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Google dissects London 2012

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London 2012 search data

Google has published search data for London 2012 – an event it describes as ‘the most wired Games ever’.

In an official blog post by Google UK’s product marketing manager Richard Keelty, it was revealed that global search volume was ‘dramatically higher’ for this Olympics than Beijing 2008. Moreover, the most successful nations recorded a particularly noticeable spike in traffic.

Sporting success reflected online

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jamaican searches for ‘track and field’ increased 40 per cent from four years earlier as the Caribbean island was gripped by Usain Bolt’s quest to defend his three gold medals, not least from countryman Yohan Blake. Similarly, US searches for ‘swimming’ were up 25 per cent as Michael Phelps became the most successful Olympian of all time, amid fierce competition from fellow American Ryan Lochte.

Google also disclosed which individual athletes have been generating the most searches. Bolt topped the UK charts, followed by Jessica Ennis, Michael Phelps, Victoria Pendleton and Andy Murray. These results are hardly a surprise – yesterday, it was announced that Bolt accounted for the most tweets during London 2012.

However, it was a different story in the US where Michael Phelps reigned supreme. The second most searched for athlete across the pond was Ryan Lochte, who came in ahead of Lolo Jones, Usain Bolt and Alex Morgan respectively.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword, said: “Google’s figures underline why seasonality plays such an important part in many search marketing campaigns. Any organisation that ranks highly for the most popular swimming or Michael Phelps-related keywords in the US, for example, will have experienced a major spike in traffic during London 2012.”

Written by Richard Frost

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