6 Google Insights into the Most Searched Terms of 2014

Search engines such as Google that provide us with the most searched terms are the all-important navigator of the internet. With one search of the term you're looking for, within seconds you are exposed to that term being used millions, sometimes even billions and trillions, of times throughout articles that could be relevant to what you are searching for.


When an event takes the world by storm, they don't turn on their radios or their TV anymore, they go to the internet, where information is dispensed at a rapid rate that cannot be matched by any other medium. Through an outlet like Google, anyone with an internet connection can type in the event that's transpiring and join hundreds of millions of other people doing the exact same thing.


We did the research into these phenomenons that momentarily grip the world and lead to an incredible amount of searches that end up dominating the year's viral searches and trends, and came away with some interesting facts we previously had no idea of.


World Cup


Let the World Cup be a message to Americans that the sporting world does not revolve around the United States.


Out of the ten most searched athletes last year, only three were American (Ray Rice was third, Michael Phelps was ninth, and Richard Sherman was tenth). Not only were seven of the most searched athletes from a different country, but five played prominent roles in the 2014 World Cup.


Leading the way among all athletes was James Rodriguez, the 20-year-old Colombian who used the World Cup to vault his name into international stardom, followed by Luis Suarez, a Uruguayan who became infamous for biting an Italian defender, at number four, Neymar da Silva Santos, host country Brazil's most famous player, at number five, Mario Gotze, a German who scored the game-winning goal in the World Cup Final, at number six, and Francisco Guillermo Ochoa Magana, a Mexican goalie who earned recognition for his incredible saves, at number eight.


Rodriguez actually earned more searches throughout the year than established names such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.


The two other athletes were Michael Schumacher, a German F1 racer who spent most of last year in a coma, and Jules Bianchi, a French F1 driver who suffered a horrendous accident.


As for the World Cup itself, in a surprising turn of events, the World Cup Final between Argentina and Germany wasn't even the highest-trending match. That distinction belonged to the match between host country Brazil and Germany, an affair that resulted in a shocking and staggering 7-1 defeat for Brazil. Out of then ten highest-trending matches, Brazil was involved in five of the matches, while powerhouse Germany trended in four matches and Argentina trended in two.


The United States should feel proud of itself. While most of the countries that were trending were primarily soccer-dominant nations, such as the Netherlands, Mexico, Belgium and Portugal, the Americans' matchup with Germany, a 1-0 defeat that showed the Americans were worthy of competing with the best, was the tenth highest-trending match.


Croatia was the only anomaly among the highest-trending matches, but that was due to their involvement in the World Cup opener against Brazil.




Remember that little disease that terrorized the United States for about a month or two? Oh, wait, that wasn't ebola. That was the media telling you to be afraid of ebola because of how contagious it was and how easily it could spread and wipe out all human existence.


In reality, a grand total of one American died due to ebola, and that was due to it being untreated past the point of no return. A few other cases cropped up, but were treated, even though we were skeptical of the city of Atlanta's capability of keeping their patients in a controlled environment.


Despite ebola failing to have an actual impact on America, it was the third-most searched term last year worldwide and in the United States. Its peak was reached in the week of October 12th to the 18th, as stories began to emerge of JFK airport in New York City screening people for ebola.



When media hysteria sets in, you can make the people believe whatever you want. Such as ebola actually being a threat to the United States.


Worldwide, however, ebola was the most searched term in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the remaining three countries that are actually being devastated by this problem.


Malaysia Airlines Flight 370


Not a day went by in March when we could turn the TV on or go online and not see a BREAKING NEW DEVELOPMENT in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. It was so popular, in fact, that it was the fourth-most searched term worldwide, as well as in the United States, a nation completely unaffected by the disappearance of a plane in the South Pacific.


Which is why we now have inane clips like this:



By state, Malaysia Airlines was most searched by California (Pacific Ocean connection), New York (Diverse culture and hub of world reports), Hawaii (Pacific Ocean), Nevada, Washington and New Jersey. By city, the term was most searched by San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego and San Jose. That's four out of five cities from California, with the lone exclusion being NYC.


Were the people of California convinced they could find Malaysia Airlines? Who knows.


As for worldwide interest, the countries that searched 'Malaysia Airlines' were all fairly obvious and included nations in the area, as well as those that sent rescue teams and those that claimed they saw it from their country. The only outlier is the United Arab Emirates, which attracted some attention when it claimed Flight 370 on flammable lithium batteries.


Robin Williams


Worldwide and in the United States, no term was searched more than 'Robin Williams'. The beloved comedian shocked fans and followers when his suicide was announced to a stunned and saddened world that could not fathom the thought of the star they grew up on doing that to himself.


His passing allowed us insight to his international influence. Naturally we were aware that he would be heavily influential in the United States and Canada (one and two in countries that searched his name most), but little did we know of the tremendous effect he had elsewhere, such as Australia, the small island nation of Malta, New Zealand, and Jamaica.



What this allowed us was to gain the perspective of those nations in their outlook to Robin Williams. What we found out was that Robin had a strong infatuation with Australia and New Zealand, where he toured. He gained fame in the nations of Malta and Jamaica due to his movie roles; 'Popeye' in Malta and 'Club Paradise' in Jamaica.


