Google: Football clubs are gambling away the influencer potential of their stars

The results of the investigation of web-netz sports show that most clubs fail to exploit the potential of their stars on Google. Felix Benckendorff, who directs web-netz sports, explains: “Our data surveys in the first and second Bundesliga show that the individual players of the clubs in total cause a huge search volume, in some clubs even much more than it Players can not only achieve the value of a Most Value Player in sports, but also with a view to marketing the clubs, so it is all the more important for the clubs to make effective use of the appeal of their employed contract players as influencers . ”

“The stars have a huge appeal”

The most prominent international example is superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. The social media channels of his new club Juventus Turin got in the summer of 2018 an increase of three million users. Just on the day of the announcement of the transfer from Real Madrid to Turin, Juventus Turin reportedly sold Yahoo Sports Italy Over 500,000 jerseys – probably with a turnover of 50 to 75 million euros.


In the German Bundesliga FC Bayern München also experienced a boom on their channels with Colombian star James Rodriguez when the South American moved from Real Madrid to Munich in 2017. And the party in P1 of Bayern star Jérôme Boateng on the evening of the top match against Borussia Dortmund on April 6 also caused huge online swirls in the best of influencer lifestyle manner, as the second issue of his magazine “BOA” was celebrated.

For Benckendorff is clear: “The stars have a huge appeal, which the Bundesliga clubs should not miss as an employer.” And that’s especially true of the online world, where it’s important for clubs to direct fans’ searches to club websites. Benckendorff explains: “Anyone who does not appear on Google on page one of the search results – and that as high as possible – loses relevance or is not noticed at all.”

Also interesting: The attraction of the jersey: Between cult and commerce

For this reason, web-netz sports has placed key questions such as these in the focus of its analyzes:

  • Which players are among the most popular Bundesligastars searched on Google?
  • How do the clubs use the sometimes huge ranges of their players?
  • On which page does the employer page of the employer club appear for the player you are looking for?

A look at the numbers of the aggregated search volume for all players of a club in the table below provides an interesting overview of the extreme range potential of German top football clubs in Germany alone.

Ranking with sum of searches for all players of a club in the month


FC Bayern Munich



Borussia Dortmund



B. Mönchengladbach



Eintracht Frankfurt


Sandhausen sensation

The squad of second division SV Sandhausen surprised in the evaluation with a remarkable search volume (36,000), which is higher than that of cult clubs with long-standing and high fan resonance, as the FC St. Pauli (15,820) – with the status of an international football brand – or even Union Berlin (30,250). The cause is obvious and underscores the influencer theme mentioned above.

Because with the Icelandic football professional Rurik Gislason SVS has since the 2018 World Cup extremely sought-after influencers in his ranks, which has given the media rather unattended small club a very large attention boost. According to Gislason, an average of 14,800 fans search monthly, which already equals 40 percent of the total SVS search volume. These numbers reveal that an influencer like Gislason should be used as a traffic turbo for the club’s homepage.

Click for Click: No kick for the clubs

A look at the table below provides hard SEO facts: When looking for top stars, the clubs are empty. Because when search queries for players are entered on Google, the first page of the search results will never show the websites of the clubs – with the exception of Robert Lewandowski – who appears in fifth position on the first page.

A particularly prominent example of the digital dilemma is goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of FC Bayern München, who attracts the most searches among all Bundesliga stars with an average of 165,000 a month. On page one of the results enthrall above Neuers own channels, while FC Bayern appears as an employer only on page two at position 13.

Google ranking of the top 11 stars

Google Ranking The Top 11 Stars 20190425
The table shows the Google ranking of the top 11 stars. The most sought after is Manuel Neuer, but his club ranks far behind in 13th position – leaving him empty. Table: web-net

The sum of the search requests is huge. Alone the top 4 come to a total of half a million searches – every month, only in Germany, only on Google! In addition to six stars from FC Bayern Munich and the BVB duo Mario Götze and Marco Reus storm two Swabian attackers in the top 10 field: Evergreen and over-30s attacker Mario Gomez from VfB Stuttgart and ex-VfB talent Timo Werner as a national player of RB Leipzig. On rank 11 of the table followed by goalkeeper Kevin Trapp a star of Eintracht Frankfurt.

Benckendorff: “The demand is very high, unfortunately, the clubs make it so far hardly to own, because according to click probability analyzes one must assume that nearly 99.9 per cent of the user does not click a result from side two.”

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The “wolves” at the top in front of the “Werkself”

Search Volume and Rankings The Bundesliga Club 20190425
The table shows the average ranking position in March 2019. Table: web-net

VfL Wolfsburg secured the top spot as the best ranking club just ahead of Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Overall, the VfL lands with many other players on the first page of search results.

Noteworthy in the runner-up Bayer 04 Leverkusen: The Bayer04 website is not only relatively easy to find for their active players, but also to the well-known tied to the club former players, Benckendorff emphasizes: “Sports official Rudi Völler ensures as a fan favorite still for a large online demand with an average of 22,000 monthly searches. ” A glance at the list of former Bayer04 stars shows how much attractiveness there is in the SEO radar – including Michael Ballack, Ze Roberto or Lucio.

The “big ones” give “small”

The German top teams FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund generate the largest search query interest in Google, but can not convince in the findability to their players. Both seem to have not yet discovered the demand at Google – at least they serve these with hardly a player of their cadre.

Thus, the Bayern are ranked with their player pages on average only at 41st position, the BVB even only on rank 59th bottom is Borussia Mönchengladbach. The popular club leaves the nearly 200,000 searches per month lying fallow and currently ranks to any query with the appropriate player landing page in the top 100 search results.


Benckendorff recommends: “Investing in SEO measures means tackling the technical readability of a website competently, so that Google can find relevant information on the website easier.”

Since the content is tangible on-site by the players, it has to be “organized in a targeted manner and SEO optimized,” says Benckendorff.

Also interesting: How to: SEO for websites

This article was first published by Web.Netz with complete analysis.

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