Election 2010 online: Which websites are winning the key battles

10 downing streetToday the British public will vote in their masses in the 2010 General Election, but who is winning the key battles online? Conservatives, Labour and The Liberal Democrats go head to head (to head?) in what could be one of the closest elections of all time. With search evolving dramatically since the last election in 2005, voters can now view breaking news stories through real time search – whilst keeping upto date with trends using Social Media platforms such as Twitter. The following blog post aims to identify the parties that are taking the online battle seriously and the news websites that are ‘winning those seats’.


If we take a look at one of the ‘key’ search terms that many voters will be using over the course of the day that could potential sway an undecided voter – election 2010:

Graph showing positions for main political parties for election 2010

Hardly ground breaking stuff from any one of the political parties hey? This could have been an opportunity for any one of the parties to target, considering the popularity of the term. However, all four party websites have chosen to ignore this and concentrate on pushing their own party terms – rather than targeting the majority. If we take a look at the term ‘Conservative election’ we can see a pretty strong position for the Tories:

Graph showing positions for main political parties for election 2010

The website has been pretty consistent at the top of Google over the past two months, however if you take a look at Labour, they have only recently ‘peaked’ in April:

Graph showing positions for main political parties for Labour Election

This improvement coincided with Gordon Brown releasing information on the General Election on May 6th, however prior to this the Labour Party were not visible for a party specific keyword term. On the other hand The Liberal Democrat Party are a little more erratic than both parties:

Liberal Democrats keyword positions

The Liberal Democrats have a number of subdomains, including European specific URL and Manifesto URL – which is causing a conflict with the main website. One of the main obvious issues is the constant deleting of pages across the website, rather than 301 redirecting to a useful page. For example, the following URL was being returned at the end of April:

http://www.libdems.org.uk/noidcards/

An interesting piece of data we’ve extracted from our tools is that the Conservative party are actively targeting the ‘Manifesto’ keyword terms of the other two main political parties as highlighted in the chart below:

Conservative keyword positions for Manifesto

Moving along to the Newspapers, its clear to see that the top performers online since the Election news came about at the start of April – with the Guardian constantly performing on page one for the keyword term ‘Election 2010’:

Image showing positions for keyword Election 2010

Its interesting to see that since the announcement that the Guardian are backing the Liberal Democrats they have occupied top positions within Google UK, whilst Conservative supporters, The Daily Mail, only appear within the SERPs for a negative piece on the party entitled:

General Election 2010: Liberal Democrats and the dirty tricks of the real nasty party | Mail Online

Lastly, looking at the broadcasters, its no surprise to see the BBC on page one for the keyword term ‘Election 2010’, whilst ITV have improved over the past four weeks:

Broadcasters general election

The BBC and ITV have a dedicated section, whilst Channel 4 have an individual article returning in Google’s SERPs. It is clear to see that each political party has ignored the potential to rank highly for a selection of generic keywords terms, focusing on party specific terms – which core voters would search for anyhow. The Guardian and Telegraph perform very well for a number of election keyword terms across the board.