NFL Social Media Power Rankings

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We’ve seen some great action on the field in the NFL through the first 10 weeks of the season—including Tom Brady’s return, Adrian Peterson’s resurgence, and DeAndre Hopkins’ coming out party—but how has the NFL performed on social media?

All 32 NFL teams use a multitude of social media platforms to connect and engage with football fans, combining for more than 122 million social fans around the world. Luckily for us, the folks at Sprinklr examined all 32 teams’ social media use through the first 10 weeks of the 2015 NFL season. 

Let’s take a look at what they came up with.

On and Off Field Standings

NFL social media standingsLooking at the on-field standings vs. social media rankings, two of the NFL’s top teams also rank within the top five in terms of social media standings. 

It should be to no one’s surprise that the undefeated Patriots rank No. 2 in the social media standings through the first 10 weeks of the season. Their play on the field—combined with the Tom Brady drama off of it—makes for a lot of social headlines. 

The biggest surprise here?

The Oakland Raiders, who haven’t had a winning season since losing in the Super Bowl to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002. But, as we’ll see later, the data shows that Oakland fans drive a lot of engagement on social media. 

Most Talked About

Most talked about NFL teamsWeek by week, no NFL team is talked about more on social media than Brady’s New England Patriots, as the Pats have dominated seven of the 10 weeks. New England garnered 276.3k mentions in the first week of the season—a game in which Brady was supposed to miss due to suspension. Instead, the Patriots’ quarterback threw four touchdown passes in a 28-21 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

New England’s Instagram account posted a photo of Brady following the Pat’s win in Week 1, driving more than 96k likes.

Most Followed

Most Followed NFL teams on social media

Somewhere along the way in NFL history, the Dallas Cowboys became “America’s Team.” Now I’m a New York Giants fan so I don’t buy that type of hype, but as you can see from the above graphic, the Cowboys are the most followed NFL team on social media, with a combined 11 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Dallas has only made the playoffs twice in the last seven seasons, which is a far cry from their performance in the early 90’s, when the Cowboys won three Super Bowls between 1992-1995.

Moving down, the Patriots come in at second, the Steelers third, the Green Bay Packers fourth, and then the San Francisco 49ers round out the top five, with 6.5 million followers. 

Maybe it’s the cheerleaders that have NFL fans following the Cowboys? They do have their own Instagram account, you know.

Most Engaging

Most engaging NFL social media accountsLooking at which NFL teams drive the most engagement through social media, the trend continues, with the Patriots, Cowboys, and Steelers dominating the top three spots. 

What’s most interesting about this graphic—which was foreshadowed earlier—is the fact that the Oakland Raiders have the best engagement ratio among all 32 professional teams, with an impressive 36%. To me, this proves that the Raiders have a loyal fan base. 

The Arizona Cardinals are having a great season here in 2015, sporting a 7-2 record through the first 10 weeks of the season, which is helping to keep their social media fans interested.

I’m also not surprised to see the Buffalo Bills round out the top three. Anytime you have a controversial coach like Rex Ryan at the helm, it can make for an interesting social media experience.

Most Active

Most active NFL teams on social mediaEarlier, we saw that the Packers were the fourth-most followed NFL team in the league, and when looking at this graphic, we can understand why. Green Bay posts the most each week, with an average of 342 posts across the three major social networks. Posts like this—an Instagram video of Green Bay legends Brett Favre and Bart Star embracing each other on Thanksgiving night—show why fans love following the Packers’ accounts.

You’ll see the Raiders there at No. 2, which is impressive, especially given their No. 1 ranking in average engagement ratio. Oakland posts a lot on social media and the fans eat it up.

Closing out the top five you’ll see my four-time Super Bowl champion New York Giants, posting an average of 288 times per week. It’s posts like this that get me amped up for game time!

Thumbnail image via Shutterstock

NFL social media data and images via Sprinklr

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Does Guest Blogging Help With SEO Rankings?

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I know, I know— controversial topic after Matt Cutt’s blog post shunning guest blogging for SEO in 2014.

