Break Google, Dave Grohl

  • 2
  • July 15, 2015
Erika Varagouli

Erika Varagouli

Content Marketing Manager

This blog post contains a lot of memes. And a lot of Dave Grohl too. Consume with caution.

So, we all know this guy, right?


Image source

If you’re wondering why a rock star features prominently in a digital marketing blog, I have one thing to say to you (spoiler alert): Dave Grohl has broken Google. How? By being the nicest guy in rock.

The King of Google SERPs

It all started when I received this link in my inbox. Yes, this article contains the definition of a hell of a birthday. But what caught my attention was this part, at the end of the article:


Which – granted, inexplicably – led me to start typing “nicest” into Google search. Here’s what the search engine suggested:


Mind-reading sorcery, I thought. I like it.

I would bet my bottom dollar on John Lennon. Or Manu Chao. Or de la Rocha (if you don’t know who this guy is, you can thank me later). But no.

Gary Barlow then?




Here’s what Google came back with:


Actually, this is all Google could come back with on the second page too.


I had to reach the third page of Google results in order to find a different answer. We all know that no one reaches the third page of Google SERPs deliberately.


This is news. A lot has been written in the past about Google improving diversity within SERPs, with the search engine specifying that they’re working towards decreasing the number of links from the same domain included in the displayed results.

All good so far, but what happens when, although all the links displayed are from different domains, the answer provided to an inquisitive search term remains the same throughout?

Like in this case, where, according to Google, Dave Grohl is undeniably the nicest guy the rock stage has ever seen. But, can this be true?

This conjecture drew me like a magnet. So, naturally, I decided to dig deeper.

Breaking the popularity scale

Just how high does Dave Grohl score in the niceness scale for him to dominate the WHOLE two first pages of Google SERPs?

Surely, I thought, Google Trends will light my path.


Here’s how interest around him has been shaping over the last hour:

Grohl_GT_RT (1)

Naturally, I then wanted to explore just how “trendy” Grohl is. So, I indulged in a few comparisons:

Dave Grohl vs. Mahatma Gandhi


Dave Grohl vs. The Dalai Lama


Oh my God, he’s going full steam ahead for sanctification.

Let’s keep this going…

Dave Grohl vs. Ozzy Osbourne


Dave Grohl vs. Prince William


Dave Grohl vs. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


(Apparently, Amadeus’ World Tour peaked in January 2006.)

Dave Grohl vs. Khaleesi aka The Mother of Dragons



By that time, I knew I was onto something big. Apparently, Grohl has become bigger than anyone could ever imagine. Hell, it appears he has become too big for Google to handle.

So, I decided to take this outside (Google). I searched for the most shared content around Dave Grohl over the last 12 months on Buzzsumo:


Notice the titles highlighted in yellow. I mean, the guy literally breaks a leg, then comes back to finish the show. Who does this?



Image source

And it doesn’t end here. Even his audience is nice.



Dave Grohl 1 God 0

By this stage, I felt the irresistible need to uncover the numbers behind the name. There was only one question left to answer: Is Dave Grohl bigger than God?

Hold on to your hats.


Checkmate, God.

Dave_Jesus_2 (1)

Why am I writing all this and does it have anything to do with content marketing whatsoever?

I could simply claim it doesn’t and that this is all down to the fact that I just like Dave. However, I would be lying (about the former, not the latter).

This acts as a mere demonstration of a common exercise for anyone working in content marketing or journalism, or for anyone making a living out of putting words on a screen and getting others to read it (voluntarily).

Here are the key takeaways:

  • You can be inspired by a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g, even if, initially, it appears to be completely irrelevant to what you’re searching for or writing. The universe is interwoven in unimaginable ways (let’s not go into the butterfly effect again), so the dots are waiting to be connected
  • Some of the most successful ideas derive from a hunch, an inexplicable – sometimes, somewhat crazy – intuition that tickles your fancy. Trust this instinct
  • What your gut tells you is a good starting point, but data speaks volumes when it comes to making a case (especially to your boss, your editor or a client). If you can’t build a case to convince them to support your idea, then probably it’s best to leave it for later (or argue convincingly enough that you’re a pioneer and the rest of the world will follow your lead)
  • Research, research, research: When analysing a topic, make sure you get your facts right and you make your readers’ time worthwhile
  • Don’t be afraid to adopt a new angle, whether it’s a more humorous approach or simply presenting a topic from an unusual perspective. The world has seen enough *TSS* content by now

Oh. And Dave Grohl has broken Google.