FIFA World Cup 2010: Did South Africa Miss an Opportunity to Make a Lasting Impression?

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Amidst much fanfare, the 2010 FIFA World Cup is underway in South Africa. The tournament is the most watched sporting event in the world with an expected viewership of over 700 million. The estimated economic impact to the country is $12 billion. But has South Africa missed a golden opportunity to increase the appeal of the country for tourists and business investors for years to come?

It has been well documented that offline PR generates online searches and staging major sporting events create one heck of a lot of publicity. Google Trends tells us that there has been a huge spike in traffic for searches related to the World Cup in the months leading up to the tournament.

The Google Keyword Tool reports an average of 3 million searches conducted globally per month for the term “World Cup 2010”. Yet no South African websites appear in the first page results on

The official FIFA website takes the first 2 spots but lying in third (ahead of Wikipedia) is a website called owned by an enterprising fellow based in Sweden. The official South African website for the world cup is ranked 23rd.

Furthermore, this website’s content is relevant to the World Cup only and has no significant use after the tournament has been completed.  There is no mention of tourism or business investment opportunities or even links to other government sites that provide this information.

I would argue that the Government of South Africa has missed a huge opportunity here. Their strategy should have been to invest in optimizing this site, driving traffic, and creating a lasting engagement by generating lasting in the country as a prime tourist destination and rapidly developing economy. The World Cup only last 4 weeks. A well ranked website can deliver benefits for years to come.

Alec Campbell
Alec works with companies to increase their global brand awareness and sales through higher visibility in international search engine results. He has been glued to... Read Full Bio
Alec Campbell
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  • Nice Post.. I totally agreed..

  • Sheeja913


  • Al

    South Africa is going to be like Greece that it hosted the Olympic back in 2004. Greek made a lot of nice stadiums, impressed everyone by opinion and closing cerement, yet failed to capitalize on the opportunity to expand many sectors of their economy and as the result the are a drag to EU's economy.

    • autlwetse

      Greece is not South Africa. Greece 's problems enamated from nationalisation coupled with tax evasion and corruption. South Africa has its own distinctive problem Sand you have to note that it encourages free enterprises and avoids “free spending” in the name of stimulus packages.Balancing job creations, rural development program-mes (housing), rebuilding infrastructure, among other things is not something to be build overnight. It is going to take some time but we will get there. And all this does not guarantee our economy to be on the verge of collapse. We are unique. We have resources. We have SAC U, Northern African partners and etc We have a very strong market with the EU. Its all in the papers but South Africa's economy is rising up. With the world cup here, the economy is expected to be boosted with tourism and investments.

  • Brianchhangte

    I will remember this world cup as the worst ever.If this is their damn tradition,no wonder they are ranking so low in the world ranking !! Football is a team efford and communication is essential and since no communication,nor a whistle can be heard.they are actually butchering the world cup we have been waiting for 4 long years.I

    • James

      You not mention your team…..did they even qualify? And if they did, are you going to find all the excuses why they fail to progress…..excuses are for losers… you…Bet South Africa go further than your team…

  • Shawn

    WOW , I was born in Johannesburg South Africa, moved to New York 11 years ago, it's good to know I'm not missing out on anything. HAPPY I moved away, because South Africa hasn't changed one F$CK and bit. Peace!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • James

      How would you know living in New York? I'm also happy you moved away …

  • Mbastuden

    The ZA government does not have the business proficiency to develop strategies that would benefit the whole country….They are too focused on revenging past history.

    • autlwetse

      You don't live in South Africa therefore you dont understand and you will never understand.

      • Sportsfreak

        Autlwetse, he is right. We should not turn a deaf ear to critism, even if they are hurtfull and negative. Government structures are generally corrupt and there is a definite race focus. That being said, even though South Africa faces challenges the economy does not rely on one specific event to survive. The golden rule of not keeping all the eggs in one basket. The mining sector, agriculture, tourism, manufactoring industries and of course security are main carriers of the economy. Perhaps why the global economic crises didn't effect South Africa that badly. Never forget that South Africa is carrying the whole of Africa. Something that not even the mighty USA can do. ZA is getting their hands dirty and actually making a difference in the forgotten continent and at the same time we show the world how poor people can love life en live football.

      • autlwetse

        Well said. I respect your comment. To good to be true. We as a people have a task to enforce. But only rooting out inefficient individuals within the defined structure of our government will guarantee us progress. Three major concerns for our country right now is adequate spending in housing, education and jobs. On an equilibrium level, the above factors has not been satisfactorily implemented and i believe it is a derivative of political immaturity. In my judgement, if these three factors can be implemented on a long term and large scale basis, South Africa could be counted amongst the first world countries.!

