Tonight (if you didn’t know already) is UK election night. So it’s not too difficult to predict that the most popular queries in Google UK right now are likely to be surrounding the three parties and their leaders.
Here’s the Google Trends search volume for the last 30 days – I’d expect there may be another spike on the way:
This year, more than ever, many votes will be decided online – opinions having been flying around Twitter for weeks, Facebook fan/like votes, blog reviews, forum discussions and social media campaigns – but what about search?
I thought it would be interesting to compare Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg from an online reputation and personal branding perspective. So here goes…
Let’s start with the current prime minister. Well, Gordon Brown’s organic search results were pretty good last week. But one mention of a “bigoted woman” managed to change that very quickly. Not only did this impact the universal search news and video results, but it also began breaking into the organic listings too. With stories about this from both the Guardian and BBC featuring on the first page of results.
In addition to this, the Conservatives have taken their paid search chance to get in a sponsored dig on Labour for this query. And it does make you wonder how well gordon-brown.co.uk’s property business may have boomed over the last month!
Next up, Tory leader David Cameron. First result provided from Google News, featuring an image from The Sun where he’s kissing his wife – never a pretty sight – but nothing too damaging there (at least long-term). The organic results are actually pretty squeaky-clean, maybe too much – how did the posters (on a keyword-rich linkbaited domain) fail to break in?
On the negative side, the paid search ad is still attacking Labour – shouldn’t they be selling themselves here instead of talking about their opponents weaknesses? And you’ll notice the YouTube video titled “David Cameron exposed”, not a good title to see even if you don’t click through (in-fact especially if you don’t click through).
Unsurprisingly “Nick Clegg” was the least popular search query of the three 30 days ago – but this quickly changed following the leaders debates. So his online reputation became very important, extremely quickly.
At first glance, the results here look very good- the media attention appearing as news results is all reasonably positive, organic listings controlled by the Lib Dems (and of course Wikipedia), image results are good and the video listings are also positive. But scrolling down the first page and the Telegraph go some way towards ruining this with their Nick Clegg would be a disaster for Britain article.
There’s also a conservatives ad, but again they’re far too worried about what Labour are doing than selecting a targeted ad based on the actual search query.
So who wins your vote?
And will any of this have an impact on the outcome? Well personal image and branding is clearly important for all three, they all want to influence as many people as possible. So who better to showcase your strengths to, than the people who are searching for you online and looking to find out more information before voting?