Did a Search Engine Strategy Bring the 2012 Super Bowl to Indianapolis?

Depositphotos 6114248 s

No, but we'd like to think that it did have some influence. We know that our efforts, at minimum, had a successful impact in the search engine results. At the time of announcement, The Our 2012 Super Bowl site wasn't on any SERP – but by the announcement, we were the only city that had a site in the search engine results.

It may have been lofty, but one of the goals that Pat Coyle and I had when Innovative launched the Super Bowl web site was to make sure the web site dominated the search engines and was a prominent site on the web. It was – and still is.

2012 super bowl serp

We knew that the NFL wasn't paying too much attention to the Internet – but we wanted everyone else to only see Indy when they wondered who was hosting it next. That's why I stayed up all night to optimize the website and Pat built a collective strategy to solicit feedback and discussions throughout other regional sites like IndyMojo, The Indianapolis Star, I Choose Indy, Smaller Indiana, etc., and we enlisted the assistance of other regional bloggers to spread the word.

We even launched a Super Bowl 2012 Youtube Channel to push the videos out virally. To keep the site alive in the engines, we pulled in feeds from all the regional news and blogs via Yahoo! Pipes into the page.

When the news wasn't changing, the videos were. It was a continuous, unrelenting attack of content and backlinks to try to keep the site on the radar and “Indianapolis” relative to “Super Bowl” and “2012” in the results pages. Innovative executed the strategy brilliantly – adjusting and improving the content as needed.

And it worked!

Keywords brought us a lot of traffic, traffic that is now spiking now that Indianapolis is chosen:
keywords super bowl

Current traffic has moved from ~150 visits a day to spiking to 9,000 visits:
google analytics

Okay, maybe Dennis Hopper helped!

Check out a higher resolution version of this video at the Our 2012 Super Bowl website.

Perhaps the greatest part of this was that the growth of the site and its placement was accomplished through all white-hat (not evil) strategies. Simple word of mouth marketing, great site design, content placement, blogs, and social media, etc – in a comprehensive strategy – proved to be a winner. It was a great campaign and we hope we played a little part in the efforts to bring the Super Bowl to Indianapolis!

Best of all, it didn't require a lot of effort – just a lot of strategy up front and then ensuring that the strategy was continuously executed. Special thanks to Mark Miles and Pat Coyle for letting me help the team. Also thanks to Innovative for putting up with my midnight edits and demands – they were great.


  1. 1

    Amazing work to ALL who put in time to make this huge win for Indianapolis happen this week. Doug, you’re my hero.

    • 2

      Hey Ryan!

      Thanks for your help as well! I was a very, very, very tiny part of this effort. I think I pulled one all-nighter and attended a few meetings. The other members, including the web team at Innovative, put in many, many hours every single week.

      It was fun! And leading up to 2012 will be fantastic!


  2. 3
    • 4

      Good catch, Stephen. Actually the domain name and the web design were done before Pat and I came on board. We had to work with what was there rather than go our own way. I would have – indeed – selected a domain that had “2012” and “super” and “bowl” in it. And I probably would have had the site embedded in an subdirectory called “indy”. 🙂

  3. 5

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.