Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

Google Zeitgeist: Is Reverse Polling As Good At Predicting The Next President of the United States As Traditional Pollsters?

October 23, 2008

If you haven’t visited Google’s Zeitgeist recently, it now invites visitors to “take a look inside the world of search” via one of Google’s four search tools: Google Trends, Trends for Websites, Insights for Search and Hot Trends.

According to Google, “Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times”.

Google’s search tools reveal “the spirit of the times” through the aggregation of millions of search queries Google receives every day.

Isn’t the data Google culls from millions of search queries and their resulting Zeitgeist’s “spirit of the times” in effect – Reverse Polling?

Granted; searches for presidential candidates aren’t necessarily purchase proxies like those inherent in transactional related searches – or are they?

Through our votes aren’t we buying one candidate instead of another and then paying for both the newly elected and their predecessors’ policies via local, state and federal tax code?

Maybe one day we can shop for and elect officials online, but until then – we will have to settle for searching a candidates’ “product” features and benefits via all the various media available online including news, blogs and candidate websites.

Thus and barring concerns about the US Economy, few other topics symbolize the spirit of the times more here in the US than the upcoming United States Presidential election.

In keeping with the spirit of the times, below are two Google graphs illustrating how often each presidential candidate’s name has been searched compared to the other candidate with the difference calculated in ratios.

Barack Obama Searches

Barack Obama Searches

According to this Google graph, John McCain receives .62 searches for every Barack Obama search.

John McCain Searches

John McCain Searches

The same search data explained another way shows Barack Obama receives 1.62 searches for every search John McCain receives in Google.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal published their most recent presidential poll which has a graph that somewhat resembles Google search data for both candidates.

Wall Street Journal Poll

Wall Street Journal Poll

Further Google tool research for both candidates websites even more closely mirrors the recent Wall Street Journal presidential poll results.

Google search data indicates has received 1 search for every .32 searches.

And again – the search data appears to closely mirror the Wall Street Journal presidential poll findings. Searches Searches

The same search data presented for McCain searches shows receives one search for every 3.2 searches. Searches Searches

Have not Voters’ presidential candidate preferences already manifested in Google search data?

If so, what search factors potentially skew the predictive qualities of Google data?

In my next “Google Presidential Poll” post, I will take a crack at answering the above questions while also delving more deeply into where and how voters’ presidential candidate preferences have already materialized in Google search data as well as provide additional reasons why I think Google data has reached parity with traditional pollster data – at least on the national level.


Live Search xRank and Barack Obama

August 29, 2008

Microsoft has re-launched Live Search along with its xRank features.

Today I was surprised to find the following picture embedded in Microsoft’s Live Search home page.

Or is it the other way around?

I was surprised to find the Microsoft Live Search box embedded in a picture of Barack Obama.

Live Search Barack Obama

Live Search Barack Obam

I am not sure but I think this is a first.

Embed your search home page in images from the day’s headlines?

If your search appliance isn’t gaining search traffic market share from its competition piggy back your product on news and images known to produce search traffic by bolting your search box onto the backs of the day’s top headlines?

Yahoo already does this to some degree but Live Search has taken its editorial to a new level.

If search was previously defined by it’s transparency and absence of bias, Microsoft Live Search has now flip flopped with its decision to make its editorial choice the cover of their Live Search home page.

It will be interesting to see if this decision increases Microsoft’s Live Search traffic volume and market share or if it puts off both its otherwise loyal search users while dissuading potential additional search audience members from visiting the Live Search site.

Drilling down from the home page Live Search provides five categories of Live Search xRank results: Celebrity, Musician, Politician, Blogger and Olympics.

I assume as news cycles ebb and flow, so will their xRank editorial categories selections.

By optimizing its home page for maximum search audience traffic through co-opting the day’s headlines, Live Search has literally given new meaning to the terms search engine optimization and SEO.

Live Search xRank Celebrity

Live Search xRank Celebrity

Live Search Celebrity xRank

Live Search xRank Musician

Live Search xRank Musician

Live Search Musician xRank

Live Search xRank Politician

Live Search xRank Politician

Live Search Politician xRank

Live Search xRank Blogger

Live Search xRank Blogger

Live Search Blogger xRank

Live Search xRank Olympics

Live Search xRank Olympics

Live Search Olympics xRank