BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

Social Popularity Showdown: Dogs vs. Cats

January 2, 2017

Ah, it’s an age-old debate: dogs versus cats. Man’s best friend pitted against… a strange furry little creature that leaves all sorts of surprises in unexpected places. Personally, I’ve always loved both (RIP Honeybear), so I’m with this girl:


BUT this is a popularity contest, and we demand a winner! So, let’s dive into the source of all truth: the Internet.


The Showdown

Social media dominates our time connected to the net, so what better place to get started? With the assistance of Buzzsumo (a really awesome tool that monitors social shares and identifies influencers) and search modifiers, let’s look at the key queries:

Buzzsumo cat OR cats OR kitten OR kittens

40,354 pages of results


Buzzsumo dog OR dogs OR puppy OR puppies

58,349 pages of results


Dogs are out to a fast start, but cats can be pretty sly. Dogs have a larger number of total results, so let’s start tallying up totals there. Our canine friends snagged up 2,506,141 shares on social media channels for the top 10,950 results.

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of fight in the dog.

Because Mark Twain quotes are always good.


Cats, on the other paw, had a total social share count of 2,251,157 for their top 10,950 results. This one goes to the dogs! Dogs: 1. Cats: 0.

If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat.

That Mark Twain knew what he was talking about. Humans with whiskers? Brilliant!


Let’s pause the battle for a second, though, so I can share a few of my favorites. Here goes:


That’s enough furry distraction – back to the battle!

Dogs had more results and shares according to Buzzsumo, but what about a simple Google research?


Using the same search modifier as above, cats have about 2,190,000,000 results, and dogs racked up 1,850,000,000. Cats win big. Dogs: 1. Cats: 1.


Of course, the results vary greatly, so let’s add in a third component. Plus, we need a tie-breaker.


For the third and final test, let’s look at none other than Buzzfeed. Now incorporating a site search function in addition to the search modifiers above, here’s what we have:



The top results:


Buzzfeed Dogs

The top results:


Cats do it again with about 200,000 more results on Buzzfeed. This one was a landslide, folks. Dogs: 1. Cats: 2.


Say it ain’t so! Have humans abandoned their best friend to watch cat videos?


The Verdict

It was close (actually, it wasn’t that close), but our obsession with cats on the web wins them the grand prize of most popular pet. I blame I Can Has CHEEZburger for adding fuel to the cat craze for the larger part of a decade. Aside from seeing that we clearly love all our four-legged friends, there are lessons to pull from this.


The Takeaway

By using tools like Buzzsumo or even a simple search modifier, we can hone in one specific results to identify aspects of content that “goes viral.” For example, many of the top posts adhere to the popular “listicle” format. Some pieces play on humor, while others tug on your heartstrings, and others still are just downright different.


It all comes down to what I refer to as “The Four I’s”:

The Four I's

In order to be successful at content marketing, you need to have at least one of The Four I’s. Ask yourself the following when planning:


  • Interesting – Can this piece hold readers’ attention, or is this a waste of time and energy for me and them?
  • Informative – Does this content offer some kind of insight or provide valuable information that will make my readers’ lives better in some way?
  • Important – Is this relevant to my audience? Why should they care about what I am writing?
  • Imaginative – Am I adding to the discussion on the topic, or am I simply regurgitating existing information?


It’s fair to say content promotion and amplification are more important than creation, but you do need to start off on the right foot. A good strategy can draw attention to just about any piece; a good idea will make your promotion even easier. Begin with at least one of the four I’s, and you’ll be off to a great start.


So, what are you: a cat person or a dog person?