Sunday, 27 April 2008

London Mayor elections online campaign analysis - Boris Johnson is leading on the internet

The London Mayor election is in the final week of internet campaigning. Online is playing an increasingly important role in the election strategy and there have been some interesting initiatives and developments, however the majority of prominent web trends tools still show Boris Johnson leading.

Using Yahoo! Site Explorer it is possible to examine candidates sites and see how many other sites are linking to them (this gives insight into popularity and also indicates campaign reach):

Yahoo! Site Explorer analysis of www.backboris.com - 773 pages on the site and 62,913 other sites linking to it (click for larger image)

Yahoo! Site Explorer analysis of www.kenlivingstone.com - 242 pages on the site and 14,733 other sites linking to it (click for larger image)

Yahoo! Site Explorer analysis of www.brianpaddick.org - 377 pages on the site and 20,277 other sites linking to it (click for larger image)

When analysed in this way Boris Johnson and the www.backboris.com site are the clear leaders (though when compared to www.barackobama.com's 894,000 inlinks, there may be room for further growth!)

Another measurement tool, Google Trends, is showing that London Mayor election web searches continue to increase and Boris Johnson remains the most searched for candidate:

Volumes of Google Searches for each candidate (click for larger image)

London Elects, Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick continue to advertise with Google, seem to have increased budgets and are now making use of the Google Content Network (where ads appear on Google affiliated publisher sites as well as on Google when people search.) This appeared on my blog this morning:

Google Ads from London Elects, Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick on my blog (click for larger image)

Boris Johnson and the Back Boris campaign are (strangely) still not using Google for advertising and even though it has not featured in their campaign to date, I am surprised that they are not making use of Search as the campaign enters its last week.

Hitwise have analysed actual internet traffic to campaign websites and have a reached a conclusion in line with the Google Trends data - Boris Johnson is receiving significantly more web traffic than the other candidates:

However not everyone agrees with the conclusion that Boris is leading online. A new system of internet reputation measurement, QDOS, combs the internet and produces a QDOS ranking that is a combination of 'Popularity, Impact, Activity and Individuality.' QDOS rates Ken Livingstone as significantly more popular than Boris Johnson online:
However the QDOS system is still in Beta (and therefore not 100% reliable yet) and when you analyse the Boris Johnson score it has a strange anomaly where he lost about a third of his ranking on one day last week?

The polls are saying that the race for London Mayor is too close to call, but online data suggests that Boris Johnson is significantly ahead of Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick. It will therefore be very interesting to see how the online popularity of Boris Johnson translates into votes. (It will also be interesting to see if Boris finally embraces Google this week!)

FOOTNOTE:

I have previously written about:

- Online campaigning in the London Mayor Election here
- London Mayor candidates web strategy for Web 2.0 here
- London Mayor candidates Google strategy here

No comments: