• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
How america searches_election_2008
 

How america searches_election_2008

on

  • 475 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
475
Views on SlideShare
475
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    How america searches_election_2008 How america searches_election_2008 Document Transcript

    • how america searches: election ‘08survey conducted By opinion research corporationreport written By icrossingjuLY 2007
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007key findings + New media more essential than ever to politics. Forty-two percent of voters look to the Internet for information about issues and candidates in the upcoming presidential election, with the Internet a considerably more popular information source than newspapers among respondents between the ages of 18 and 34. + Almost half of online voters use search engines for political information. Forty-seven percent of those who go online for information about candidates and issues use search engines to conduct their research, equal to the 46 percent who do not; usage is roughly equal among Democratic, Republican and independent voters. + Traditional news organization and social media sites top candidate sites. Eighty-eight percent of those who use the Internet for information about candidates and issues in the 2008 presidential election visit sites of news organizations such as CNN and The New York Times and 42 percent go to a range of social media sites; only 30 percent go to candidate Web sites. + More than half of younger online voters are turning to social media for election information. Of potential voters who are looking for election information online, 61 percent of 18 to 24 year olds and 55 percent of 25 to 34 year olds seek answers on user-driven content sites such as blogs, YouTube and Wikipedia. + Issues matter to voters, but candidates are not responding. Issue-oriented searches dominate over explorations of candidates’ voting and personal histories by a margin of nearly two to one; yet nearly all candidates rank poorly for issue-based search visibility. + Barack Obama and war in Iraq are tops in current candidate and issue searches. Obama attracts the largest share of searches among candidates in the survey of voter interest as of May 2008, topping Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani. The war in Iraq is the most searched for issue. + eBay trumps McCain in paid search. John McCain currently dominates the overall paid search candidate landscape, but online auction house eBay still ranks first in paid search visibili ty for the tested issue-based keyword set.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 2
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007introduction The 2008 presidential campaign has been widely touted as the first “YouTube election,” but a more apt characterization would be the first “Internet election”. Voters are indeed turning to the Internet to get information about presidential candidates and political issues alike, but they are going well beyond video-sharing sites like YouTube and embracing everything from traditional news sites to a range of social media (including blogs, social networking sites like MySpace and Wikipedia-like online resources) to candidates’ own Web sites. The net result is that Web-savvy politicians have an array of opportunities to get their message out. Among voters looking for information about presidential candidates and important political issues, the Internet has become an indispensable resource. It ranks as the number-two channel after television, tied with newspapers, and now surpasses radio, word-of-mouth and news magazines in popularity. More importantly, new media are challenging old across multiple demographics; with the exception of respondents over the age of 55, 40 to 50 percent of all other age groups use the Internet as a resource. Among those using the Internet as a resource, nearly half (47 percent) specifically use search engines to conduct their issue and candidate research. Given that just 23 percent of all respondents asserted that it was too early to be looking for information, the next president will be – in marketing terms – a highly-considered purchase. Clearly, potential voters are looking for information about both the issues that are important to them and the wide field of candidates competing for the nation’s top job, and they are using a variety of channels, including search engines, to satisfy their queries. To gauge the interests of potential voters and their attitudes and behaviors with respect to researching candidates and issues, iCrossing commissioned Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) to conduct a survey of U.S. adults (ages 18 and above) in May 2007, concentrating on the channels and Web sites they prefer to use to obtain election- related information, the factors driving them to use search engines and the types of information about candidates and issues for which they are looking. In addition to having ORC survey voters to learn which candidates and issues they are searching for, iCrossing conducted its own research to find out how visible candidates are in both natural and paid search in order to determine what voters are actually finding. In other words, what is the likelihood that an interested voter might find a particular candidate’s web site when conducting an issue-based search? To quantify the natural search visibility of the leading presidential candidates (both declared and potential) for issues, iCrossing analyzed natural search engine position data for the following U.S. search engines: Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask and AOL, assessing and scoring natural search visibility based on iCrossing’s Position Analysis Report (PAR) and Keyword Analysis Report (KAR). These reports demonstrate the natural search visibility of 24 declared and potential presidential candidates for the 2008 election, compare them on the basis of natural search visibility and compare the visibility of all key candidates in a given online keyword landscape. To quantify paid search visibility, iCrossing evaluated U.S. paid position data for Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, and assessed paid search visibility using AdGooroo’s SEM Insight tool.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 3
