The annual Talk Like a Pirate Day is upon us again – 19th September.

It’s the 16th year of the event and although the official website is showing its age, it is still worth a visit if you haven’t yet lost your sea legs.

So, how is the web’s love of everything Pirate holding up year on year?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could find out…

Funnily enough, we now have a lot more visibility on long-term search trends thanks to Google Trends, and it’s archive now contains seven years of data to give a true picture of the growth (and sadly, the fall) of the popularity in Talk Like a Pirate Day.

As you can see from the above chart, Talk Like a Pirate Day peaked in 2006 (in terms of search volume). That’s back when MySpace was bigger than Facebook, and Tony Blair still had a year left in Number 10.

What is interesting is that although some online trends are real flash-in-the-pan – it has taken six years for the web to really begin to tire of this (admittedly very fun) day of Pirate-i-ness. And that’s possibly one reason why – if something only happens once a year, it takes far longer for people to tire of it – and there will still be some people online who have yet to discover this day dedicated to all things Piratey.

What’s the lesson for marketers? Well, creating “event days” have long been a mainstay of marketers, where they seek to “own” a day each year for their brand. In recent years, many brands have decided to launch their own music festivals and sporting events (e.g. Innocent Fruitstock, Ben & Jerrys Double Scoop Sundae and Red Bull X Fighters) to create an evergreen marketing vehicle that chimes with a particular demographic. They can create fantastic PR, generate oodles of unique content and  provide opportunities to develop “money can’t buy” giveaways for consumers.

And what about the benefit in recurring events for online marketers? This chart from MajesticSEO for talklikeapirate.com show that even 16 years after launch the site still manages to gain links in the months surrounding the annual event, which can be very valuable as many of these will come from reputable and authoritative news sites reporting on the event on the day itself.

If you have run a one-off online event that has gone well, consider whether it can be repeated again – don’t assume that you target market has grown tired of it – or even that they all heard about it the first time around!

So, I hope ye enjoyed Talk Like a Pirate Day, ‘n I look fore t’ seein’ ye soon!

BTW – Have a go at Talking Like a Pirate yourself with this handy translation tool!

English to Pirate Translator from Pirate Monkeyness

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About the author:

John Newton has 14 years of strategic marketing experience across Online Display, Search Marketing and TV and Outdoor Advertising, in companies which include Yahoo!, ITV and TNS Global. John has written on blog monetisation for Web Designer magazine and was the editor of ClickThrough’s two books. John is a CIM Chartered Marketer.