Even decades after those movies were released and their steam died down, those countries still showed up in the top ten, with Malta actually beating out larger nations such as the United Kingdom.


Sochi Olympics


Shockingly, the Sochi Olympics were the most searched term exactly where we expected, with Canada leading the way, followed by Russia, Latvia, Belarus and the Czech Republic. Searches for '2014 Winter Olympics' reached its peak February 8th, the day after the opening ceremonies, and bottomed out February 18th, five days before the closing ceremonies when the larger events began to wind down.


The United States cannot be seen in the top ten in searches for '2014 Winter Olympics', but were second in searches for 'Sochi Olympics'.


It should also be unsurprising which states searched for '2014 Winter Olympics' and 'Sochi Olympics' the most, with Vermont leading the way, followed by North Dakota, Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, Utah, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Maine and South Dakota. As far as cities go, Minneapolis was first, followed by Denver, Portland, Boston, San Jose, Sea---wait....San Jose??



Yeah, of course San Jose, the sunny California city with an average temperature in the 70's. No, the city doesn't have some strange infatuation with games in the snow. Their interest was piqued because of the local hockey team, the Sharks, sending over four players. This was enough to vault San Jose's interest in the Olympics over cities such as Chicago and New York.


ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


With over $100 million raised worldwide, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a rousing viral success that brought funds and attention to the little-publicized disease. In the same period last year, between July 29th and August 29th, only $2.8 million was raised. Let that show you the power of social media and networking.


What surprised me in my research of these terms was the sustained interest in the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. Even before and after the challenge, there was significant interest in ALS by those three countries. Only then through further research did I realize the Netherlands had created a campaign two years prior to bring about attention to ALS, as seen in this powerful video:



As you can see, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria have a sustained presence on the map when it comes to ALS:


January 2014:





To this day, interest in ALS is highest in those three countries.

Qualities of a Great SEO Marketer

SEO and SEM are fairly new realms to the traditional marketing world. Many agencies are now looking to expand their departments by including digital marketing solutions. So what are some of the qualities a SEO marketer have?


The Ideal Digital Marketer


Ideally, this person should be a leader in their projects. They must be an excellent in communicating both verbally and written. They should think in terms of finding solutions and solving problems. Time management skills and organization is key with a focus on providing excellent customer service. The ideal candidate should be aware of things happening in all aspects of the online and technological world.


The Entry Level Candidate


This candidate should possess all the qualities mentioned above but also have basic knowledge of technology and a willingness to put effort in learning quickly.


The Senior Level Candidate


The senior should have a strong foundation with knowledge of all markets and techniques both traditional and modern. They should be able to lead a team, teach newcomers and entry-level employees as well as communicate well on complex projects.


Find a person or team who collectively possess these qualities and your digital marketing department will be complete.


Proving SEO Will Bring Traffic to Your Client’s Site.

Any person that works in the SEO business knows that there is a certain level of reluctance when it comes to believing that search traffic will come from the work that is done in optimizing a site. Here are 5 ways to make your client aware that your SEO work is paying off!


  1. Reports on ranking and keyword improvements. SEO reports are done for each one of our clients on a monthly basis. This gives the client raw data on numerical increases coming straight from Google Analytics. Aside from raw data and mumbo jumbo that the client usually does not understand, we take the time to set up a one-hour call to relay the feedback. We also use this data to make improvements on keywords that are not performing as we would expect or to look for new keywords.


  1. Keeping Track of Time. Its important to keep your client in the loop of every single task you work on when it comes to their SEO or SEM campaign. For this reason, we use a project management system called Basecamp, in which we log in every hour of work and the specific task accomplished within that timeframe. This way you keep track of all your work and your client is able to view it as well. This not only keeps your client informed but it builds trust.
  1. Scheduled Meetings. Whether it is once a month or once every two weeks, we always contact all of our clients for a scheduled call to update them on what has been going on with the progress of the projects that we are working on. We either speak with them in person or on the phone. That interaction alone gives the client a sense of trust and the information that they need to know that SEO work is being done properly.
  1. Using other metrics. Aside from Google Analytics, you can prove to your client that your SEO work is being done in other departments other than just keyword rankings. You can use MOZ.com to show them how their errors and warnings have gone down to a minimum. You can also use tools to record the improvement in their social media. Another facet of  SEO is link building. You can track your link building efforts by recording how many links have pointed to their site since your started their campaign.
  1. Proving that SEO takes time. Not many clients are informed of the amount of work, time and effort that goes into getting them the organic traffic they need to make conversions. Most clients seek instant gratification. That’s simply not the way SEO works. You can inform your clients of the time factor by sending them articles or referring them to blog posts that talk about SEO and all the work and time that is involved. If the source is a trusted one, there should be no reason why they would still be skeptical about the work being done.

Link Building Strategies

It seems to me that the most challenging part of SEO comes in after all the optimizations to a website have been made. Tools can guide you to make recommendations on technical issues and keyword usage, but what happens after those changes have been implemented? The real fun starts when its time to get other people to link to your site.