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007the internet is a critical The Internet has emerged as the number-two channel after television among potential voters looking for election-related information, and is tied with newspapers. Furthermore, the Internet is considerablyinformation channel more popular than newspapers among respondents between the ages of 18 and 34, and marginallyfor politics more so with voters in the 35 to 44 age range. A generational divide begins to become evident with adults ages 45 to 54 (where both newspapers and the Internet garnered 41 percent penetration). Although older voters are less likely than younger ones to look for information online, a significant 36 percent of voters ages 55 and older turn to the Internet to conduct issue and candidate research. USE OF DIFFERENT CHANNELS TO FIND OUT INFORMATION ABOUT ISSUES AND CANDIDATES, BY AGE Which, if any, of the following channels do you use to find out information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election? Please select all that apply. Base: All respondents (n=1,094) Source: iCrossing 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Total 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ TV Newspaper Internet Radio Word-of-mouth News magazine Other Too early, not looking for information© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 Men are more avid users of all information channels while a somewhat higher percentage of female voters (26 percent versus 19 percent of men) felt it was too early to be researching issues and candidates. When looking at political affiliation, respondents who declared themselves to be Democrats made somewhat greater use of TV, newspapers and news magazines, while independent voters were the most likely to not be looking for information at this point. Increasing levels of educational achievement generally correspond to rising usage of most channels (although radio and word-of-mouth are the outliers in this case). However, higher household income does not correspond to significantly greater-than-average usage of the Internet or lower than average usage of TV or radio as information sources, suggesting that falling access costs have resulted to some degree in a democratization of the Internet. USE OF DIFFERENT CHANNELS TO FIND INFORMATION ABOUT ISSUES AND CANDIDATES, BY GENDER Which, if any, of the following channels do you use to find out information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election? Please select all that apply. Base: All respondents (n=1,094) Source: iCrossing 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% TV Newspaper Internet Radio Word-of-mouth News Other Too early,not magazine looking for information Total Male Female It is evident that the political research process continues to take place across multiple channels. Users of all channels, for example, are the most likely to use TV. However, preferences are by no means equal across all channels. For example, those utilizing TV as a primary information source showed the lowest incidence of usage of all other channels, although the same cannot be said for users of radio and print media, suggesting a utilization pattern particular to TV. Voters searching for information online were among the least inclined to opt for TV, newspapers and radio as secondary channels, a finding consistent with shifts in media and other consumption patterns. TV viewers, for political information at least, appear to have a high degree of channel loyalty, while at the new media end of the channel spectrum, the same seems to hold true for Internet users.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007online social media The authority of traditional media may be on the wane as far as channel preferences are concerned, but online, news sites from traditional media organizations such as The New York Times, CNN and the majormaking their mark television networks are far and away the destinations of choice among voters who go online to searchon politics for information about issues and candidates. This finding correlates with the dominance of these sites in natural search listings as well. The real eye-opener lies in the growing influence of online social media. Mainstays such as YouTube, Wikipedia, MySpace and Facebook have received significant attention from candidates and the media alike in the early months of the campaign. When considered in aggregate, blogs, social networking sites, video-sharing sites and collaborative online encyclopedias like Wikipedia proved to be considerably more popular than candidate sites among the overall adult population, and significantly more so among 18 to 34 year-old respondents. Candidate sites, by contrast, registered fairly even use across all age groups. From a gender perspective, male voters are more likely to visit candidate sites, Wikipedia-like sites, blogs and video-sharing sites while female voters prefer news sites. Results were even for social networking sites. However, when looking at social media sites in aggregate, men proved far likelier than women to consult them for political information (52 percent versus 31 percent). Similarly, African-American and Latino voters are more likely than white voters to resort to social media, another finding that may assume greater import as the election draws closer. TYPES OF WEB SITES VISITED TO FIND INFORMATION ABOUT ISSUES AND CANDIDATES, BY AGE You indicated that you use the Internet to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election. Which, if any, of the following types of sites do you typically visit for information about issues and candidates? Please select all that apply. Base: Respondents who use the Internet to find information about candidates and issues in the 2008 presidential election (n=421) Source: iCrossing *Includes blogs, social networking sites, YouTube-like sites and Wikipedia-like sites 100% Total 