Game of Thrones Google Search Trends and Free Publicity

Game of Thrones (GoT) has been taking the internet by storm since it first aired in April 2011. And with the finale of season eight hitting our screens this week, the internet has been abuzz with burning questions from fans, old and new, seeking more insight into their favourite characters, their plotlines and on-screen faux pas.

In this blog we take a look at the most searched for terms from season eight, how search for Game of Thrones has grown over the past eight years, and how the recent cameo of a coffee cup has given Starbucks a free publicity boost.

Game of Thrones Basque Country, Spain

Game of Thrones: Google Search Trends Are Coming!

The popularity of Game of Thrones has grown exponentially over the years and this is reflected in how search trends around the show have grown.

Apart from an apparent plateau between seasons four and five, search interest in both the UK and the US has climbed each year to coincide with the release of a new season of the much-loved show.

Game of Thrones season 1

Game of Thrones Interest Over time

The Game of Thrones search trends show an ideal search trajectory. While not every topic or industry will enjoy such a positive upward trend, as digital marketers, this shows us the importance of understanding the peaks and troughs for any given topic or keyword; not every industry will be quite as predictable as the release of a new season of a popular TV show, but by delving into the topic you want to rank for, and investigating the trends around keywords in this area, you can begin to build a picture of how your target demographic is behaving online and when they’re most likely to consume your content.

Google has also shared the most searched-for terms following each episode of season eight, offering insight into what fans have been looking for, and how these queries have changed over the course of the season.

Trending questions after episode 1:

  • What happened on Game of Thrones?
  • Who died in Game of Thrones?
  • Which dragon is a White Walker?
  • What are the dragons names on Game of Thrones?
  • Who is the Night King on Game of Thrones?

Trending questions after episode 6:

  • Why didn’t Drogon kill Jon?
  • What happened to Drogon?
  • What happened to Jon Snow?
  • Where did Drogon take Daenerys?
  • Who survived Game of Thrones?

Queries around Dany’s dragons featured heavily in the most popular Game of Thrones Google searches throughout season eight. This presents an obvious in-road for anyone producing GoT content or promoting GoT merchandise: fans are keen to learn more about the dragons, so answering their questions with quality content is a good way to rank well and draw them to your site.

Now, whilst you may be reading this and thinking “but I don’t want to rank for Game of Thrones search terms”, the key takeaway from this example is again understanding what your audience wants. You may be targeting a very different audience to the pool of Game of Thrones fans, but by understanding how your audience is searching online, and which questions, or longtail keywords, they’re using to solve their problems, you can begin to build solid content around their queries to draw them to your website.

If you’re interested in seeing a cool visual showing how the most searched for characters have changed between 2011 and the 2019 finale, click here. Daenerys and Jon have remained consistently high over the seasons, but it’s interesting to see how search around some of the other major characters has changed.

I Drink Coffee and I Know Things: That Game of Thrones Starbucks Faux Pas

And finally, we couldn’t write a blog about Game of Thrones search trends and online behaviour without talking about the scandalous coffee cup cameo.

We may all be accustomed to product placement as a marketing tactic in major TV shows and films, but, in the medieval fantasy of the Game of Thrones setting, where many of our modern day products would be out of place, no one expected to see a coffee cup crop up.

HBO have taken the flack over the accidental product placement in episode four, apologising to fans, and Tweeting a tongue-in-cheek: ‘News from Winterfell. The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. #Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea’. Starbucks, meanwhile, have been riding high on the free publicity.

As it transpired, the cup in question wasn’t actually a Starbucks cup, but as fans labelled it as such, the coffee giant has enjoyed the increased exposure. According to CNBC, the Game of Thrones Starbucks blip could have resulted in $2.3 billion in free advertising for the chain – that’s a big win in any marketer’s book.

What are your thoughts on the search trends around Game of Thrones? Are you surprised by the most searched for characters? If you want to find out the search trends and most asked questions for your business, we can help.

As part of our SEO service, we conduct comprehensive keyword research, analysing the search landscape for your industry, and mapping the trends, peaks, and troughs that you should be factoring into your content marketing plan. Get in touch to learn more.