Even more controversial after the mass penalty on MyBlogGuest.com and the “all nofollow” reaction from eConsultancy that followed. Guest blogging really seems like a gray area to find your marketing and link building efforts in right now.

But it’s a question everybody keeps asking: “Does guest blogging still help with SEO?”

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The answer is neither yes or no, but actually slightly more complicated.

I got two writers to share their ideas for this post. Their insight makes it clear that things have changed, but not so much to the smart (and honest) business.

Read on and take away.

Guest Blogging Doesn’t Help With SEO Rankings As It Used To…

Deborah Anderson from Social Web Cafe recalls when it was easier to rank with guest blogging and why it doesn’t work as it used to:

Previously, there was some SEO benefit with guest blogging because of the “dofollow” links. Of course, there is no such thing as a dofollow link. What it really is is the absence of the “nofollow” rel tag connected to the link. This told Google to follow the link (dofollow) and that provided SEO benefit.

What happened is that some people were putting up very inferior “crap” articles and the search results (SERPs) were reflecting poor quality content. Therefore, Google singlehandedly put a stop to that benefit, to stop people from putting up poor quality articles only for the purpose of the SEO benefit. That move hurt the rest of us who didn’t mind the SEO benefit but were guest blogging for the other benefits.

What I just described is the direct benefit. The indirect benefits of guest blogging still exist. Those include branding, exposure, building the writing portfolio, networking, etc. Also, there are some sites that do not use the nofollow tag (in other words, dofollow), but those are becoming fewer and fewer. What happened back in March of 2014, to MyBlogGuest’s clients (basically all of them) resulted in everyone changing their links, site-wide, to nofollow. Those who did not remained under penalty from Google. That caused other sites to also change their links to nofollow so that they would not be penalized by Google.

It was a brilliant move by Google, to inflict fear across the globe, for publishers and writers on the Internet. In one fell swoop they were able to make a statement about the type of content they want to show in their search engine. We, as consumers of Google products, are to blame, as well, because we gave them the power to be the top dog for search. And, what can I say. I love their calendar and I am the “hangout queen” using the Google hangout product.

There are still indirect SEO benefits to guest blogging (i.e. a viral article that happens to do well in the search rankings), but it is not the SEO benefit that it used to be a couple of years ago. If you are a writer, your best bet is to write for other reasons and then count the SEO benefits as icing on the cake. If you are a publisher, your best bet is to nofollow the links that are contained in the guest articles that you receive.

It follows that guest blogging as a way to build links and help with SEO is no longer a viable strategy, even though guest blogging always helped and still helps with your branding efforts and it definitely helps to pull links from the Web in indirect ways, like Deborah suggests, which the next paragraph is all about.

BUT You Can Still Guest Blog To Indirectly Help Your SEO Rankings

Not all is lost with the “guest blogging penalty.” Here is what David Leonhardt from THGM Ghostwriter Service has to say about it:

Anything that spreads your name is good for SEO. Every time you put your name out there, there is a greater chance that people will look for your website, find something they really like and link to it or share it on social media, and that’s good for SEO.

If there is a hyperlink, even a NoFollow one, that serves the same purpose. If the link is DoFollow, even better.

The value of guest blogging for SEO depends greatly on the quality of the content on your website. If lots of people read your amazing guest post, then rush to see what’s on your website, only to ding boring stuff, forget earning links and social shares from them.

When you get nofollow links to your blog posts and articles, users will still find them and link back to them as helpful resources in their posts (editorially) if they deem your content trustworthy and authoritative. That is what I do here at Bosmol as a writer anytime I stumble upon an amazing resource that fits into a post I’m writing— I go ahead and link it, whether that link was originally nofollowed or not.

Continue to guest blog and let users find you, if not search engines. In the end, like the say “all chickens come home to roost”, you will still get backlinks that are beneficial for your SEO efforts.

Do YOU guest blog? Has your opinion of guest blogging changed over time or are you still a fan?

Share in the comments below.

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