80% 18-24 25-34 60% 35-44 40% 45-54 20% 55-64 0% 65+ News sites (e.g. CNN, Social media (net)* Candidate Web sites Other New York Times, ABC/CBS/NBC etc. The findings also reveal an interesting relationship between respondents who prefer word-of-mouth and those drawn not only to social media sites, but candidate sites as well. Among these respondents, a preference for online social media is not surprising, but their greater-than-average likelihood of visiting candidate Web sites is worth noting. In addition, self-identified Democrats appear more inclined than their Republican or independent counterparts to adopt most types of online social media (with the exception of blogs, where independents’ usage is equal) and visit candidate sites. The buzz swirling around social media sites and the interest expressed by voters clearly have made their mark; these sites have achieved prominent visibility in terms of both natural and paid search. However, they appear to dominate the natural and paid search landscape for political issue-related topics, suggesting that these sites have not only built a significant store of relevant content (that has been optimized for search), but they are also spending money to gain visibility and market share around topics in which Internet users have expressed widespread interest.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 6
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007searchers in the vanguard Consistent with the other reports in iCrossing’s “How America Searches” series, this study found nearly universal usage of search engines (94 percent) among voters who use the Internet to find information about candidates and issues. Half of these voters (47 percent) actually use search engines to conduct their political research, while 46 percent do not, making for a nearly even split. Men are more enthusiastic searchers than women (52 percent versus 42 percent), while on an ethnic basis, African- American and Latino voters tend to search considerably more intensively for political information than white voters. Usage is roughly equal across the political spectrum, with independent voters showing a slightly higher propensity to use search engines than Democrats or Republicans. USE OF SEARCH ENGINES TO FIND INFORMATION ONLINE ABOUT ISSUES AND CANDIDATES You indicated you use the Internet to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election. Do you use search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo!, etc.) to conduct research online about issues and candidates? (I use search engines to conduct online research about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election/I use search engines, but not to conduct online research about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election/I do not use search engines at all) Base: Respondents who use the Internet to find information about candidates and issues in the 2008 presidential election (n=421) Source: iCrossing 7% 47% 46% Use search engines to conduct research about issues and candidates in 2008 election Use search engines but not to conduct research about issues and candidates in 2008 election Do not use search engines at all© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 7
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 Voters who use search engines to research political issues and candidates constitute something of a vanguard in that they are considerably more likely than average to use a variety of online resources beyond news sites. For example, 56 percent go to the aggregate of social media sites to get information – a figure that exceeds the overall average of 42 percent. While not surveyed about the specific search terms they use, these voters are likely to have arrived at these other resources through a combination of search activity and word-of-mouth (for which their utilization rate is also well above average). This in turn highlights the importance of having a holistic online media strategy that comprises building visibility through both natural and paid search. TYPES OF WEB SITES VISITED TO FIND INFORMATION ABOUT ISSUES AND CANDIDATES You indicated that you use the Internet to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election. Which, if any, of the following types of sites do you typically visit for information about issues and candidates? Please select all that apply. Base: Respondents who use the Internet to find information about candidates and issues in the 2008 presidential election (n=421) and respondents who use the Internet to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election and use search engines to conduct this research (n=199) Source: iCrossing 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% News sites (e.g. CNN, New York Times, ABC/CBS/NBC etc.) Social media (net)* Candidate Web sites Other *Includes blogs, social networking sites, YouTube-like sites and Wikipedia-like sites Total Those using search engines to conduct research about issues and candidates in 2008 election© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 8
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007war in iraQ is top In the survey, voters demonstrated interest in a broad range of political issues for the upcoming presidential election, and, as noted below, this interest corresponded fairly closely to estimatedsearch issue monthly search volumes. The war in Iraq edged out gas prices and health care as the top concern. Adults over the age of 55, African Americans and voters with annual household incomes in the $25,000 to $40,000 range appear to have demonstrated considerably greater-than-average search interest in information about the war. Abortion, homeland security, civil rights, family values, crime, school prayer, affirmative action and gay marriage rounded out the bottom tier of the issues in which voters expressed search interest. TOP 10 ISSUES SEARCHED FOR IN 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION You mentioned that you use search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo!, etc.) to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election. Which, if any, of the following