Tuesday, February 28, 2006

How to save the N.F.L.

Just don't tell the Old Strathcona Football League. And yes, there is such a thing.

Forget about the collective bargaining agreement. The National Football League has a bigger problem: an identity crisis. With the interweb becoming the "hot" new medium, an organization needs to have a presence "on-line." Further, once it gets on-line, it needs to attract viewers to its interweb location. That's where search programs called "engines" come in. The engines, such as Hot Bot, Dog Pile and the Go Network, steer viewers to various interweb "sites" based on the terms that those viewers enter into the search program. By making shrewd use of these "key-words," an organization can maximize the number of viewers it draws in. The NFL, however, is asking for trouble with one of it's key-words. Consider:

WHEN YOU SEARCH for "Football" on Google, NFL.com is result No. 1 out of an estimated 563 million pages.

WHEN YOU SEARCH for "League" on Google, NFL.com is result No. 2 out of an estimated 389 million pages:
Major League Baseball
National Football League
WHEN YOU SEARCH for "National" on Google, NFL.com is a measly No. 35 out of an estimated 4.13 billion pages:
National Car Rental
National Semiconductor
National Instruments
National Archives and Records Administration
National Rail Enquiries (U.K.)
National Science Foundation
National Institutes of Health
National Geographic
National Education Association
National Park Service
National Public Radio
National Review
National Basketball Association
National Weather Service
Democratic National Committee
PTA (National)
National Cancer Institute
National Safety Council
National Gallery (London)
National Express
National Academies
National Archives (U.K.)
National MS Society
National Endowment for the Arts
Republican National Committee
American National Standards Institute
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)
National Wildlife Federation
New York Times national news
National Zoo
National Audubon Society
National Rifle Association
National Statistics (U.K.)
National Football League
However, when you search for "official site" on Google, NFL.com is an impressive No. 10 out of an estimated 313 million pages. That puts the league on the first page of results no matter what parameters you're using. That's more like it. So, Paul Tagliabue, if you still read Down and Distance, take note: Switching the name to the Official Site Football League could increase your traffic like 10% or more. Don't just leave that money on the table, man.

The OSFL. Finally, a league for our generation!

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