Quick Definition: Link building refers to the process and actions intended to increase the number and quality of inbound links to page. In the past we have discussed the importance of link building and what it can do to your domain and page authority and how it can ultimately lead you to a higher rank on search engines. To read more about this click here: Link Building - The Road to a Higher Rank



The process of link building always begins with planing. Each one of our clients is different, which means that a different link building strategy will be required for each.


The first thing that I do when preparing a link building strategy is to brain storm on the client, their industry and glance at the competition and who is linking to them. Afterwards I go through a pre-made list of strategies and filter through strategies and identify which links that can be considered "low hanging fruit" or "prime" links.


I won't bore anyone to death with a plethora of strategies. Remember, not all strategies work for everyone. I present to you three basic link building strategies that apply to most, regardless of the industry.





This is a basic strategy that applies to everyone. Whether it be partners or bloggers that you may know that put out relevant content to your industry, the easiest and fastest way to acquire links is through using the resources available. For example, I asked on of our clients for a list of partners or known bloggers. The client in turn provided me with a blogger who creates content that is very relevant to the industry and their page rank is good. Just from that, I already have one link in the bag. This strategy should be fairly quick and could potentially yield several valuable links.




This is my opinion is probably one of the most (if not THE MOST) single important strategies to obtaining worthy links to your site. Coming up with content on a regular basis builds links internally by linking out from your posts, but the content also serves as a natural link bait. Creating new, good content regularly gives you opportunities to utilized relevant keywords and adds value to any site. It is a MUST. This is an ongoing strategy that can yield very high quality links but the dependencies require that you develop content and design.




A great strategy for deciding which links you want to target is to look into what your competitors are doing. Who is pointing to their site? You can use tools such as Open Site Explorer to identify inbound links. (Remember that "nofollow" links will not pass SEO juice. Look for only "follow" links.) This takes a lot of the legwork out of searching for valuable links. If people are linking to your competition, why shouldn't they link to you?


The three strategies that I provided should be a good starting point for any brand/company/person who is beginning the link building process. Together, those three strategies can help you lay the foundation of link building. Once you get one link, it only becomes easier to get the next link and so forth.

Link Building - The Road To A Higher Rank

Link Building


For search engines that crawl the web, links are the streets between pages. Using sophisticated link analysis, the engines discover how pages are related to each other and in what ways.


Links pointing to your site do several things for you:


  • Links make it easier for search engines to find the page. As the search bots travel around the Web, they follow links. They index a page, follow the links on that page to other pages, index those pages, follow the links on those pages, and so on. The more links to page, the more likely the page is picked up and indexed search engines, and the more quickly it happens


  • Search engines use the number of links pointing to a page as an indication of the page’s value. If lots of pages link to your page, search engines place a greater value on your page than pages with few links pointing to them. If you have lots of links from sites that are themselves linked to many other sites, search engines could conclude that your site must be really important. Google calls this value the page’s PageRank, but Google isn’t the only search engine to use links as an indication of value; Yahoo! calls it Web Rank, and Bing calls it Page Score


  • Links provide information to search engines about the page they’re pointing to. The link text often contains keywords that search engines can use to glean additional information about your page. The theme of the site linking to your site may also give search engines an indication of your site’s theme. For that reason it is important to acquire links that have relevant keywords to point to your site


  • Links not only bring search bots to a page, but may also bring people to a page. The whole purpose of a search engine campaign is to bring people to your website. The goal is for people to click on these links that will take them to the site.


Link building can prove to be quite a difficult task at times but, if your team plans wisely and creates a well thought strategy, the benefits are tremendous in terms of page and domain authority. This process is one that involves PR work and can take quite some time to see said benefits but it is definitely a necessary process of SEO.

SEO 101 - Commonly Made Mistakes

SEO 101 - Commonly Made Mistakes


Boys and Girls, when it comes to SEO, there is a world wide web of knowledge out there. It can be hard to digest all this new information, but luckily, we have some commonly made errors and pitfalls that can leave you... well... ass backwards.


Mistake #1: Everything revolves around tags and submissions. Many web designers believe that all you need is coding your pages with the right meta tags such as keywords and descriptions and then just submitting it to search engines. WRONG. while this is an important factor, without the proper keywords in your page's content search engines will not index your page with the authority that it needs and deserves.

Mistake # 2: Creating a website and then incorporating SEO. We strongly urge against this. Most companies build a website and then realize the important of SEO afterwards. A rule of thumb is you should build your website with an understanding of search engines that is going to generate traffic that is valuable to your site. Planning and thinking ahead with your SEO expert is the right way to go and will save you money, time and headaches!

Mistake # 3: Not having pages optimized for specific keywords. What are your most important keywords? Have you done your keyword research. This involves thinking like the searcher and choosing keywords that are likely to be typed in to Google or Bing at the beginning of the search process. We think that this is solely one of the most important factors.


It involves some time and thinking but remember everything begins at the search bar. Think about your most important phrases, do your research and optimize your site to include those key phrases in the titles, URL, and content of your site. Think like the searcher and get to #1 on those ranks where you belong!


Stay tuned children, for more SEO 101 tips & tricks.