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SEO and the Presidential Candidates

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A recent article posted on Slashdot looked at various website design points of the top 6 Presidential Candidates. Here I compare SEO statistics of the top 6 Presidential Candidates’ websites: Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain.

I will compare SEO statistics and information about the age of domain, length of domain registration, domain characteristics, backlinks, Technorati links, .edu links, Alexa Rank, Page Strength, indexed pages, supplemental results, name search on Google, other search terms on Google, and pay-per-click. The order of candidates is listed in order of “rank” within each category of statistics.

Age of Domain

This comes from either Alexa data or WHOIS data. The age of domain is important in SEO because older sites typically hold more credibility and trust with search engines.

Hillary Clinton – 22-Oct-2001
John Edwards – 16-Jul-1998
Barack Obama – 28-Dec-2004
John McCain – 17-Jul-1997
Mitt Romney – 08-Feb-2002
Rudy Giuliani – 17-Nov-2006

Length of Domain Registration

This statistic looks at how many years the domain has been registered for beyond the create date (based on WHOIS data), and the candidates are listed in descending order of year that the domain expires. It’s considered good SEO practice to register a domain for a longer amount of time (5+ years)

John McCain – 15 years, expires 26-Jan-2017
Hillary Clinton – 15 years, expires 22-Oct-2016
Barack Obama – 11 years, expires 28-Dec-2015
John Edwards – 11 years, expires 14-Jul-2009
Mitt Romney – 8 years, expires 08-Feb-2010
Rudy Giuliani – 2 years, expires 17-Nov-2008

Type in Domain

Everyone except Rudy Giuliani has a perfect type in domain for their name, so you can just type in their name, add the .com and you’re at their site. This may hurt Rudy a little, but his last name is hard to remember how to spell for many so perhaps joinrudy2008.com is better in some ways.

Backlinks

Backlinks, or inbound links, are how many sites link to your site. These figures are from Yahoo.

Barack Obama – 119,909
Hillary Clinton – 79,219
Mitt Romney – 39,245
Rudy Giuliani – 38,236
John Edwards – 15,498
John McCain – 7,428

Technorati Links

This is used as a measure of popularity in the blogosphere world. The more the better.

Barack Obama – 6,527
John Edwards – 4,952
Hillary Clinton – 3,710
Mitt Romney – 1,756
John McCain – 670
Rudy Giuliani – 342

.edu links

Links from educational institutions are regarded as passing more weight or confidence as a backlink, and are highly desirable (and hard to get).

Hillary Clinton – 97
Barack Obama – 87
John Edwards – 35
Mitt Romney – 33
Rudy Giuliani – 21
John McCain – 0

Alexa Rank

I know Alexa isn’t perfect, but it’s an interesting comparison. The lower the number, “the better”. The number represents the rank of the website out of the top websites on the Internet in terms of traffic. The most visited site on the Internet is ranked 1. A zero (0) means either an error or not enough traffic to rank.

Barack Obama – 12,581
Hillary Clinton – 18,727
John Edwards – 33,485
Mitt Romney – 129,490
John McCain – 178,788
Rudy Giuliani – 0

Page Strength

John Edwards – 6.5/10
Hillary Clinton – 5.5/10
Barack Obama – 5/0
Mitt Romney – 4/10
Rudy Giuliani – 3.5/10
John McCain – 3.5/10

Indexed Pages

Google and Yahoo both give a different number of pages in their index, so I’ll show both, Google/Yahoo.

John Edwards – 4230/66
John McCain – 457/155
Hillary Clinton – 387/1133
Mitt Romney – 309/157
Barack Obama – 148/525
Rudy Giuliani – 91/34

Supplemental Results

If pages show up as supplemental results (use this query, just change domain) it means they aren’t carrying as much as weight as they could be and their rankings probably suffer. The figure shown below is supplemental/total indexed, as well as what percent of pages are supplemental results out of their total number of indexed pages (both from Google). Lower % is better.

John Edwards – 260/4230 (6%)
Mitt Romney – 71/309 (23%)
John McCain – 104/457 (23%)
Barack Obama – 35/148 (24%)
Rudy Giuliani – 38/91 (42%)
Hillary Clinton – 168/387 (43%)

Name search on Google

If you type in the candidate’s name in Google, where does their “official” election site come up in the SERPs?

Hillary Clinton – 1st result
Barack Obama – 1st result
John Edwards – 1st result
Mitt Romney – 1st result
Rudy Giuliani – 2nd result, 1st is Wikipedia entry
John McCain – 33rd result, 1st is his Senate page

Rankings for name, party, etc

Terms searched for included: presidential election, presidential candidates, 2008 elections, compare candidates, and candidates issues. The top 100 results were checked for each search term. If no ranking is listed below, the candidates site does not rank in the top 100 for that term.

Barack Obama – #35 for presidential candidates, #66 for candidates issues
Hillary Clinton – (none)
John Edwards – (none)
John McCain – (none)
Mitt Romney – (none)
Rudy Giuliani – (none)

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Terms searched for included: presidential election, presidential candidates, 2008 elections, compare candidates, candidates issues, democrat, democratic party, republican, and republican party. Certainly there are many others I could have typed for but these are ones I thought would be critical to any PPC campaign.

Barack Obama – presidential election, presidential candidates, 2008 elections, democrat, democratic party,
John McCain – presidential election, presidential candidates
Hillary Clinton – (none)
John Edwards – (none)
Mitt Romney – (none)
Rudy Giuliani – (none)

Obviously we are very early on in the elections, but certainly SEO efforts should be underway if they are going to occur at all. In some ways it is evident there are definitely SEO strategies in place, but what about the lack of PPCWhat are some of your observations?

Also check out my post from yesterday about what Analytics programs the Presidential Candidates are using.

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SEO and the Presidential Candidates
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