Google

With the election campaign in full swing it is probably as good a time as any to see how Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are fairing on the Internet. How the three main parties appear in the search results is of great importance in our Internet savvy times so let’s have a look at what the potential voters see in the Google search results:

laborparty

conservativeOrganic

liberal-democrats-google-results

What we are looking at here are the organic results for the Labour Party, Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats . There are three main points to consider here:

  • David Cameron’s name appear in the Labour Party search listing.  Ouch. The two lines of black text in each listing is typically the Meta Description tag.  Google is not taking the Meta Description provided by Labour and is instead extracting text from their site. Unfortunately this has put Labour in the slightly embarrassing situation of having David Cameron’s name the first word that appears in the Google search results.
  • The Conservative Party have the added benefit of being granted a search box within the search results, essentially allowing any potential voters to search for particular policies without having to click onto the Conservatives site.
  • How do the 3 parties Site Links compare? If you look at the Sitelinks for the Conservatives you can see that there Sitelinks are using active voice and  have a definite Call to Action – ‘Join The Party’ and ‘Get Involved’ as opposed to Labour’s rather vague ‘Join’ and ‘Recruit’.  LibDems have more descriptive and conversational sitelinks.

We can also see some interesting paid advertising results popping up in the sponsored links for all the parties.  Advertisers on the Labour bandwagon include Ann Summers, as well as counter offensives from the Conservatives:

LabourPartyPPC

  • Ann Summers appears at the top of the sponsored links for the Labour Party. Here we can see a cheeky Ann Summers advertisement piggy backing on what is a popular search term at the moment. Granted, the ‘Mass Debate’ joke is not one that I have used since I was about twelve but it is clever piece of advertising that will stick in the memory.
  • Why are Google advertising on the sponsored links for the Labour Party? Google is also using the piggyback tactic to effectively get you to click through on to their Google Trends data for the election. It is an interesting tactic for Google and I don’t suppose they are charging themselves too much either!
  • The Conservatives and the Greens are advertising on the sponsored links for Labour. The third result down on the sponsored links shows the Conservatives using the tactic as well to promote their YouTube channel. On this occasion it displayed the title ‘Labour have failed’, sometimes it displays ‘It’s Time for Change’.  There is also a specific Conservative candidate who chose to bid for the Labour Party phrase.

The Conservatives also benefit from an Ann Summers onslaught, with counter-advertising from the Greens:

conppc

  • Once again we can see both Google and Ann Summers choosing to advertise for the political party phrase, but in this instance Ann Summers has a variation on her cheeky ad.
  • Labour do not appear to be bidding for Conservative phrases, whereas the Green Party is.
  • The BBC advertises on the Conservative results but not the Labour ones. The BBC have chosen to advertise when someone searches for the Conservatives but not when they search for Labour.

Only the Liberal Democrats get the honour of a betting agency, with counter advertising from the Roar Party….?

liberal-democrats-Adwords

Are we being a bit picky, do these little things even matter? The Internet and your appearance in the search results is of great importance nowadays, and the little things can make a huge difference in how you are presented to the people that are searching. The Internet is the first port of call for a large number of people when they are looking for information so it is crucial to have a stronghold on your identity or brand or you may lose out to your competitors.

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Wayne Barker

4 responses to “Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats on the Internet [Update]”

  1. Katie Saxon says:

    If you take a look at the Liberal Democrats search results they are using more descriptive sitelinks – doesn’t their “Pocket Guide to Policy” sound useful and easy to digest? You’ll also see that neither Labour or the Conservatives (or Ann Summers!) are bidding on this phrase.

    Interestingly they are the only party who gets a latest results scrolling box appearing on the first page. Does this mean we’re all talking about them more?

  2. Phil Hallam says:

    The meta description for the Labour Party site is now showing as a Retweet from their twitter feed. Oh it is so tempting. Anybody brave enough?

  3. Ian Lockwood says:

    The PPC results show the difference that tax-dodger (C)Ashcroft’s millions make! Labour aren’t spending money on that, but even individual constituency Tory candidates seem able to afford a geo-targeted AdWords campaign (terrible ad though and website just as bad – difficult to read text, typos…)

    It’s not clear why Google isn’t using the meta description for the Labour site, it looks perfectly reasonable. Also, the sitelinks are a bit odd, as they don’t reflect the actual navigation labels in most cases. In fairness to Labour, their actual site navigation is a bit more friendly and contains a call to action (Support Us).

  4. Susan Hallam says:

    Apologies to the Liberal Democrats for omiting them from our initial post, and I’ve now updated the review.

    Also, looking at Google Page Rank:

    Labour = 7
    Conservatives =7
    LibDems = 6

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