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Kathleen Garvin

March Madness: Who's Already “Winning” via Search?

Kathleen Garvin
March Madness: Who's Already “Winning” via Search?

March Madness began today in the United States. The annual college basketball tournament is popular for sports fans and gamblers alike.

I decided to use SEMrush to research how some terms and teams were trending based on search volume.

No surprise here, “March Madness” is pulling in some big numbers. It has a search volume of 301,000 and produces 154 million results in the U.S.


Related keywords “NCAA bracket” have a volume of 450,000 and nearly 46 million search results.


Sixty-four teams play in the tournament, so I decided to choose just a few to research. For the month of March, I looked at search volume for (team school) and "basketball" to help narrow the results I wanted.

It’s now become an annual tradition for President Barack Obama to make and share his tournament bracket. I looked at Obama's Final Four in SEMrush. His picks are Michigan St., Louisville, Florida and Arizona.

Louisville (the 2013 NCAA Tournament champions) is winning the race for search volume this month. But of course, these numbers don't tell you everything.

For instance, a search for "Florida Gators" as opposed to "University of Florida basketball" produces a lot more results (90,500). "Florida Gators basketball" and "Florida basketball" also have more results (12,100 each). Likewise, "Louisville Cardinals" and "Louisville Cardinals basketball" resulted in way less search results than "Louisville basketball." This gives you an idea of what users, specifically fans, are querying to find information on that particular team.

I live in Philadelphia, and two local teams made the cut. (Unfortunately, not my alma mater – see ya in 2015, Owls!)

No. 10 seed St. Joe's was out-searched by No. 2 seed Villanova. Based on some recent news, I was curious to see if Hawks coach, Phil Martelli, ranked. This video of Martelli's 4-year-old grandson mimicking him on the court made its way to national morning shows.

Alas, Wildcats coach, Jay Wright, won that round too.

It will be interesting to see the changes as the tournament wears on. How's your team trending?

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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