We all believe that we live within a great nation, and we are correct. We are able to elect our leaders and live without limitation.
Nevertheless, there are masses of statistics that verify what we really do. When it comes to Internet searches and what we are most fascinated by, the facts are astonishing.
The year is 2012, and we have already begun observing the long awaited competition for the White House. Two candidates will enter the hypothetical “ring” and contend in an attempt to impress us with their keen ability to run the country. (In actuality there are more than two candidates, but at this point we are all aware of whom the likely nominee will be.)
A considerable percentage of presidential campaigns consist of Internet search marketing strategies, as much of the country utilizes the Internet for news and searches. In order to act accordingly, we're going to decipher exactly how the marketing of the current president and his opponents are managed. Simultaneously, we'll compare the search tendencies of ourselves as individuals, all while raising the all-important question: how simple is it to fool us?
This article is an accumulation of entertaining facts rather than some sort of a mind-numbing, in-depth analysis. So get ready and let the fun commence!
Public Interest in Websites of the Presidential Candidates
President Obama’s website maintains a relatively flat level of interest which is to be expected due to his current term as president. An aggressive election campaign hasn’t begun just yet, and as acting president, he receives a great deal of public consideration already.
When it comes to the websites of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, the attention is not quite as consistent, but with the election around the corner they have begun to endorse themselves to a greater magnitude.
Remarkably, the graph shows that Paul is ahead of Romney in terms of public interest. Paul’s site is searched for more than Romney’s, and he has recently even surpassed Obama. Why could this be?
This is an interesting fact because judging by the graph and the amount of searches for his website, the public is naturally interested in him and the public has expressed an overall attentiveness to Paul since they are searching for him exclusively.
Search Marketing Tactics of Aspiring Presidents
Search engine marketing (SEM) expenses are largely dependent upon what the site owner desires. The graph below displays what we've unearthed in terms of SEM and how aggressively the candidates promote themselves:
Look at the difference! Paul's campaign team hasn’t concentrated on paid search at all, most likely due to the fact that he has openly admitted that although he is still technically running, he will presumably not receive the nomination.
Romney’s paid search is adequate, but in order to contrast we need to take a look at incumbent President Obama’s paid search approach. His representation on the chart raises two interesting points:
- Barackobama.com spent tens of thousands dollars a month until September 2011 and hundreds of thousands of dollars a month from September 2011 until the present. Therefore, whose money has been expended on the advertising of an apparently private website? (barackobama.com is not owned by the government as some may believe, but rather it is registered via GoDaddy with Privacy Protection service, and I highly doubt that the United States government would need privacy protection) This leads us to a critical question: could taxpayer dollars have been consumed by Obama’s personal website? The cost of the website is within the million dollar range, and most would suppose that the funds would be exhumed from his election funds. But what about in the beginning of 2010? Could the election funds have been available back then? Anyone have any thoughts? Comments are encouraged!
- Kudos to Obama for paying attention to the Internet marketing consistently rather than at the last minute only.
Based on our findings, Obama may be a trickster and a forward thinker with the management of his non-government website. Well, both of those things have been advantageous for presidents in the past, haven’t they?
Top Election 2012 Search Terms: Obama
In order to uncover and potentially expose what we as individuals are curious about the most, we will look at the table below which consists of the top search terms that contain the keyword “Obama:”
The findings for what we search for are mind-blowing! Should we be surprised or ashamed at the results?
- Michelle Obama receives nine times more attention and searches than Obama’s health care reform.
- 14,800 people per month search for Obama care.
- 12,100 fellow Americans can't spell the president’s name correctly, at least not in Google.
- There is more interest in his daughters (12,100 searches) than election polls (9,900 searches).
Maybe as United States citizens we should start expressing more curiosity in the actual business of the president rather than focusing on his personal life?
Top Election 2012 Search Terms: Romney
Next, let’s compare our specific interests in Obama with the landscape of our search inquiries that surround his rival and likely opponent Romney. The top search results are as follows:
Compared to Obama, a great deal more requests are geared toward Romney as an individual rather than on his personal effects. There is obvious interest in his biography and his Wikipedia page; however the pinnacle of the interest is consumed by searches on his wife, again! Similar to Obama, many foragers disregard the correct spelling of the name “Mitt.”
George Romney, Mitt's father, also surfaces in the search results. Although a great man, he died in 1995. Could 12,100 search requests in one month be inspired exclusively by George Romney, or was it due to the presidential campaign of his son?
Negative media attention is also present for Mitt Romney, as a single ride on the roof of the car for his Irish Setter Seamus almost 30 years ago receives more attention than any of his law initiatives as an elected official. Four years in office as the Governor of Massachusetts should, theoretically, be more relative to the job application of the President of the United States rather than a dog’s ride on the roof in 1983, or so we would think.
It appears that our public interests rest mostly within the realm of entertainment!
What Does the Search Data Tell Us?
Based upon this information, what conclusions can be made? The data expresses evidence that some people misspelled the names of presidential candidates, and that we're more intrigued by the personal lives of the contenders rather than how they are going to run the country as our all-important leader.
More than likely these facts aren’t news to anyone, but the equivalent can now be replicated in numbers. For example, the phrase “mitt romney shirtless” is searched for 480 times per month. Who knew that a shirtless Romney could be so captivating to society!
