business

Predicting search: Obama vs. McCain case study

on Oct 07 in business, marketing, politics, search, trends posted by

Cynics might argue that presidential debates rarely change the outcome.
But pundits this year seem generally agreed that the presidential and
vice-presidential debates could be critical in determining the election
result.

Google Trends (a graph of search term frequency over time) lends support to the pundits’ view.

Searches for Obama and McCain parallel each other over time, with
searches for Obama consistently exceeding those for McCain. Proving
what? That’s not certain. Perhaps overall interest in Obama is greater.
Perhaps McCain is better known.

Whatever the case, searches for
both candidates spiked around the first presidential debate. (See graph; A similar
spike appeared for the Palin/Biden debate, with the Democratic candidate ranking
lower in search frequency.)


Searches for Obama and McCain parallel each other over time, with searches for Obama consistently exceeding those for McCain. Proving what? That’s not certain. Perhaps overall interest in Obama is greater. Perhaps McCain is better known.

Whatever the case, searches for both candidates spiked around the first presidential debate. (A similar spike appeared for Palin/Biden, with the Democratic candidate ranking lower in search frequency.)

Perhaps the most interesting implication (aside from the political) is that we can see a predictive pattern. That is, I predict that searches for the candidate’s names will spike again, around the second and third debates. (Will the spike be higher or lower than for the first debate remains to be seen.

Could search marketers develop a theory around this? i.e, a predictive theory that would allow optimal bidding for search terms around known calendar events.

The ability to optimize bids around search terms based on a predictive theory would give a significant advantage in maximizing ROI for search campaign spend.

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