The fortunes of William Hill and Ladbrokes over the last five years have been well documented and can be easily tracked according to their respective share prices and rise and fall in revenues and profits.
But Global Betting and Gaming Consultants has found an interesting correlation between the performance of the two leading UK bookmakers and the relative frequency of the terms “william hill” and “ladbrokes” being searched for on Google.
The graph below shows the relative search frequency of the terms “william hill” and “ladbrokes” on Google between 2009 and February 2014.
Quite why search frequency should track business performance is less clear to understand. Ladbrokes has been advertising itself at least as heavily as William Hill over recent years, especially on UK television.
Also, search results should not take into account if the searcher is looking for good or bad stories – Ladbrokes has certainly been in the financial press as much as William Hill in the last few years as its financial performance has suffered.
If search results and their frequency do act as an indicator of performance/popularity with consumers, then any rise in Ladbrokes’ line in the coming months could be an early guide that the deal with Playtech is having the same effect as it did for William Hill.