issues have you searched for? Please select all that apply. Base: Respondents who use the Internet to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election and use search engines to conduct this research (n=199) Source: iCrossing 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% War in Iraq Gas prices Health care Global War on Social Immigration Jobs Economy Education warming terror Security It bears noting that even with the election itself more than a year away, 89 percent of voters who use search engines to find election-related information have conducted searches on some relevant issue. In May 2007, the top five issues with the largest monthly search volumes (as opposed to the topics voters indicated they searched for in the survey) were Iraq, jobs, Internet, gas prices and Social Security, according to data pulled from Microsoft’s Live.com network. These are broad terms, but still reflective of the topics that generate voter interest. Coupled with the survey findings, they suggest a number of areas where candidates might value in focusing their campaigns (as well as other issues worth de-emphasizing). Careful review of voter language around these search topics can help candidates connect with voters more directly. Orienting online collateral around the most searched issues also can provide candidates with opportunities to build their presence in search.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007Barack oBama tops Voters are similarly active in conducting searches about declared and potential presidential candidates alike. Survey data shows just over three-quarters (76 percent) of voters using search engines to conductcurrent candidate search election research have looked for information about candidates. Barack Obama garnered the largest share of search interest, particularly among African-American voters, who searched for Obama at a significantly higher-than-average rate. Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani rounded out the top three, while John Edwards and John McCain finished a more distant fourth and fifth, respectively. Clinton, although the only female candidate in the race, attracted more interest from male voters than female voters. Candidates’ party affiliations generally correlate with interest from voters with like party affiliation. The top candidates also generated considerable interest from independent voters, as did those with something of a maverick reputation, such as John McCain and Newt Gingrich, foreshadowing a grueling battle for the “undecideds” once the campaign fully heats up. Some of the less publicized Republican candidates who are running smaller campaigns, including Mike Huckabee, Chuck Hagel and Sam Brownback, received a higher percentage of searches from Democratic voters than they got from Republicans. DECLARED AND POTENTIAL CANDIDATES SEARCHED FOR IN 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, BY POLITICAL AFFILIATION You mentioned that you use search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo!, etc.) to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election. Which, if any, of the following declared and potential candidates have you searched for? Please select all that apply. Base: Respondents who use the Internet to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election and use search engines to conduct this research (n=199) Source: iCrossing 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Barack Obama Hillary Clinton Rudy Giuliani John Edwards John McCain Mitt Romney Al Gore Fred Thompson Newt Gingrich Mike Huckabee George Pataki Dennis Kucinich Bill Richardson Sam Brownback Joe Biden Jim Gilmore Tommy Thompson Duncan Hunter Ron Paul Chuck Hagel Al Sharpton Tom Tancredo Mike Gravel Chris Dodd Havent searched for any candidates Total Democrat Republican Independent© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 10
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 Among surveyed voters, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, John Edwards and John McCain garnered the most search interest. As far as the estimated number of monthly searches is concerned, Obama and Clinton have generated by far the highest volumes over the past year, as measured by historical data from Microsoft’s Live.com network. Overall, the top monthly search volume results are largely commensurate with the search interest demonstrated by surveyed voters. Most candidates have experienced periodic spikes in search traffic in the past 12 months, Obama and Clinton being the most noteworthy in this regard. TOP ESTIMATED MONTHLY SEARCH VOLUMES FOR CANDIDATES IN 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, JUNE 2006-MAY 2007 Source: Microsoft AdLabs Research Center KSP 120,000 Barack Obama Hillary Clinton 100,000 John Edwards 80,000 Al Gore John McCain 60,000 Al Sharpton 40,000 Mitt Romney Rudy Giuliani 20,000 Fred Thompson 0 Jun-06 Jul-06 Aug-06 Sep-06 Oct-06 Nov-06 Dec-06 Jan-07 Feb-07 Mar-07 Apr-07 May-07© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 11
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007interest + search volume Voter interest and high monthly search volumes for the most part do not translate into visibility in natural and paid search. Arguably, from the candidate’s perspective, being visible or being found when and≠ search visiBility where an interested voter is looking is of utmost importance, not unlike the situation that arises when consumers are looking for a product or service: they either find one brand or they find a competitor. Responses from voters suggest that presidential candidates should focus their campaigns on their positions on key issues. Voters across party lines and in all demographic categories selected this as their primary reason for conducting candidate searches, and did so by an overwhelming margin. In terms of the other choices, men demonstrated greater interest in candidates’ voting and personal histories, while women were more curious about their religious affiliation, suggesting possible avenues for candidates to shape messages that appeal to different demographic segments. REASONS FOR CONDUCTING