A saw this article today over at Time called The Politics of Search and then a blog post by the author Bill Tancer from Hitwise called Election 2008 and I was surprised at the following written conclusion from Bill regarding pay per click advertising:
It appears that at this early stage in the campaign candidates are relying solely on organic search results — in other words, they aren't buying any significant search-term advertising to boost their traffic from search engines. Watching the latest round of political debates, I've become a little skeptical of both side's commitment to their political platform. If candidates feel so strongly about the top issues of the day, then perhaps they should purchase keywords on those issues to stake out their positions. If a candidate wants to broadcast a position on abortion, why not purchase the term "abortion," "pro-life" or "pro-choice?"
The bolded statements surprised me a bit because they are really inaccurate and I'm a little surprised that a MSM company like Time didn't fact check it properly. Case in point and NOT using my personal blog posts yet to prove these are inaccurate:
- Hotline on Call showed that Barack Obama spent $72K in the first quarter on Google AdWords.
- Donna Bogatin when she was with ZDNet published the following results on my search campaign for John McCain.
- There are plenty of campaigns buying each other's words - see these two posts
- ClickZ details my McCain display ad buy and shows Google as one of the networks...hmm
- Finally, just checking for yourself in Google will show a candidate bidding on a pro-life word plus other issue words
I think political campaigns are very committed to search marketing. I personally see ALL of the ads multiple times per day. I've written before that PPC advertising is a very dynamic marketplace. There are many reasons why a candidate buys or does not buy words and even when they are buying a certain word, there are valid reasons why their ad may not appear the exact moment when someone decides to write an article. Come on Bill, you just need to spend more time searching for political ads.
I'm really tired of people not fact checking PPC advertising and just making assumptions when they search a few times and don't see anything. Remember even when a campaign is buying a word, they may have hit their daily spend and that's why the ads doesn't show. Simple answer. There were plenty of clues (as shown above) that the 2008 candidates are committed to search advertising; some more than others but enough data is out there.