Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Internet Helps To Shape the Election


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Chris Crum
The Internet Helps To Shape the Election
Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Well, here we are. Today is the day. Voters all over the country are making their way to the booths, each to put their own little nail in the coffin of this presidential race that has seemingly been going on for an eternity. This has been the most captivating race I have seen in my lifetime, and many say that this is one of the most important elections the U.S. has ever seen.


Editor's Note: If all of the information you've been exposed to all year long hasn't served any other purpose for you, take it as inspiration to get out and vote today if you live in the U.S. You can also continue to add to the election discussion by commenting here.

Who will emerge victorious? Will it be Bob Barr? Will it be John McCain? Will it be Barack Obama? Will it be Ralph Nader? How about Chuck Baldwin or Cynthia McKinney? With all due respect to the other candidates, I think it's pretty safe to say that two of the names mentioned above will be the ones on most minds across America.

The Internet has played a very large role in this election, from campaigning and coverage, to conversation and tools for information. And let's not leave out the comic relief. So let's take a look at how the Internet has shaped this presidential race.

MARKETING POLITICS

There's no question that the Internet has provided an unparalleled medium for marketing the McCain and Obama campaigns. For one, anyone who is interested can easily go to JohnMcCain.com or BarackObama.com and see what the candidates want them to see. For those who don't know the URLs, a simple Google search for either candidate's name will bring you their official website at the top of the results.

John McCain Barack Obama

SEO

Even Search Engine Optimization has played a role in this race. Way back in January, Michael Jensen took a look at how the candidates were doing in terms of SEO. He looked at backlinks, Technorati links, Alexa rank, page strength, indexed pages, PPC branding, and IndexRank.

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Press Releases

I don't know what percentage of releases come directly from the McCain and Obama campaigns, but a search for either candidate's name on press release distribution sites like PR Newswire or BusinessWire, will turn up a plethora of results of people telling us why each candidate is good for the job as well as why each is bad.

Online Advertising

Then of course there's good old fashioned advertising. Display ads for both Barack Obama and John McCain are plastered all around the web. Some straight from the campaigns, some from third-parties looking to cash in on clicks from the candidates' celebrity just as they would use Eminem or Paris Hilton.

When you're advertising on the Internet though, you can't leave out search engine advertising, and the McCain and Obama campaigns are well aware of this. Valleywag has an interesting look at the keywords each have purchased on Google.

Valleywag Article on Candidate Keyword Purchasing



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About the Author:
Chris Crum is a staff writer for WebProNews and iEntry Network.
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Rafael Robinson

What would you do?

Our featured post today comes from nicholash. He wants to know if he should have multiple versions of his homepage that are shown based on how the visitor gets to the site. Think you can help nicholash out? Tell us your thoughts at WebProWorld!

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Home page as a landing page
I have been reading more about how important landing pages are in the process of converting users. This was mostly related to PPC where you could control the page that the person lands on. Where you get the traffic via SEO and land on your homepage, this might be from lots of different source.

What I am wondering is should I design like 5-10 different homepages, when some one comes to the home page. Depending if they have visited before (cookie), what is the refer (from Google, another site), what user agent (possible treat IE users different to firefox users). So if they come to the page with searching for different key words (determined by looking at the referrer header) then show the homepage that is best designed for what they are looking for.

I am looking at making a better user experience and improve conversion (give users what they are looking for).
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