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How Google shows Obama sucks more than McCain

SEO digest

I don’t think the science of search engine optimization has advanced enough for us to justify sensationalistic headlines on analytical blog posts, but I couldn’t resist the urge to test a few queries on Google Trends. The results actually surprised me, since Todd Friesen outed the Canadian conspiracy to see Obama become President.

With the news media reporting that McCain is lagging in the polls and that Americans are afraid Sarah Palin lacks the experience to be president (that was, by the way, a criticism leveled at George Bush in 1980 when Ronald Reagan selected him as a running mate), one would think that search engine query trends would agree with the “liberal media” (as some thunderstorming conservative poachers — I mean, preachers — might put it).

Disclaimer: The views (if any) reflected in this article are solely my own tongue-in-cheek, and do not necessarily represent the views of my co-workers, employers, or anyone else.

Okay, you want to know how Google shows that Obama sucks more than McCain. Here is the first set of query trends that Google reports:
\'Obama sucks\' searches vs \'McCain sucks\' searches

'Obama sucks' searches vs 'McCain sucks' searches

Are Republicans REALLY that desperate or is the Democratic Party expressing too much false confidence in a desperate situation?

Of course, as everyone knows, this election is not just about Barack Obama and John McCain. Their running mates are also having an impact on who will vote for whom (and which rallies are the most attended). So while Obama rolls up his sleeves and subtly implies he is ready to get to work, Sarah Palin whips out her credit card and shows she is dressed for success. But what do people think of Sarah versus Joe (Biden)?
\'Palin sucks\' queries outweigh \'Biden sucks\' queries

'Palin sucks' queries outweigh 'Biden sucks' queries

Here at SEO Theory, our professional analysts have determined that the low number of “Biden sucks” queries probably means that no one knows who he is or that he is running for Vice President. One team member suggests that he renominate himself for NICE President and see if that gets him some queries.

But knowing that people think these candidates all suck to some degree or another, we wanted to find out which candidates are more unpopular. It’s easy for the media to gauge is more popular, but Google cleverly reveals who is more UNpopular. It’s about a tie:
Americans do not like either Barack Obama or John McCain

Americans do not like either Barack Obama or John McCain

Obama has a slight lead in unpopularity, and our analysts suggest this may mean that — if elected President in November — Obama would probably start his term with a lower approval rating than McCain would were he President.

Of course, this election is really about who should become our next President, and Google Trends reveals some interesting data regarding that choice, too:
John McCain gets more \'for President\' queries than Barack Obama

John McCain gets more 'for President' queries than Barack Obama

While it is obvious that the “liberal media” are trying to shape the query space by advising Americans to vote for Obama rather than McCain, more searchers ask Google about “McCain for President” than ask about “Obama for President”. One researcher here at SEO Theory noted, “This could be the start of a beautiful trendship”, meaning we may be able to predict U.S. election results by determining which candidate the media beats up on the most.

Google may have given us a tool to predict which way the Sympathy Vote will swing. Industry insiders suggest that Googler Matt Cutts may counter our analysis by proposing a “vote-no” link attribute for people who want to link to political candidates’ Web sites without looking like they are endorsing the candidates in search results.

However, sympathy is not the only factor playing in McCain’s favor. Just because he is the perceived underdog whom the media most like to beat up on doesn’t mean he is totally without capable political assets. Our research has determined there is a significant deficit in Obama’s political assets:
Americans think Sarah Palin is hotter than Barack Obama

Americans think Sarah Palin is hotter than Barack Obama

Nonetheless, despite entering the election with the hottest ratings for any political candidate in history, Sarah Palin’s “dress for success” strategy may have backfired. One analyst on our staff (who shall remain nameless) recently said, “She looks like a School Marm. What’s up with that?” Not that we feel school marms cannot be hot, but Sarah Palin seems to have lost points by buying the wrong clothes. Perhaps there is still time for her to appear on What Not To Wear before November 4.

At this critical juncture, we wanted to see who actually LIKES these candidates, so we turned to Google once again and we were not disappointed in the least.
Does Obama pay more people to like him?

Does Obama pay more people to like him?

Since there is no real reason for people to search on “i like obama” or “i like mccain”, our analytical team have concluded that these queries MIGHT reflect the extent to which the candidates are paying their staffs to influence search query trends. Given that Obama has raised more money than McCain (because McCain, in accepting public funds, agreed to be fiscally conservative while Obama has chosen to “spread the wealth”), the query trends COULD confirm that when you pay more people to search on meaningless expressions, you’ll outrank anyone with less money.

Obama’s campaign strategy of spreading the wealth may actually benefit the economy in the short term, whereas McCain’s disciplined approach to spending could cost him the election. On the other hand, Obama’s choice in running mate isn’t doing him much good:
Americans have no real passion for Joe Biden

Americans have no real passion for Joe Biden

We cannot determine why no one seems to like Joe Biden, but it probably has to do more with the fact that he does NOT share the wealth than with the fact that he dresses for success. In fact, there is no indication in these query trends that clothing styles have any impact on Americans’ preferences for Vice Presidential candidates.

However, the most stunning revelation in the search query trends appears to be that more people think McCain is hot than think Obama is hot:
Americans think John McCain is hotter than Obama

Americans think John McCain is hotter than Obama

When our team of top-knotch crack analysts was asked to explain these query trends, the room exploded with thunderous reverberations of completely stunned silence. The trends will have to speak for themselves.

In the final analysis, our team concurred that using Google to analyze query trends reveals significant patterns of user behavior. For example, we found no significant traffic for the queries “Obama is a weenie” and “McCain is a weenie”. Clearly, Americans are not concerned about Obama’s lack of experience as a leader and McCain’s lack of credibility as a maverick.

published @ October 25, 2008

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