality Google presents localised search results on mobile devices that reflect the location of individual devices).The search volume and CTRs for mobile searches are different to desktop searches, however the Mobile Visibility score calculation uses the same search volumes and CTR as desktop searches in order to enable comparison.

While the visibility scores can relate to a website’s real traffic, it is important to remember that traffic can come from many different places online. Therefore the visibility scores are only indicators of traffic that comes from a website’s organic search channel.

The Social Visibility score is based on the total number of social links to pages from a web site that are shared, tweeted, liked etc by users of social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. So in the case of the English Premier League it is based on the number of links to the official club web sites that are shared by people through social networks (the Social Visibility score is not dependent on the links the clubs themselves share on their own official social pages on Facebook, Twitter etc).

The data for the study was taken from the global social media database which Searchmetrics operates to power its online software tools. This is a regularly updated store of data points related to web sites and their visibility on social networks.