Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Growth of Sports Bloggers, A Visual

Few things speak to the truth better than data. As a sports fan, you're likely experiencing this more than ever with advanced statistics. (Sabermetrics and MIT Sloan's Sports Analytics Conference both come to mind.)

Personally, I'm a qualitative person over quantitative. I prefer stories to numbers. But working at Google, it's hard to ignore data in a place so in love with it. One thing I've learned here: data can be your friend if used properly, helping you tell a story and prove a point.

Here's some data that should make you feel great about the direction of the sports blogosphere, courtesy of Google's Insights for Search. (For those new to digital media and Search as an industry, very little is static or consistent, and the important things to examine are trends rather than consistent directions or data points.)

Search is an indicator of demand and interest. Someone searching for "shoes" likely wants to buy or at very least learn about shoes. More searches year-to-year on "coupons" shows a growing interest in saving money. The climbing number of searches for "sports blog" indicates that the industry has grown in recognition, media coverage and value to online readers.

A few key news events are highlighted in 2010 above that help shape the trends we're seeing. These might be events directly relating to sports blogging or topics and stories that were widely covered among blogs, causing a spike in searches. It looks like the news items are limited to sources that share this info with Google, but just to call out a few:

A. Dez Bryant Stuck with $54K Dinner Bill

D. LeBron James's Lawyer Labels as "Lies" Sex Scandal Rumors Surrounding Mom; Warns Sports Blog to Knock It Off

E. Lil Wayne Kicks off Sports Blog

What else? What news events have you seen take the blogosphere by storm?


  1. Played around with this for a while and I can see the usefullness looking at the Google "program" from time to time, if only to have a better understanding of what people are searching for and how to better label posts on your site to have potential readers connect to you through Google. Does Bing and the other search engines have a similar program?

    Thanks for sharing Jay.


  2. Thanks for the comment! I don't believe Bing has a similar tool, but then again, I believe Bing would just steal the Google tool anyway:


  3. I hate Sabermetrics. That is all.

  4. Ha, I'm not a huge fan either, Rick, when compared to the eye test or the ability to tell a story with examples over hard data. But if I were in the industry, I'd embrace them: much easier to make decisions as a scout or GM or coach. Helps answers questions ranging from the advanced pitching metrics (who is lucky, who has sustainable success, who gets to the most balls in the field, etc.

    It's a utility that should be an addition to some analysis and decision-making, but it shouldn't dominate the conversation. And it won't always - it's just the hot topic now. It'll become just part of the convo later.