The Paid Search Presidential Primaries


In honor of today’s New Hampshire primaries, we decided to hold our own Paid Search Presidential Primaries. Let’s see how campaign dollars flowed to paid search, through buys on Google, Yahoo, MSN Live and Ask.

Our winners? In New Hampshire, the Republican race is too close to call. Both John McCain and Mitt Romney continued to battle it out without a front-runner by posting time. On the Democratic front, we’ll have to sit tight too. Those candidates have been relatively quiet, though Barack was emerging by press time. As we move nationally, Rudy Giuliani has already declared an early lead because he’s been buying candidates (names) from both parties.

Interestingly, these leaders were similar in the related display ad race. According to ClickZ’s presidential reporting, McCain, Romney and Barack have spent the lion’s share there too.

Returning to the Paid Search Primaries, there were also other advertisers that appeared on the stage. These included hawkers of t-shirts and memorabilia, particularly CafePress; as well as media outlets like ABC and NYTimes, who sought more audience.

Anyway, we began the Paid Search Primaries by conducting more general searches:

* New Hampshire – McCain (G,A), Gravel (G,A)
* New Hampshire Primary, Primaries – Romney (G,Y); McCain (A)
* President – McCain (G,Y)
* Democrat – Barack (G,Y), Paul (Y)
* Republican – No ads

Then we moved the to the main Paid Search Primary races, by searching for candidates. It was amusing that some candidates bought their own names, as if the organic results just weren’t enough. These included Barack, Rudy, Huckabee, McCain and Thompson. Here were results for all candidates.

* Hillary Clinton – Rudy (G,A)
* John Edwards – Rudy (G,A)
* Barack Obama – Barack (Y,A); Rudy (G)
* Other Candidates – No ads

* Rudy Giuliani – Rudy (G,Y,A); McCain (G,A)
* Mike Huckabee – Huckabee (A); Rudy (G,A)
* John McCain – McCain (G,A); Rudy (G,A)
* Mitt Romney – Huckabee (G,A), Rudy (G,A)
* Fred Thompson – Fred (G,A); Rudy (G,A)
* Other Candidates – No ads

Our expectation after these Paid Search Primaries? That candidates will follow Rudy’s lead and jump on board in coming months. After all, these names aren’t brands — and that means the candidates are allowed to buy and advertise against other candidates.

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