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March Madness 2015: Who's "Winning" Via Search?

Kathleen Garvin
March Madness 2015: Who's "Winning" Via Search?

One year ago today, I took a look at keyword data for March Madness teams in SEMrush. (It was also my first foray into crafting blog graphics, and I have the amateur artwork to prove it.)

The annual men's college basketball tourney began yesterday in the United States. Let's see how some popular keywords and teams rank in our SEMrush U.S. Google database.

Keyword Volume

Like last year, "March Madness" is pulling in 301,000 search queries according to our tool.

March-Madness-Keyword-Report Compared to last year, "NCAA bracket" is pulling in significantly fewer searches; a volume of 368k compared to 450k in 2014 (Historical Data is available for Guru users and above).

NCAA-bracket "March Madness bracket," on the other hand, has an average of 110 thousand search queries — up from 74 thousand for this time period last year:


This tells us searchers could be looking up more related keywords this time around, helping to splinter the search volume for the former.

Presidential Bracket

Since 64 teams compete in the NCAA Tournament, I decided to review Barack Obama's bracket and deconstruct his top four picks like I did last year. Those teams are Kentucky, Villanova, Arizona and Duke.

Obama has Kentucky defeating Nova in the Championship. Many oddsmakers like undefeated Kentucky's chances to take the crown as well. Overall, here's how search volume looks for the four teams:

  1. Kentucky basketball, 165,000
  2. Villanova basketball, 49,500
  3. Arizona basketball, 74,000
  4. Duke basketball, 165,000

Kentucky and Duke lead the pack, easily. Both are great teams and familiar faces during March Madness. How about team names?

  1. Kentucky Wildcats, 40,500
  2. Villanova Wildcats, 1,600
  3. Arizona Wildcats, 33,100
  4. Duke Blue Devils, 18,100

Obama picked a Wildcat-heavy Final Four. But who shows up first when you plug "Wildcats" into SEMrush?


Kentucky wins again.

Let the Madness Begin

I live in Philadelphia, and my heart is pulling for the only area team, Villanova. (My alma mater, Temple University, got edged out this year — see ya in 2016, Owls!).

How's your team trending on the SERPs? And who do you have winning the whole thing? Let me know in the comments!

Kathleen Garvin

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Kathleen Garvin is an online editor and analytics wrangler for The Penny Hoarder, the largest personal finance blog. She's also a contributing writer for I Want Her Job and started a beginner-friendly digital marketing blog, The Maroon House. Kathleen is the former blog editor at SEMrush.
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