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What Time Is The Super Bowl? No One Cares Anymore

In 2011, the Huffington Post cracked the code. It ran an SEO keyword-laden article headlined "What Time Does The Superbowl Start?", and cleaned up. By reaching the top of search engine results, it drew the clicks of millions of people searching for that phrase—style error and all.

It was the brainchild of HuffPo "Trends and Traffic Editor" Craig Kanalley, and as you might expect it was reverse-engineered. He saw the search phrases first, and built the content second. Though the Super Bowl had been held at basically the same time for two decades, people were, for the first time, turning to Google to answer their questions.


The imitators to HuffPo's brilliance spilled out the following year, but the success was hard to duplicate. For one, there were just too many competing sites trying to tell you what time the Super Bowl would start. For another, most were edged out by itself, whose "What Time Is Super Bowl 46" topped the Google results.

2013 was somehow worse, if possible, because a lot of people are just really bad at traffic whoring. The NFL again dominated the search results, but scrolling down just led you to shitshows like a Bleacher Report report article that didn't actually tell you the time of the Super Bowl, and, which had an incorrect start time.

More notably, the volume of searches declined precipitously from the previous year. It seemed people were finally figuring out when the Super Bowl was.


The fun and the free traffic is over. Do a search right now for "What time does the Super Bowl start" or "What time is the Super Bowl?" and you will find slim pickings. The results are all either meta or genuinely informative, with barely any straight-up SEO bait. (Though Bleacher Report soldiers on nobly, with at least five different stories offering up bare-bones information underneath optimized headlines.)


What happened? The war finally ended in 2014, and Google won it. For any search of anything related to Super Bowl kickoff time, Google puts the answer atop the page, with no need to scroll down or click on links. Even declined to create its own "What time is the Super Bowl" splash page this year. Not even the mighty NFL can out-internet Google.

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