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What Voters Are Searching for in Google about the Candidates and Parties
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What Voters Are Searching for in Google about the Candidates and Parties

by Ben Wittams-Smith1st May 2015

Search engines like Google process a tremendous amount of user data (100 billion search queries every month), giving them a direct insight into what the public is thinking. So what does the public want to know about the candidates of the upcoming election?

With the immense wealth of data acquired each day in the way of user search queries, Google is able to achieve a general awareness of what people are thinking and even what their intentions and plans are. Around ninety per cent of online searches done in the UK are made through Google, allowing for an insight into the wider public’s opinion, and has been speculated that Google can even gain an accurate insight into the outcome of the election.

Matt Cooke from Google’s News lab reminds us that although Google can see users search queries, gauging the intent behind the search query, and the political stance of the searcher is not always easy.

Matt commented: “You can’t tell the sentiment of the search using search results,” says Matt Cooke from Google’s News Lab. “Sometimes in the US you can point to a level of interest in a candidate, but they can be positive or negative.”

If the most recent searches on Google for candidates were to be taken as equal to votes for the party that they represent, then Ed Milliband would set to celebrate his victory according to the most recent data captured by Google:

graph

These searches indicate interest, but they don’t necessarily tell us why people are interested.

Some users are likely interested in the recent interview with Ed Milliband on the Russel Brand’s the Trews:

There are other trending search terms like “ed miliband bacon”:

 

These searches are in reference to a set of pictures of Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich:

ed miliband bacon

So what does the British public want to know about the main party leaders? Below are some of the most popular search terms for each of the party leaders:

David Cameron

  • how old is david cameron
  • david cameron net worth
  • david cameron salary
  • david cameron age
  • david cameron height

David Cameron

  • nick clegg atheist
  • who is nick clegg’s wife
  • where does nick clegg live
  • nick clegg the last leg
  • where did Nick clegg go to school

Nigel Farage

  • nigel farage latest news
  • nigel farage breastfeeding
  • nigel farage cancer
  • nigel farage net worth
  • nigel farage youtube

Ed Miliband

  • ed miliband kitchen
  • ed miliband bacon
  • ed miliband brother
  • ed miliband russell brand
  • ed miliband wife

As can be seen many of these search queries are not directly related to the elections. Queries such as “nigel farage cancer” are likely related to his personal recovery from cancer and will not have a major effect on a voter’s decision. Others such as “nigel farage breastfeeding” which likely are related to a comment Nigel made on a radio show regarding women breastfeeding in public, may well effect a voter’s decision.

And with that in mind, here is the comment:

Do you think comment might dissuade voters? Let us know in the comments below.

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About The Author
Ben Wittams-Smith
Ben Wittams-Smith is a content writer for Just SEO and the Company Director of JSEO LTD. As a specialist in SEO, SEM and digital marketing, Ben regularly contributes content and provides analytic insight in these areas.

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