SEARCHES FOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES IN 2008 ELECTION For what reasons do you conduct searches for presidential candidates for the 2008 election? Please select all that apply. Base: Respondents who use the Internet to find information about issues and candidates in the 2008 presidential election and use search engines to conduct this research (n=199) Source: iCrossing 100% 90% 80% Total 70% 60% Male 50% 40% 30% Female 20% 10% 0% Find more information Find out about Learn more about Learn about their about their position their voting history their personal religious beliefs on a specific issue history and family and affiliation The combined natural and paid search landscapes comprise sites voters will find when they search for candidates and important issues. The survey indicated that voters are searching for this information, so the questions that follow are: whom or what are they finding, and what is the likelihood they might find a particular candidate or issue when conducting an online search? To find the answers, iCrossing analyzed a set of 126 election issue keywords and a list of URLs that represent 24 declared or potential candidates to determine which candidates have a presence (strong or otherwise) in search. In addition, iCrossing evaluated sites that are not necessarily candidate-related but which dominate the search visibility landscape for these terms and represent an additional opportunity for candidates to reach interested voters. iCrossing found all key candidates ranking in natural search results for their own names, which is to be expected. The surprise is that very few of the candidates are visible in natural search for issue-based terms or other candidates’ names. Issue-based content is really the key to a robust natural search engine optimization strategy for 2008 presidential candidates (based on the volume of searches for and interest in political issues), and right now the visibility for candidates on issue-based terms (all referenced in the appendix of this document) is minimal at best. Out of 126 terms, iCrossing found only two major candidates visible in natural search (each for one term): + Obama ranked on the 3rd page of MSN for Iraq + Clinton ranked on the 2nd page of MSN for DNC If voters are looking for information on a particular candidate and find that candidate’s site and the site of a competitor, they have an opportunity to view both and learn about both candidates – an instance of capitalization on the success of a competitor. As noted below, the Republican candidates are doing this in paid search by purchasing each other’s names. Consequently, the most effective strategy is for all candidates to build out content comparing their positions on issues that matter to the public to those of the competition in order to achieve natural search visibility for these terms as well.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 12
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 Although deploying an issue-based search strategy presents an online opportunity for presidential candidates, most candidates have not yet taken advantage of that opportunity. When looking more broadly at Web sites that rank for the set of issue-based terms examined, none of the major candidates’ Web sites broke into the top 100 for natural search visibility. By comparison, the list of the top 100 most visible Web sites returned for issues keyword searches is filled with sites from news and information aggregators like Wikipedia, the Washington Post, MSNBC and CNN, which were more visible than any other type of relevant site. In addition, government, organization and social media sites like YouTube, del.icio.us and CafePress appeared prominently on the list. top 100 most VisiBLe weB sites For issue keYworDs, mAY 2007 executive kar summary total rankings google* yahoo! aol** msn Average number of rankings Found for top 10 Domains 136 36 1 1 0 Average number of rankings Found for top 2 Domains 78 21 2 11 22 Average number of rankings Found for top 100 Domains 3  11  10 domains total rankings google* yahoo! aol** msn en.wikipedia.org 661 16 17 107 188 www.washingtonpost.com 112 2 27 1 28 www.msnbc.msn.com 103 1 1 7 67 www.cnn.com 102 2 37 11 30 www.amazon.com 81 2 2  27 www.whitehouse.gov 78 23 26 1 1 www.pbs.org 71 13 3 6 13 www.infoplease.com 61 1 1 7 20 news.bbc.co.uk 7 18 12 11 6 www.answers.com 6 12 17 7 10 www.eia.doe.gov 6 1 13 7 7 www.npr.org 3 13 18  8 www.youtube.com 3 1 13 nr 2 www.state.gov 0 1 10 6 10 technorati.com 3 13 1 11 1 www.heritage.org 3 7 20 3  dir.yahoo.com 38 1 13 8 2 www.nytimes.com 37 1  6 3 news.yahoo.com 36 12 nr 3 21 www.boston.com 3 11 17 2  usinfo.state.gov 3 6 13 3 12 www.law.cornell.edu 33 10 11 8  www.sourcewatch.org 33 12 13   www.csmonitor.com 33 12 6  10 www.globalissues.org 32  13  10 www.foxnews.com 32 3 11 nr 18 www.cafepress.com 31 10 2 7 12 www.religioustolerance.org 31 7 6 6 12 www.cato.org 31 12 2  13 www.usatoday.com 31 8 1   www.zmag.org 30  10  7 www.issues2000.org 30 2 23 1  www.nlm.nih.gov 30 10 8  8 www.democrats.org 2 10   10 www.britannica.com 2 1 26 nr 2 encarta.msn.com 2 1  nr 1 topics.nytimes.com 2 10 11 8 nr www.eere.energy.gov 27 7 10 3 7 www.ontheissues.org 26 11   7 www.house.gov 2  10 3 7 www.thenation.com 2 7 8 1 © copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 13
