We like to put images on posts to make them POP.
Actually, we do it because it's scientifically proven that Americans do like words. They like pictures of Jen Sterger's rack and Brett Farve's dong. And when they see a bunch of words, it's lights out for the site. Gimme TMZ nom nom nom!!!
95% of the time we just go to Google Images or Bing and type in "Cardinals" and hope for something funny to come up. Copy the URL, insert into article editor... and BAM- you've got yourself a post that people won't dump out of after the first paragraph.
But a funny thing happened on the way to hack blogging 101- every time you don't specify 'St. Louis Cardinals' in the search box, a whole ton of Arizona Cardinals pictures pop up. Everything from Max Hall to University of Phoenix Stadium with TLR or Big Mac sprinkled in. And for the past couple of months, I've just kind of made a mental note of how weird this was and then made my search more specific.
Then, yesterday, it hit me.
The Arizona Cardinals... they're actually MORE RELEVANT than the St. Louis Cardinals.
Maybe it's because I work in the Internet field, but I know that Google has one goal and one goal only- to get you the most relevant result for whatever you put in that box. And over the course of the past four years, the AZ Cards and not the STL Cards have been more relevant to not only Google, but the sporting world as a whole.
Not so fast.
The AZ Cardinals, since 2007 have made the playoffs twice and currently lead their division. In the same time span, the STL Cardinals have been to the playoffs only once and it ended with an embarrassing exit. Take into account the opening of a new state of the art stadium, the power of the NFL in the overall sports landscape and a confluence of stars like Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald ...
Holy Shit! The AZ Cardinals aren't just gaming the system- they actually have eclipsed the STL Cards in pretty much every-one's eyes, sans us. The ones closest to the situation.
To be blunt- this is alarming and awful. The STL Cards have the best player in baseball. They have some of the best fans in sports. But Google runs the world and Google has decided that the AZ Cardinals are the ones people want when they come for 'Cardinals'.
If you need more proof that the past 3 years have defied expectations in all the wrong ways, then look no further than the sweet search algorithms of Silicon Valley.