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Don’t Be Like Gatorade. Take Care of Your SEO: A Case Study.

May 13th, 2010 | | Blogging for SEO, Nuts & Bolts of Optimization

Money on the Table

In 2010, Gatorade released a new commercial line called “Gatorade has Evolved.” The commercial features a catchy new song by the same title. The jingle even stirred a buzz and a little confusion. The confusion started to make me mad. I was running into what I confirmed where misconceptions about the song:

“It was written by Bo Diddley.”
“It’s an Otis Redding Song.”
“It’s not available for commercial release.”

I discovered the song was written by David Banner and was sung not by Otis Redding, (though I can hear why people thought that) but by Kermit Quinn. And, sure, sites like the AOL Radio Blog were right that the song wasn’t available for commercial release (yet), but what they didn’t point out that the MP3 was sitting on the Gatorade site.

I took my findings,  posted it on my poor, neglected site 11 days ago on a Sunday night at 6pm. By midnight I had close to 300 hits.

After that I was I was getting about 600 hits a day off that post. More importantly, I was hovering around the top 3 for “Gatorade Has Evolved,” and many other variations of the term. Especially any variation of the search term with “MP3,” “David Banner,” “Kermit Quinn,” and even “Otis Redding” in it.


Now people who pay more attention to their site have jumped in. Especially those with MP3 sites that are offering the song now. And they NBA playoffs have less games a night / week so the commercial airs less. My rankings have fallen in some spots and I dunno how much I want to fight to keep the rankings…or have the time.

But the most shocking to me was that Gatorade didn’t appear in the search terms for “Gatorade Has Evolved” or “Gatorade Evolve” until the last couple days. They can thank bloggers for linking to their page because their onsite SEO isn’t doing anything. Heavy flash, hidden content…

by the way, Gatorade, running the same lines of content between P tags and behind your Flash animation on every page of your site isn’t helpful. In fact, some might think it to be hidden text and, gasp, duplicate content. Oh yeah, UNIQUE META DATA per page wouldn’t hurt. And are you really trying to put the same Google verification tag on every page of the site? 2002 called. They’re glad you’re keeping the faith.

Unless you expect people to be able to type the easy-to-remember:


The point is my poor, neglected blog shouldn’t be kicking an international brand’s a** on their own keywords. I know I’ve taken close to 4 thousand hits they should have had and I didn’t jump in til the second round of the NBA playoffs. I can’t imagine the 10s of thousands of visitors they could have had. And though, yes, I sent my fair share of traffic to them and played my part in their World Wide Rave, my point is their site should be right along with us collecting and converting that traffic from the moment that commercial first aired.

That traffic should lead to conversions. For an international brand site with Gatorade’s age, history, backlinks, and promotion machine, that’s leaving money on the table.

It’s almost inexcusable.

Are you letting these kinds of golden SEO opportunities slip through your fingers? Oh I hope not.

And Gatorade (PepsiCo), Thank You. :-)

(photo credit: 1)  wynk and 2) me via Flickr)

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