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 domains total rankings google* yahoo! aol** msn www.cbsnews.com 2 8 10 1  www.geocities.com 2   3 11 www.aclu.org 23 6    www.cbc.ca 23  18 nr nr www.publicagenda.org 23 10 8 3 2 www.un.org 22 6 7 2 7 del.icio.us 21 1 20 nr nr www.forbes.com 21  6  7 www.citizen.org 21 3 11 3  www.imdb.com 21 7 3 3 8 www.fas.org 21  7 3 6 www.epa.gov 21 6 7   www.hud.gov 21 6 6 3 6 abcnews.go.com 21 6  2  www.speakout.com 20 3 2 2 13 www.dol.gov 20  8 2  www.alternet.org 20 7  2 7 money.cnn.com 20  7   pewforum.org 1    6 www.civilrights.org 18 3  2  www.microsoft.com 18   2 8 www.ucsusa.org 18  6 3  www.cdc.gov 18 6  2  www.cia.gov 18 6 6  1 www.hrw.org 18   1 3 www.brookings.edu 17  11 1 nr web.amnesty.org 17 1 8 1 7 atheism.about.com 17 1  1 6 memory.loc.gov 17 6 7 3 1 www.flickr.com 17 1 1 1 1 www.nrdc.org 17   2  www.bls.gov 17 6  3  www.cfr.org 16 2 1 1 12 www.urban.org 16 1 7 1 7 plato.stanford.edu 16 3 8 2 3 hrw.org 16 7 2 2  www.hhs.gov 16 7 1 3  www.globalexchange.org 1 2 8 1  www.ers.usda.gov 1  6 1  www.ed.gov 1 3 6 2  dictionary.reference.com 1 nr 7 nr 8 www.wto.org 1  6 2 3 www.cms.hhs.gov 1   2  www.energy.gov 1 2  1 7 dmoz.org 1 1 7 nr 7 www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org 1   1  www.iht.com 1 6 6 nr 2 www.fueleconomy.gov 1   2 3 www.ustr.gov 1   1  www.opinionjournal.com 1 3 6 nr  www.usdoj.gov 1  3 2  jurist.law.pitt.edu 1 2 7 1  www.michigan.gov 1 3 6 nr  lcweb2.loc.gov 1 6 3  1 Executed on June 20, 2007. library.thinkquest.org 1  6 3 1 Results represent first page www.globalsecurity.org 13   1 3 rankings for 126 keywords www.fbi.gov 13 2  2  * Results provided by third party engine ** Contains results from Google www.newyorker.com 12 3  2 2 NR - Not Ranked on the first page www.commoncause.org 12 2 3 1 6© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 1
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 Candidates also are making use, albeit limited, of paid search to achieve visibility. Paid search results, which appear on the right-hand side of a search results page, are an efficient means of driving traffic to a Web site, but are generally most effective when employed as part of a holistic online campaign that fuses natural search optimization, paid search and display media together. iCrossing’s analysis using AdGooroo’s SEM Insight tool found very few of the presidential candidates to be visible for paid search, and even fewer who are focusing on the issues that most interest voters. The majority of the candidates focusing on both candidate names and issue-related keywords as well (exhibiting what might be termed a holistic defensive and offensive media strategy) are Republicans. The only Democrats demonstrating this type of approach are Edwards and Obama, and theirs are weak attempts at best. In addition, the McCain, Romney and Giuliani campaigns are notable for battling for competitive candidates’ names by aggressively placing their paid ads in front of other candidates that voters are looking for, and hence, truly capitalizing on the impressions that their competition might be generating. At the same time, most candidates appear to be missing out on an opportunity for visibility by not focusing on issues. Rather, they seem more inclined to capitalize on the popularity of their competition instead of trying to get their names out in front of the major issues their constituents are talking about. The major exception is McCain, who has clearly embraced paid search as a way to gain exposure for both his name and his stance on issues. cAnDiDAtes FounD running pAiD seArch cAmpAigns keywords found from the mccain romney guiliani huckabee richardson hunter h. clinton edwards Dodd thompson obama paul issues kw List iraq X X war in iraq X X X X stem cell research X pro-life X Dnc X rnc X campaign Finance X electoral reform X ethics reform X government Accountability X government reform X Lobbyist X special interests X tort reform X ethics X Family Values X social conservative X Flat tax X To determine which candidates are spending the most on paid search and how this spending correlates to their visibility, iCrossing analyzed AdGooroo rank and coverage data combined with estimates from Google AdWords for paid search cost per keyword. Edwards is currently dominating in issue- based paid search spending, with 64 percent of the total estimated budget. However, McCain, who is spending just 29 percent of the total, appears to be using his budget more effectively. As shown above, he is the most visible in paid search around issue-based keywords, thanks to smart keyword choice bidding strategy and position placement. From the available data, Edwards appears to be spending a lot of money to achieve some level of visibility, but not doing so with optimum effectiveness.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 1
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 BREAKDOWN OF ESTIMATED ISSUE-BASED PAID SEARCH BUDGET, BY CANDIDATE, MAY 2007 Source: iCrossing Romney Giuliani 3% 0% McCain 29% Obama 4% Edwards 64% Although McCain may be outperforming his competitors in paid search, the real winner in the politics-meets-paid search contest is online auction house eBay, which ranked first for the dataset encompassing issue-based keywords. eBay’s “victory” here signals that sites based on consumer- generated content constitute the top non-candidate competitors in paid search. In addition to eBay, sites such as CafePress, YouTube, citizenJoe and Newz Crew dominated the top 25 list. The keyword set constitutes a leading indicator of people and the ways they express themselves around the issues in a variety of ways and across a multitude of media. top 2 most VisiBLe weB sites in pAiD seArch For issue keYworDs, mAY 2007 issues (# of domains found - 2,078): domain rank rover.ebay.com 1 johnmccain.com 2 teachersagainstprejudice.org 3 questia.com  citizenjoe.org  urban.org 6 newzcrew.com 7 rand.org 8 ewg.org  cfr.org 10 nesea.org 11 amazon.com 12 gasprices.mapquest.com 13 netQuote.com 1 google.com 1 stopglobalwarming.org 16 chooseenergy.com 17 offeredby.net 18 ncat.org 1 rd.business.com 20 medicarerights.org 21 witness.org 22 vfwfoundation.org 23 leadershipiq.com 2 americanprogress.org 2© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 16
