Obama Vs. McCain: Paid Search Keywords

Valleywag (using data from Hitwise) posts about the paid search campaigns of the two major US presidential candidates, over the past 12 weeks. The post shows a list of the actual keywords being used by the campaigns.

It’s a fascinating look into their “offensive” and “defensive” strategies concerning paid search.

Meanwhile earlier this month SEM agency, Did-It, issued the report “2008 Search Engines and Politics: A Study of Attitudes and Influence.” The study tries to measure the relationship between search behavior, political attitudes and likely voting behavior.

There are still a meaningful number of undecided voters and the Did-It study tries to correlate search and click behavior with potential for a voter change of opinion. Did-It found that the Internet was second only to cable TV as a medium chosen by voters to gain additional information about issues and candidates:

did it politics 1

Among those using the Internet for research and information, 44 percent used search engines and more than 26 percent of voters using the Internet clicked on paid links:

did it politics 2

Additional information about the study is presented here. You can also request a copy of the report directly from Did-It.

Regarding paid-search bidding and keyword strategies, the report concludes:

These results show that bidding on opposition-related keywords can have a slight effect, and that praising oneself could be more persuasive than denigrating the opposition in this case. It also shows that searchers who prefer to visit only sites that favor the candidate of their choice are not likely to change their opinions, and those who visit sites that oppose the other candidate are doing so for inoculation purposes and to reinforce beliefs they already hold.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Search Ads: General | Search Marketing: General | Search Marketing: Public Relations | Stats: Hitwise

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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