Web users are increasingly interested in online content about Tiger Woods’ golf career, rather than his recent personal difficulties, according to data from media researcher Nielsen.

The company says that "since Tiger’s troubles began last Thanksgiving, online conversation surrounding Woods shifted quickly to scandal coverage laced with strong negative sentiment . Tiger Woods discussion has now split into three stories: Woods’ return to golf at the Masters Tournament, continued coverage of the scandal, and Woods’ line of golf video games."

While a great deal of web traffic about Woods still relates primarily to his marital problems, the balance has shifted back to an emphasis on the sporting aspects of Woods’ public life. Public relations experts and sports pundits alike have noted that much depends on Woods’ performance at the upcoming Masters.

Regardless of that outcome, however, Woods’ search profile is likely to change yet again. Public figures of Woods’ stature can dramatically shift the balance of search engine optimization (SEO) efforts if there is any degree of keyword overlap between a business’ SEO target and the trending topics involving the celebrity.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.