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007conclusions The 2008 presidential election undoubtedly will be the most expensive political contest in history and the first to take place in a truly multi-channel world. In essence, the campaign is the political equivalent of the Super Bowl, and smart presidential candidates should approach their messaging and collateral with the same goal as any smart marketer: reaching customers at their point of interest. After the online fundraising success that Howard Dean enjoyed in the 2004 presidential primaries, most candidates in subsequent major races have made a point about leveraging the Web, and the current crop of presidential aspirants is no exception. However, while creating a MySpace page or a channel on YouTube is sure to generate publicity and may be a useful tactic for reaching some voter segments, reaching a broad audience of interested voters requires a comprehensive strategy that comprises all facets of online social media. Adults who use search engines to look for information about candidates represent close to 20 percent of the general population, providing any candidate who has a well-considered online search strategy with a tremendous opportunity to reach potential constituents. As this study demonstrates, voters are clearly searching for a wide variety of election-relation issues as well as a large number of candidates, and when an interested voter conducts a search, the candidate’s goal is to generate online visibility for the issue and/or candidate that voter is looking for. Candidates still have a significant opportunity (of which most have yet to avail themselves) to build both natural and paid search visibility around the issues important to voters in this election (with the war in Iraq, gas prices and health care constituting the top three) and the keywords they use to search for these issues. Candidates need to build out content around these highly searched issue-based terms and focus their online marketing efforts on building visibility for them in both paid and natural search. Campaign planners need to ensure that candidate Web sites are optimized for a broad range of content, including Web search, news, images, videos, local search and blogs. Generally speaking, the more useful and interesting the content is, the more successful a Web site will be. Fresh content brings repeat visitors and increases the odds that other users and Web site owners will want to share that content with their visitors, groups or friends. As the Internet evolves into more of a “participation”-based social network, providing useful information such as articles, opinions, news, video, and audio files about products and services (in the politician’s case, positions on relevant issues) will become an increasingly vital ingredient in a site’s overall success. For candidates, a core benefit of encouraging social networking activities will be increased visibility in natural search. Furthermore, candidates can capitalize on voter search data to plan display media campaigns on those sites that are highly-visible for relevant terms. Close attention to crafting an intelligent and efficient online media strategy, one that is holistic in terms of understanding how interested voters use the Internet, the topics they search for and the sites they visit, will be vital over the course of the next few months to ensure good positioning as the campaign gains momentum and the competition heats up.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 17
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007endnotes methoDoLogY Survey This report presents the findings of a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation among a sample of 1,094 adults comprising 521 men and 573 women 18 years of age and older. The online omnibus study is conducted twice a week among a U.S. sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older using the Greenfield Online panel. Interviewing for this survey was completed on May 14, 2007. Completed interviews were weighted by four variables: age, sex, geographic region and race, to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population 18 years of age and older. The raw data were weighted by a custom designed program that automatically develops a weighting factor for each respondent. Each respondent was assigned a single weight derived from the relationship between the actual proportion of the population based on U.S. Census data with its specific combination of age, sex, geographic characteristics and race and the proportion in the sample. Tabular results show both weighted and unweighted bases. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. The data have been weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the population 18 years of age and older. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, error associated with non-response, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Natural Search Visibility The methodology employed in this report to determine natural search visibility is based on the iCrossing Position Analysis Report (PAR) and the iCrossing Keyword Analysis Report (KAR). The main purpose of this report is to demonstrate the natural search visibility of 24 declared and potential presidential candidates for the 2008 election, compare them on the basis of natural search visibility and compare the visibility of all key candidates in a given online keyword landscape. An appendix with a full list of both keywords and URLs considered follows below. For this report, iCrossing analyzed search engine position data from the following U.S. search engines: Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask and AOL. Search Volume Data Search volume data was obtained through Microsoft AdLabs Research Center’s Keyword Services Platform. Paid Search Visibility The core advertising intelligence of the AdGooroo service is collected through servers that are hosted throughout the world. These servers continually gather ads directly from the search engines and send this information back to AdGooroo’s data center. Each keyword is monitored, on average, over 40 times per day in the pay-per-click (PPC) arena. Ads appearing on the first page of search engine results are included in the AdGooroo reports. In addition, AdGooroo also gathers the top 100 natural results for all keywords monitored. Additional identifying information for many resultant URLs (from both PPC and organic results) has been incorporated from over 37 databases and is available through specialized reports. AdGooroo utilizes a panel of over 2,500,000 internet searchers located throughout the world. Panel data is used to generate keyword suggestions, first by generating a competitive set consisting of the most active advertisers in any given space, next by monitoring pay-per-click (PPC) traffic to these sites, and then by recording the Google/Yahoo! search phrases that resulted in this traffic. As a final stage, this data is aggregated and sorted by estimated traffic to produce weekly keyword expansion lists. Paid search data was collected from May 1 to May 29, 2007.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 18
