It's FIFA World Cup 2010 kick-off day in South Africa and football fans across the globe have their own ideas on who they think will win the title. Research firm Experian Hitwise analyzed U.S. searches around the topic in the week to June 5th and found that Americans interested in "soccer" mainly looked for information related to Portugal and Mexico. Read On.
By Player: Ronaldo And Ronaldinho
Namely, Cristiano Ronaldo, who plays for Portugal, "accounted for one-fifth of all World Cup player searches last week in the United States," Experian Hitwise reported. The player was also top of search in France, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand, but only ranked number four in the U.K.
Returning to U.S. searches, Brazil's Ronadinho ranked second with 5.63% of searches. Number three was U.S. player Landon Donovan at 4.24%. UK's Wayne Rooney only came in 10th with 2.33%.
By Country: Portugal And Mexico
Regarding searches at team level, Portugal players were most searched for in the U.S. during the period and Mexico came in second. More surprisingly (but then again, I'm no football kid), South Korea's team 'beat' Argentina and England, as it came third, edging immediately ahead of the two more familiar football teams.
General U.S. Trends
Generally speaking, the number of queries including "world cup" sky-rocketed 226% over the past two weeks. Searches on the exact term "world cup" soared 216% during the same period and drove 50% of the generated traffic to FIFA.com. Yahoo's dedicated World Cup 2010 page received 11% of traffic, followed by Wikipedia with 8%.
In a separate report looking at the week ending May 29th, Heather Dougherty, Director, Research at Hitwise, said that due to the important time difference between the U.S. and South Africa, many of the searches during that period were around the game schedule and where to watch online or with a mobile phone.
In the UK, a big football nation, seaches were also set abuzz by the World Cup.
Yahoo is geared up to serve real-time results and full coverage of the event but Google did no publicize its approach. Is that going to drive eyeballs away from Google and onto Yahoo's search partner Bing? Stay tuned.