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Who will it be, Hillary or Barack? According to this report, the Internet may hold the answer...

Barack vs. Hillary- The Google Effect

February 7, 2008

Barack vs. Hillary- The Google Effect

Democratic Candidates Google Comparison, Facebook overview and WWW Site Analysis

What did Super Tuesday deliver?

Google is without a doubt one of the most influential companies of our time and it's effect on society is awesome. Google.com is also a great resource for getting more information about the presidential candidates and they have tools, such as Google Trends, which help us compare popular search terms, for instance "facebook" vs. "myspace." Although this example would appear to have nothing to do with the 2008 election, it does show how accurate the trend charts can be. As many of us know, Facebook came on strong since opening up it's registration to all and is seen as the top social networking site, yet MySpace has more users, as the chart in the link above shows- and not surprisingly, as we will later read, both candidates have a presence on these popular online tools. Ok, so back to the Google effect first.

Although Hillary Clinton won some of the big states, Barack Obama won more states- and his Google searches were higher than Hillary's going into that big day. So, what exactly did Super Tuesday deliver? Well, let's look at our Google Trends chart, to see who is getting more web searches, Obama or Clinton ("Hillary Clinton" or "Barack Obama" to be exact.)- who is gaining from that Google effect:

Google Trend Report (searches) Hillary vs. Barack - Click HERE.

Obama has once again taken a commanding lead in the number of people searching for him, compared to Hillary Clinton. We can see that this started a couple weeks before and continued right through Super Tuesday, which is very interesting.

Anytime someone has to place their own money into an already started operation is generally not a good sign. It means more risk and with Hillary "loaning" 'her' campaign five million dollars it could be the sign of things to come... or will it spark new interest from others that see her believing in herself? Time will tell and to a certain degree, so will the Google Trend Charts.

In other articles we have seen that Ron Paul was leading the race in the amount of Google searches being done on him compared to the rest in the stride. Obama has however now taken a commanding lead, as we can see here on this chart for all the presidential candidates:

Google Trend Report (searches) All Candidates - Click HERE.

However, there are other web indicators to look at, such as who is hitting and visiting the Democratic candidates web pages.

Site Comparison
Using once again Compete.com, we fill in the main campaign sites for the Democrats; www.hillaryclinton.com and www.barackobama.com? See the results here:

Whoa- that is some spring-leap for Obama. Looks like, for sure now, that more people are visiting Barack's web site, as the above chart is for unique people, not those returning.

Hillary Clinton (see her page here) has a presence on Facebook with a total as of today of 98,292 supporters. Barack Obama (see his page here) has a whooping 410,214 supporters! That eclipses Hillary's site and it is interesting to note that Facebook is mainly for college students and young to medium aged professionals. Both candidates also have pages (both rather cluttered there really) on MySpace.com as well.

The coming days will tell a lot, and surely these web indicators will as well. With 42% of young people using the internet as their election guide and 25% (SOURCE: www.pewresearch.com) of the rest of us using it as well for this purpose, makes it a valuable resource.

postscript: Virgina Google Trends Chart (Upcoming Primary):
Google Searches in Virgina


Other Articles Related:
Google Trends- Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama
Google Trends in Politics- does it matter?

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