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 citAtion poLicY The content and statistics contained in the body of this report may be used in publications and presentations provided there is attribution to: “iCrossing, a digital marketing company.” contAct For more information on this report, please contact us at howamericasearches@icrossing.com. For information regarding our market research services, please call 1.866.620.3780 or contact us at findus@icrossing.com. ABout icrossing iCrossing is a different kind of digital marketing company. Driven by customer insight, the company creates programs and engaging experiences designed to help brands be found, help them talk to their customers, and help them achieve marketing success. Through a proven combination of talent and technology, iCrossing helps its global client base – including Travelocity and 40 Fortune 500 companies like The Coca-Cola Company – find solutions to their digital marketing challenges. Founded in 1998, the company has 350 employees worldwide. iCrossing is headquartered in Scottsdale with U.S. offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and San Francisco, and U.K. offices in London and Brighton. Find out more at www.icrossing.com. ABout opinion reseArch corporAtion Opinion Research Corporation, founded in 1938, is a research and consulting firm that helps organizations worldwide – in both private and public sectors – make a definitive difference in their performance. By providing objective, fact-based decision support and implementation, grounded in rigorous research, we earn our clients’ confidence with our fresh ideas and perspective. More information about Opinion Research Corporation may be obtained at www.opinionresearch.com.© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 1
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007appendix Appendix A: Issue Keyword Phrases Considered (126) ......................................................................... 21 Appendix B: Candidate URLs Considered ............................................................................................. 22© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 20
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007appendix a issue keYworD phrAses consiDereD (126) 11 Foreign policy partisan Abortion Free trade patient rights Abu ghraib Fuel costs pork Barrel Activist judges gas prices principles Values Affirmative Action gay marriage privacy Aids gay rights privatization Alternative energy global warming pro-Life Armed Forces personnel government Accountability racism Balkans government reform reform party Bipartisan greenhouse gases renewable energy Budget economy guantanamo republican national convention campaign Finance gun control rnc christian right health care rollbacks civil rights homeland security sales tax civil unions housing school prayer civil war human rights in china sdi missile Defense climate change illegal immigrants second Amendment conservative immigration security constitution party infrastructure technology social conservative crime internet social security cuba iran sovereignty Death penalty iraq special interests Democratic national convention israel palestine stem cell research Disabled rights jobs tax reform Dnc juvenile justice terrorism Drug war kickbacks the pledge of Allegiance Drugs kosovo three strikes economy kyoto treaty tobacco education Leadership tort reform electoral reform Liberal unemployment rate energy Libertarian party united nations energy independence Lobby universal health care energy oil Lobbyist urban issues environment medicaid Values ethics medicare Veterans ethics reform middle class Vouchers Faith Based initiatives middle east war in iraq Faith Based organizations mideast war on terror Families children nafta war peace Family Values north korea welfare poverty Farm policy nuclear energy working Americans Flat tax nuclear weapons wto Foreign Aid oil subsidies wto gAtt© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 21
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007appendix B cAnDiDAte urLs consiDereD cAnDiDAte weBsite(s) Al gore .algore.com Alan keyes .alankeyes.com Barack obama .barackobama.com Bill richardson .richardsonforpresident.com chris Dodd .chrisdodd.com constitution party .constitutionparty.com David cobb .iwantmyvote.com Dennis kucinich .kucinich.us Dnc .democrats.org .dnc.org Doug stanhope .stanhopeforpresident.com Duncan hunter .gohunter08.com elizabeth Dole .elizabethdole.org gary nolan .garynolan.com george Allen .georgeallen.com george pataki .georgepataki.com george phillies .phillies2008.com hillary clinton .hillaryclinton.com jeb Bush .jeb.org jim gilmore .gilmoreforpresident.com joe Biden .joebiden.com john edwards .johnedwards.com john h. cox .cox2008.com john kerry .johnkerry.com john mccain .johnmccain.com kat swift .bexargreens.org Libertarian party .lp.org mark warner .draftmarkwarner.com michael Badnarik .badnarik.org mike gravel .gravel2008.us mike huckabee .explorehuckabee.com mitt romney .mittromney.com newt gingrich .newt.org pat Buchanan .buchanan.org ralph nader .nader.org reform party .reformparty.org rnc .gop.com .rnc.org robert w. milnes .robertmilnes.net© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 22
    • how america searches: eLection ‘08 juLY 2007 cAnDiDAte urLs consiDereD, continueD... cAnDiDAte weBsite(s) ron paul .ronpaulexplore.com .ronpaul2008.com rudy giuliani .joinrudy2008.com russ Feingold .draftruss.com sam Brownback .brownback.com steve kubby .kubby2008.com tom tancredo .tancredo.org .teamtancredo.org tom Vilsack .tomvilsack08.com tommy thompson .tommy2008.com© copYright 2007. icrossing, inc. | www.icrossing.com AtLAntA | chicAgo | DALLAs | new York | sAn FrAncisco | scottsDALe | u.k. 1.866.620.3780 23