June numbers of player internet searches on sports betting rise to 23 percent

Sports betting saw a notable increase in June, reports the independent search and social marketing agency Greenlight. It's study ‘Gaming Sector Report – June 2010’, reveals that UK consumers, search-wise, increased from 18 percent in March to 23 percent in June.

By contrast, poker, casino and bingo searches declined somewhat. Overall, UK consumer search for gaming-related terms was down to 2.3 million in June compared to 3 million, 2.7 million and 2.6 in March, April and May, respectively.

“Going by the search trend, it would seem June was a significant month for the sports betting industry, whilst the casino, bingo and poker sectors have seen the reverse”, says Simon Hollingsworth, lead researcher at Greenlight.

“The popularity of sports betting-related searches can be explained by the various sporting events which took place in June, such as Wimbledon and the FIFA World Cup. It will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next quarter with the forthcoming domestic football season.”

Greenlight used industry data and proprietary technology to identify and classify 700 of the most popular search terms used by UK consumers when they went online in June to search for gaming websites, and totaled the number of times each one was used.

This gives an indication of the size of the audience and how Google users went about their searches for gaming websites in June. Greenlight also used the data to compile its quarterly league tables. These chart the best performing websites and brands, in both natural* and paid search**, based on their online visibility and share of voice in relation to the most popular search terms identified.

Some key findings reveal:

* In June, poker-related terms were the most popular, totalling over 773,000 searches. With 32 percent, poker was the only sector to hold its share of the search market despite general perceptions that the game is declining in popularity. Casino (20 percent) and bingo (24 percent) fared less well when compared to March where when their share of search stood at 24 percent and 26 percent, respectively

* 888.com saw its share of voice in natural search increase 2 percent since March. It achieved 34 percent share of voice through ranking at position one for 13 of the keywords analysed including the high volume driving term ‘Casino’ which was searched for 165,000 times in June. However, it was replaced at top spot in Greenlight’s top 60 league table (charting the most visible websites), by Wikipedia.

* Although Ladbrokes remained in position three, it increased its share of voice most since Greenlight’s March report (by 13 percent), closing the gap significantly on 888.com in natural search

* By contrast, FoxyBingo lost 3 percent share of voice and dropped from fourth position down to tenth. Betfred also lost 3 percent visibility and dropped from seventh to position 15. Although these losses in visibility do not appear significant, in a competitive market when other websites increase share of voice, visibility can be greatly affected, Greenlight observes.

* Similarly, Casino.com and William Hill Casino do not feature in Greenlight’s top 60 gaming websites in June, but had appeared at positions four and nine respectively in March

* Achieving 26 percent share of voice, Bingo Hollywood was the most visible advertiser in June, having not featured in Greenlight’s top 60 advertisers for gaming keywords in March. Betfair and Mecca Bingo.com both followed with 24 percent

* Although Betfair bid on more keywords analysed than any other advertiser (71), it bid at an average ad position of five and bid less often than Bingo Hollywood for the high volume driving terms, which accounts for its slightly lower visibility of 24 percent.

* 888 Poker which came in eleventh, achieved 11 percent share of voice in paid search

Greenlight’s top 10 of the 60 most visible gaming websites in both natural and paid search in the UK is:

Website/Advertiser  Natural Search   Paid Search

888.com                    34 percent                  16 percent

Betfair.com               16 percent                   24 percent

Wikipedia.org          35 percent             –

Paddy Power.com    14 percent                    18 percent

Ladbrokes.com          31 percent                   –

888ladies.com          14 percent                        17 percent

William Hill.com         9 percent                       21 percent

Bet365.com            10 percent                        18 percent

Mecca Bingo.com     2 percent                   24 percent

Bingo Hollywood   –                 26 percent

Readers who wish to see the full report can find it here: http://www.greenlightsearch.com/sectorreports/