Sports Betting Searches Rise

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Sports betting searches rise boosted by the World Cup and Wimbledon.

UK consumer search for sports betting-related terms increased significantly in June. This saw the sector’s share, search-wise, increase from 18% in March to 23% in June. By contrast, poker, casino and bingo took a hit.

Sports betting saw a notable increase in June giving casino, poker and bingo a run for their money. The latest report by independent search and social marketing agency Greenlight, ‘Gaming Sector Report – June 2010’, reveals UK consumer search for sports betting-related terms totalled 550,779. This saw the sector’s share, search-wise, increase from 18% in March to 23% in June. By contrast, poker, casino and bingo took a hit. Overall, UK consumer search for gaming-related terms was down to 2.3 million in June compared to 3 million, 2.7 million and 2.6 in March, April and May, respectively.

“Going by the search trend, it would seem June was a significant month for the sports betting industry, whilst the casino, bingo and poker sectors have seen the reverse”, says Simon Hollingsworth, lead researcher at Greenlight. “The popularity of sports betting-related searches can be explained by the various sporting events which took place in June, such as Wimbledon and the FIFA World Cup. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next quarter with the forthcoming domestic football season.”

Greenlight used industry data and proprietary technology to identify and classify 700 of the most popular search terms used by UK consumers when they went online in June to search for gaming websites and totaled the number of times each one was used. This gives an indication of the size of audience and how Google users went about their searches for gaming websites in June. Greenlight also used the data to compile its quarterly league tables. These chart the best performing websites and brands, in both natural and paid search, based on their online visibility and share of voice in relation to the most popular search terms identified.

Some key findings reveal:

  •     In June, poker-related terms were the most popular totalling over 773,000 searches. With 32%, poker was the only sector to hold its share of the search market. However, casino (20%) and bingo (24%) fared less well when compared to March where when their share of search stood at 24% and 26%, respectively
  • saw its share of voice in natural search increase 2% since March. It achieved 34% share of voice through ranking at position one for 13 of the keywords analysed including the high volume driving term ‘Casino’ which was searched for 165,000 times in June. However, it was replaced at top spot in Greenlight’s top 60 league table (charting the most visible websites), by Wikipedia
  •     Although Ladbrokes remained in position three, it increased its share of voice most since Greenlight’s March report (by 13%), closing the gap significantly on in natural search
  •     By contrast, FoxyBingo lost 3% share of voice and dropped from fourth position down to tenth. Betfred also lost 3% visibility and dropped from seventh to position 15. Although these losses in visibility do not appear significant, in a competitive market when other websites increase share of voice, visibility can be greatly affected
  •     Similarly, and WilliamHillCasino do not feature in Greenlight’s top 60 gaming websites in June, but had appeared at positions four and nine respectively in March
  •     Achieving 26% share of voice, BingoHollywood was the most visible advertiser in June, having not featured in Greenlight’s top 60 advertisers for gaming keywords in March. Betfair and both followed with 24%
  •     Although Betfair bid on more keywords analysed than any other advertiser (71), it bid at an average ad position of five and bid less often than BingoHollywood for the high volume driving terms, which accounts for its slightly lower visibility of 24%
  •     888Poker which came in eleventh, achieved 11% share of voice in paid search

According to Greenlight on the whole, paid search visibility for gaming websites was relatively low, compared to individual segments.

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Notes to Editors:

Greenlight is an independent specialist search and social marketing agency, the largest of its kind in Europe and the fastest growing. With over 100 blue-chip clients including Santander, Vodafone UK, New Look, Interflora, Co-operative Financial Services and ghd, and a multitude of awards to its name, Greenlight is a leader in the search marketing space, and is recognised worldwide for its commitment to delivering record ROI for its clients and investing in the future of search.

In addition, Greenlight is considered the premier thought leader in the sector, publishing widely read industry reports, original research, speaking at most trade events, and delivering a highly respected search training programme in conjunction with the IDM. Greenlight was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in London, with offices in New York.


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Krishna Rao
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