Below is the complete chart of topics that are direct search requests (general requests such as “Barack Obama” are excluded). Take note: The Stupidity section in this graph refers to the rough misspellings of candidate names, and insignificant requests such as “shirtless romney.” The Legends and Jokes section refers to requests such as “Obama’s birth certificate,” “Obama as a muslim,” “Mitt Romney dog on roof,” and so on.
The graphs are fascinating and yet again, our observation is an expectable one. Nonsensical requests remain on the top, whereas people who are seeking relevant material are more specific.
For example, “Obama birth certificate” receives a great deal of inquiries in its precise and exact form. However, requests such as “Obama on immigration” and “Obama on taxes” win the documentation collectively, hence trailing behind individually.
If we glance at our facts and figures from another angle, the whole of Romney’s activity in Bain Capital is 5.1 times less interesting to the public than the incident with his dog. Results indicate that there are 18,631 search requests for the dog episode in comparison to 3,572 actual search requests for Bain Capital, displaying a large difference in what people are searching for and want to read about.
In comparison, 120 million pages mention Romney and Bain Capital, so it is a topic that is being coerced into the public eye even though searches are minimal. So do we really care about Bain Capital and Romney’s involvement?
Keyword Bidding Habits of the Candidates
If we explore the campaigns from another perspective, we discover that both candidates bid on names other than their own. Even though they both bid on differing names, their strategies are quite different.
Romney bids on “Ron Paul,” “John McCain,” “Mike Huckabee,” and “Rudy Giuliani.” These names comprise 24 percent of all of the keywords that Romney bids on, in turn bringing him 63 percent of all paid searches. Romney utilizes his comrades in order to capitalize on their names and authority.
For instance, the phrase “Ron Paul” produces more paid searches than Romney does with his own name – 1,220,000 searches a month versus 450,000. In addition, it can be made certain that Romney doesn’t criticize Obama directly, but this isn’t to say that he isn’t behind some of the websites that condemn Obama. If this were the case, he would be passing his judgment indirectly but being critical nonetheless.
The image below clearly illustrates Romney’s keyword strategy:
Rather than infringing upon the supporters of his comrades, Romney is working alongside them in his searches.
In contrast, the methods of Obama’s campaign are a bit different and much more direct. Certain sections of his website were created specifically to persecute and bully his competition. The promotion of this aspect of his campaign is extremely intense, as the screen indicates:
Interestingly enough, the ads above have a surprisingly low click-through rate, and approximately 19 percent of all paid searches that are bid on by barackobama.com are related to Romney’s name. Nevertheless, merely 1 percent of all clicks that Obama paid for actually settle on those pages.
Individuals who are searching for Romney are confronted with paid Obama ads, but decide not to click on them, resulting in the insignificant 1 percent of clicks encouraged by these ads. This could be due to the fact that people who search for “Mitt Romney” are mainly his supporters and therefore do not want to hear or read anything negative about the candidate that they are advocating for, and thus don’t make the click. They also may be expecting Obama to articulate something adverse about Romney, which is quite sensible.
There is only one single location (within the Internet at least) where Romney displays some aggression against Obama directly, and that is within the Bain Capital-related keywords, as shown below:
Although they are very distinctive, Obama and Romney remain loyal to their strategies. While Obama is concentrating on damaging Romney using Bain Capital as an example, Romney is focused on his own accomplishments within the private sector rather than placing emphasis on employing criticisms on his opposition.
Still, the Bain Capital issue isn't overly important to the public. In total “Bain Capital” produces only 700 clicks a day at about $1 per click. The general public is not so intrigued by the cold facts. Perhaps if Bain Capital could bark from the roof of a car, it would acquire more attention from society.
As the facts and statistics indicate, Obama is a bit more of a “bully” than Romney is, or at least he neglects to conceal his intentions as well as his rival. It is startling to realize that bullying has become such a considerable issue in the United States in recent years, yet our Presidential candidates are noticeable participants. Although it seems to be a relentless campaign strategy time and time again, maybe presidential candidates should get off the playground and stop the bullying!
Based on all our findings, are there any conclusions to be had?
The deduction for the people of the nation could very well be a distressing one. It seems, based on the data presented, that the country is focused on the entertainment aspects of politics even when we are to make the significant determination of who is going to run our country for the next four years.
Many of us may be nosy and curious about the personal lives of our elected figures, but maybe we should put more stock into what they are actually going to accomplish for the good of our country.
Perhaps the desire to retrieve irrelevant yet apparently entertaining information about our candidates should be placed on the backburner, at least until someone is actually elected. Honestly, with so many ludicrous reality shows on television now, do we really need another one in the form of a presidential nominee?
A brief statement to our future United States presidents: it may appear that based on historical facts you can steal, deceive, and lie as our leader. So it is essential to remember that you must have a virtuous wife, never drive with your dog on the roof of your car, and always ensure that your children look meticulous on a daily basis. Oh, and being attractive when shirtless never hurts.
Optimising Digital Marketing Campaigns with Search, Social and Analytics
At SES London (9-11 Feb) you'll get an overview of the latest tools, tips, and tactics in Paid, Owned, Earned, Integrated Media and Business Intelligence to streamline your marketing campaigns in 2015. Register by 31 October to take advantage of Early Bird Rates.