A different look at Steelers' popularity

TV ratings and merchandise sales are two of the more traditional ways to measure a team’s popularity.

It figured to only be a matter of time before someone tried to gauge something that is ultimately impossible to quantify through the Internet -- and more specifically how often teams are searched for on Google.

FiveThirtyEight editor Nate Silver took an in-depth look at this metric, and according to his research the Steelers are the eighth-most popular professional sports team in North America.

The Yankees and Red Sox top the list, and they are followed by the Cowboys and Lakers.

The Packers, Eagles and Patriots are the other NFL teams that rank ahead of the Steelers in terms of frequency of Google searches.

Steelers fans who travel -- and those who have seen Steelers fans travel -- probably disagree that Pittsburgh ranks behind any team when it comes to popularity.

But Silver’s piece offers a fun and different look at assessing a team’s popularity. It also confirms that any way you measure it, the Steelers are among the most followed sports teams in North America.