By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
It’s impressive to see the number of people searching online this evening for topics related to the 2008 election and the New Hampshire primary results. This article is not about politics or today’s primary, it’s a glimpse into what we as Americans have been seeking throughout the day.
The thanks behind the creation of this topic goes to a very interesting tool provided by Google known as Hot Trends. Think of it like an exit poll that allows us to get a look as to what people’s thoughts were throughout the day.
Like millions of others did today, I came home from my work wondering what the New Hampshire primary results were. I had heard bits of news throughout the day regarding John McCain and the other candidates but I don’t watch television, so I went to the net for more information. It looked like the major media companies were waiting to release their stories on Wednesday morning (January 9) so I figured I’d check out what was hot in search. Take a look at the screenshots.
This first screenshot shows the top 50 topics people have been searching for during the past few hours. As you can see, the most volcanic results are for Cindy McCain (John McCain’s wife). Notice the number 2 search is exactly the same as number one except it’s coming from someone that does not know McCain’s wife’s first name. What I love about this is we are given two clear examples of how to search for the same thing.
We see another example in position number 3 with people searching for a candidate calculator. You may not know it but results number four and number five are related to number three. Most people were searching for a web site called vajoe.com but we can see the majority did not know the name of the site. They did however know what they were looking for (the calculator) and the results suggest they found it.
I’m not going to go through all of the first top 50 but let’s look at how many are directly related to today’s election results. From what I can see there are at least 28 of the top 50 searches related to the primaries and elections. America has been seeking more information regarding upcoming primaries such as the Michigan primary and the South Carolina primary.
One search that really stood out is the “who should I vote for”in position number 36. (You’re welcome to post who we should vote for in the comments) Another that stands out is the search for Ron Paul New Hampshire. Notice that he is the only candidate being actively searched by name (out of the top 50 results). That is likely due to the incredibly Internet savvy audience the medical doctor from Texas has as a following (and the suspicion he’s been excluded in much of the major media coverage).
One of the reasons I saved screenshots of these search results is that they are updated regularly and I wanted to be able to show them for historical purposes. Let’s take a look at the screenshot for number 51 through 100.
In the bottom 50 there are not as many search results related to election information. Some of the quick stuff that stands out for me is the primary schedule, superdelegates, super Tuesday, election coverage, candidate selector, and candidate quiz.
Result number 59 (register to vote) is exciting as it shows people are actively seeking information and they are likely folks that are not yet registered. We see more evidence of upcoming primary searches with the terms Wyoming primary, Florida primary, Michigan polls, and maybe even Democratic primary. I don’t think that the search for petrified wood (number 55) has anything to do with the search for McCain age (number 72) but he is one of the oldest candidates running. He was born in August of 1936 and is 71 years old. Ron Paul is 72. For those wondering, Barack Obama was born in August of 1961 and Hillary Clinton was born in October of 1947 (Hillary and I almost share a birthdate).
I notice a search for Danny Aiello in position number 60. Now he’d make a great president! Especially in his Jacob’s Ladder character that barges into the hospital and yells “this is barbaric!” For those of you that don’t know, Danny played the role of a chiropractor in that film, and that was probably my favorite scene.
OK, let’s actually get you some resources that will come in handy throughout the rest of 2008. Here is Google News for primary results and here’s the link for CNN politics. For those of you wanting to register to vote you can do so at Rock the Vote.
For those of you interested in search engine findings and reports related to candidate web sites, check out my two earlier in-depth posts on Barack Obama (also includes information about Hillary Clinton website) and Ron Paul.