  • Ronnbrown99

    I was born in South Africa and left there in 1985 – I had never heard of a Vuvuzuela until now, and now it is being touted as tradition – maybe traditions in Africa are short lived as the constant inter tribal conficts shorten memory – any maybe aids puts a different view on heritage and destiny.

    I am embarassed to have been born in Africa, and this world cup confirms that Africa, and especially South Africa are the most hopeless places on our planet.

    Where else is a country led by a person (Jacob Zuma) (President), who after raping the Aids infected daughter of a colleague – responded that he had a shower after,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Sean Marley

      Are you sure you were born in Africa,better yet ko Mzanzi,.i doubt that! Cant believe u just said that,even went to the extend of writing such nonsense.What you need is a massive black slap across ur fake African ass,talking about been embarassed to have been born in Africa.

    • autlwetse

      You are just beating about the bush.First of all you are right, you have never had of the “Vuvuzuela”. Thats true because in SA there is no such thing as “Vuvuzuela”. We have Vuvuzela in case you want to learn. And your level of ignorance about South Africa is too high I think you need to be educated on that. Second of all SA is hopeful after years of hopeless apartheid. I think you moved after apartheid was eradicated so you could not stand it. I think you are the one who is hopeless not SA. Lastly people are talking about soccer and then you just quickly got off track and talked about Jacob Zuma. It just shows your level of communication is challenged and if you do not have anything to say you STFU!. Comprende?

    • James

      What does Jacob Zuma and Aids have to do with the Vuvuzela and the World Cup? Your logic is about as screwed up as you are….

    • ziggi

      Ronnbrown99 we true South Africans are glad another “piel” like you has left our beautiful country. I'm sure your family is embarrassed to know you. I get the feeling your mother threw away the baby and kept the placenta.

    • Kennyburk

      hey what are you talking about?? that is a charge of rape and the case has i understand was thrown out??? Please get your facts right before putting them online. I bet your a white south african too.

    • Sportsfreak

      Being embarassed to have been born in South Africa is a personal issue. No doubt you have very valid reasons to feel this way. Yet, when all is said and done, you turned your back on your country of birth. You trash the people that lives there and dies for their country. And that is something to be embarassed about. In the end, when all is said and done, you allowed yourself to be driven from your country of birth by some one wich you deem your lesser. Thus ending up a bitter, resentfull person.

      • autlwetse


    • Mbedashe

      you are not serious( udakiwe) maybe now you understand! nx!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mpahlani

    Well, you have a point.

  • autlwetse

    I think you have a low esteem about you own self. Africa is just about the same as other countries which you claim you have migrated to. People like you are a disgrace to themselves and future generations. You have nothing to offer except for negative criticism and lying to your own self. Were you raped when you lived in SA? Did u die and rose up and moved to where ever you are ? Next you want to comment find something fruitful and positive and leave Africa and South Africa alone. You dont belong there and dont live there. Find something to talk about in your area. We dont need numskullz like you in this space.

  • bob

    Africa really does suck! I guess the ethnic cleansing needs to continue.

  • We have just been looking at the impact of the World Cup on SEO. After a bit of digging it seems that hardly anyone has really gone after related keywords on any SEO campaigns. I wonder if people hadn’t bothered of if they just got their timings all wrong.

    Take a look at where i’ve had a look at when a World Cup SEO campaign should have been started!


  • We have just been looking at the impact of the World Cup on SEO. After a bit of digging it seems that hardly anyone has really gone after related keywords on any SEO campaigns. I wonder if people hadn’t bothered of if they just got their timings all wrong.

    Take a look at where i’ve had a look at when a World Cup SEO campaign should have been started!


  • Sportsfreak

    The strange thing about this world cup is that South Africa doesn't really need the world cup for economic reasons. We have the gold mines, the diamond mines, the Kruger Park and….and…and….To South Africans it is more about nation building and national pride. Face it, we love sport and we love a good party. Yeah, some people that left the country, hates it. Others love it. That is a personal issue. The important thing about this world cup is that the game came to the people who loves it.

    • autlwetse

      Sportsfreak. Well said and to the point. Another thing to consider here is that people must understand South Africa may have its unique problems just like any other country. In comparison to other other Asian and European countries, it fares well in terms of the GDP on an arguably economic- performance level. Most importantly South Africans love life and enjoys it every single day and the world cup had added that as a bonus. On a tourism level it will boost some internal rural developments. As much as there are haters in South Africa there are lovers too and well wishers. I had an incident where some people went on you tube to tell the world not to come to South Africa because of their negative reasons. But guess what? The world came and they enjoyed and they found South Africa a wonderful place. But we as a people have to work hard to united each other to become a strong and a proud South Africa.