Google puts Premiership and Serie-A football fixtures at top of serps

It seems that Googlehas suddenly  subscribed to that famous old adage of Bill Shankly’s – football is not a matter of life or death, it’s more important than that – given that they’ve started pushing Premiership, and Serie-A fixtures to the top of their serps (search engine results pages) for searches using city names that coincide with clubs.

Search for Bologna, and google seems to assume that you're a footie fan

Search for Bologna, and google seems to assume that you're a footie fan

Example, do a search in for Bologna, and you’ll get at the top of the page – with a football icon – the next two fixtures for Serie-A club Bologna FC, provided by UEFA.

Try the same for Blackburn and you’ll get the next two Premiership fixtures for Blackburn Rovers, provided by

This is an interesting development, and one that may cause a bit of a flurry for those developing and running travel-related sites, where ranking for a particular city name is important, and made just that little bit more difficult by these seemingly parachuted-in results.

Maybe it’s because searches for these two cities statistically tend towards football, but I doubt it – particularly in the case of Bologna which is struggling to remain in Serie A, and can hardly half-fill its stadium for most matches.

It’s hard to argue, I would suggest, that  the #2 and #3 results for ‘Bologna’, wikipedia pages on the city and the sausage respectively,  are less important than upcoming fixtures for Bologna fc – indeed Bologna fc’s actual site ranks a lowly #15 on the serps for the same term.

Interestingly if you do a search for Milan, where the wikipedia page for Berlusconi’s club A.C. Milan is #2 in the overall results, you get no fixtures. Is this because football is less important in Milan? Or because there are two clubs in the city? Or simply because there’s something else triggering the fixtures at the top of the page?

Probably because there’s something else triggering the results, given that a search for Liverpool – a city which has two clubs – gives upcoming fixtures at Liverpool fc only. Will this lead Everton fc fans move over en-masse to Bing as a protest?

And why is it that these results are only coming through – as far as my brief research shows – for Serie A and the Premiership. What about Spoain’s La Liga, and the German  Bundesliga?

All of which is to say that, though we’re  football fans at Boduweb (and support Bologna FC as it happens), maybe it’s best to tweak this new system so that fixtures get returned for searches for the club not the city.

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