What if insights from Google search queries blended with social metrics and other statistics could predict who will win the US election 2016?
Let me share with you what I learned from my research. Feel free to share this post.
Google search queries
First we’ll start by comparing the popularity of Trump vs Clinton in Google search queries.
SEMrush suggests the following keywords for Trump (15 first by volume of monthly searches).
Now here’s the same result for Clinton.
Our aim is to compare the same kinds of queries.
LAST NAME (primary brand):
Trump: 1,830,000 monthly searches
Clinton: 110,000 monthly searches
FIRST NAME – LAST NAME (full brand):
Donald Trump: 4,090,000 monthly searches
Hillary Clinton: 1,500,000 monthly searches
Melania Trump: 301,000 monthly searches
Bill Clinton: 301,000 monthly searches
Ivanka Trump: 450,000 monthly searches
Chelsea Clinton: 135,000 monthly searches
How much do people care about the wealth of the candidate?
Donald Trump net worth: 201,000 monthly searches
Hillary Clinton net worth: 27,100 monthly searches
Searchers also care about the net worth of Bill Clinton (22,100 monthly searches (16th position in the list)),
How much do they care about the age of the candidate?
How old is Donald Trump: 110,000 monthly searches
How old is Hillary Clinton: 74,000 monthly searches
We can see that searchers are also curious about the age of Bill Clinton, not that much about the age of Melania Trump.
33,100 monthly searches ask the question of Donald Trump’s education, while a similar query gives us only 9,900 monthly searches for Hillary Clinton.
The email question related to Hillary Clinton seems to be quite a major concern, with (90,500 + 40,500) monthly searches, whereas I haven’t found any Trump-related phrase incl. the “tax” keyword (SEMRush shows a report based on the last 12 months). Using Google Keyword Planner, I found “Trump tax returns” with 10K to 100K monthly searches. I would suspect that the issue being more recent than the emails debate, it just didn’t show up in the SEMrush 12-month results.
“Donald Trump for President” and “Trump for President” appear in Trump’s top 15, both with 74K monthly searches. Whereas “Hillary Clinton for President” can’t be found in the 15 first results. It garnered on average 5,400 monthly searches in the US over the last 12 months. Lack of curiosity or enthusiasm?
The first 100 most popular search queries related to Donald Trump generated a total of 9.7m monthly searches whereas the first 100 most popular ones related to Hillary Clinton generated a total of 3.2m monthly searches.
Does Google know who will win the US election?
Trump generated far more (3x) interest on Google than Hillary Clinton. It doesn’t give us any indication re: the sentiment of the searchers towards both candidates but it shows us who’s been occupying the media space: Trump.
Facebook official pages
As of October 25, 2016 Donald J. Trump had 11,700,094 fans on his official Facebook page VS 7,443,306 fans for Hillary Clinton.
Hillary’s latest blog post (7 hours before I checked) has garnered 7,500 reactions (likes & co) for 765 shares, whereas Donald’s latest publication (6 hours ago) has garnered 38,000 reactions and 3,369 shares.
Both candidates publish a lot of posts on Facebook (circa 11.5 per day).
Here are two additional stats from the Facebook trending numbers:
Does Facebook know who will win the US election?
Donald Trump has the lead in terms of engagement (which reflects his media status) but Hillary Clinton’s presence enjoys a faster growth. In terms of social chatter, they’re on par with each other.
The analysis of tweets mentioning both candidates carried out by Monkeylearn confirms that Donald Trump also enjoys a much higher social presence and engagement on Twitter.
See the volume of tweets for both candidates.
For Donald Trump, tweet count per sentiment.
And for Hillary Clinton.
Here is the candidate sentiment over time.
You can see that Trump enjoys a slightly better overall sentiment than Clinton even if both candidates are in the negative zone (since people tend to be more vocal about their negative opinions than their positive ones, especially on Twitter).
Does Twitter know who will win the US election?
Twitter is a ruthless medium, with a long documented history of hate speech. It doesn’t really show how much you’re loved. I would say that it reflects once again Trump’s media status while giving him a slight advantage over Clinton in terms of not-so-bad sentiment.
Here the trend is inverted.
Hillary Clinton’s official campaign website enjoyed 14.6m visits last month whereas Trump’s campaign website got 12.4m visits for the same period. Interesting to note the dip in Clinton’s website’s visits in August, with a strong correction in September (FYI, Trump’s business hub, Trump.com, doesn’t make up the difference, showing only 410K visits for last month). Let’s have a look at the sources of traffic.
Hillary Clinton’s website got 26.36% of its traffic from social media whereas Trump’s social media share is only 18.52%. From what I’ve seen on his Facebook page, his campaign team favors on-site content VS external links to his website. Web surfers seem to have more direct interest in Hillary’s website than in Donald’s web property (almost 27% of direct traffic vs 17.2%), which gives us an interesting clue re: the level of intent of the potential voters. Donald Trump’s team has apparently implemented a strong backlinks strategy since more than 31% of Trump’s website’s traffic comes from links. I saw on Moz OSE that Clinton’s website enjoys backlinks from 2733 root domains whereas Trump’s website gets backlinks from 3083 root domains.
Does the websites’ traffic tell us who will win the US election?
Not really, both enjoy a strong traffic with slightly different acquisition strategies. I would simply point out what looks to me like a stronger intent in the visitors’ profile on Clinton’s side (direct traffic proportion). The traffic sources also confirm the efforts recently deployed by Hillary Clinton on social media.
I won’t dive into a long analysis for Youtube but let’s point out that “Donald Trump” (the exact phrase) gets 9.2m results whereas “Hillary Clinton” gets 4.6m results (some of them overlapping since both candidates are present in the same video). Here again Trump is much more present in the media space.
The #1 video (in terms of views, 148m as of today) for Hillary Clinton is a parody posted in 2008.
Whereas the #1 video for Trump (again in terms of views, 114m as of today) is a song by rapper Mac Miller (here’s some background about the song)
Serious videos don’t get such a popular demand 😉
The subreddit The_Donald (243,899 readers) is far more active than hillaryclinton (35,220 readers).
The all time top post on Donald Trump’s unofficial subreddit boasts a score of 12,712 whereas the top one on Hillary Clinton’s group currently sits at 2,799.
The engagement of Trump’s troops are huge on Reddit compared to the modest contribution of Clinton’s followers.
Does the web know who will win the US election 2016?
We can’t draw any final conclusions from the various insights we’ve garnered on Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit and the candidates’ websites. We’ll have to wait for the verdict on November 8th.
I would just note that victory is far from being a guarantee for Hillary Clinton even if I perceive a stronger sense of intent in her following. Donald Trump has a huge engaged fanbase who could make a difference on election day, in the same way Nigel Farage’s supporters proved the polls wrong in the UK… If Hillary Clinton’s supporters want to prevent Donald Trump from enjoying his Brexit moment, they have to secure all possible votes to confirm the current upbeat trend enjoyed by their candidate. Otherwise, popularity might equal victory.
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