It should be no surprise that interest in the Super Bowl Halftime show is peaking right now. But why has the term "Super Bowl Halftime Show 2012" been in the top-ten stories on Google News for weeks?
The NFL's championship football game has become a nationwide event, attracting sports fans with a matchup of the best teams from the AFC and NFC, but also attracting non-sports fans with all of the spectacle surrounding it. And the biggest part of that spectacle, perhaps besides the corporate PR arms-race that has become the Super Bowl commercial break, is the halftime show.
Google Trends shows that the search term "superbowl halftime show 2013" has peaked at 100 this week.
This is probably because of two reasons: it's the week before the event, and the story of the Beyonce lip-sync pseudo-scandal at the Presidential Inauguration has picked up steam. With Beyonce performing at this year's halftime show, people are surely interested to know how she's preparing and what she'll do. And people are always interested in finding out details about the halftime show before it happens. So why has the term "superbowl halftime show 2012" been trending higher than "2013"?
If you compare this chart to the one for "superbowl...2013," you'll see both are peaking right now, but the term "superbowl...2012" has hovered between 70 and 80 for most of January, after peaking at 80 earlier in December. This probably drives SEO people insane, because year-old stories, without doctoring the titles or the back-end search stuff, will fit people's Google searches better than actual news.
My editor suggested that people want to re-watch last year's Superbowl, as you would with movie prequels before seeing the next installment of the series. I like that idea. I think it's an optimistic approach, because it trusts that the majority of people aren't mistaken about what year it is. The President of Latinos Post suggested that it's because this Super Bowl is the end of the 2012 football season, and it's a good point, but as far as the Beyonce-obsessed halftime searchers are concerned, I'm not sure they are aware of the semantics of the NFL.
I personally think the year discrepancy in the search terms is our collective equivalent to dating our checks wrong in January every new year.
What do you think? Please enlighten me with your theories in the comments.
And if you came here actually looking for the Super Bowl Halftime Show of 2012, well, here it is: