July 2, 2008

Top Political Issue Searches for Candidates Include Health Care, Global Warming, Education and Immigration

The top searched political issues between both presidential candidates in Q2 2008 included Health care, Global warming, Education and Immigration according to Hitwise, the leader in online competitive intelligence. Other top issue searches included Abortion for Obama in Q2 2008 and Oil prices for McCain.

In Q1 2008, abortion and immigration were the two common search term issues for both candidates. Obama political issue searches focused on Gay marriage, Gun control, Education and Immigration. McCain political issue searches included Health care, Global warming and the Economy. Other popular searches that popped up for Obama included information on his family, merchandise and his speeches and quotes. For McCain, searches were for information on his speeches and quotes, his age and his jokes.

 Top Political Issue Search Terms sending visits to the Presidential Candidate Websites ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Barack Obama                        John McCain ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Q108 Top      Q208 Top Issues    Q108 Top Issues    Q208 Top Issues Issues ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Gay marriage  Abortion           Health Care        Health Care ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Abortion      Education          Immigration        Environment/Global Warming ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Gun control   Environment/Global Abortion           Oil prices Warming ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Education     Health Care        Environment/Global Education Warming ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Immigration   Immigration        Economy            Immigration ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: Hitwise ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

"Searches show that voters on both sides of the aisle have shared concerns around issues such as health care, global warming and immigration," said Heather Dougherty, research director, Hitwise. "This has implications for what content should be featured on the candidates' websites, and broadly across all communications with voters."

 Top Political Content Search Terms Driving Traffic to the Candidates' Websites ---------------------------------------------------------------------- BarackObama.com Top 200             JohnMcCain.com Top 200 Search Terms                        Search Terms ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Type          Q108   Q208          Type          Q108    Q208 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Biography/Facts      34%    24%     Issues/Views        35%     32% ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Issues/Views         10%    15%     Name/Navigation     31%     29% ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Name/Navigation      14%    15%     Campaign Info       14%     17% ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Rumors                5%    10%     Biography/Facts     12%     11% ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Religion             12%     7%     Family               4%      5% ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: Hitwise ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Hitwise analyzed the top 200 U.S. search terms that sent visits to the presidential candidates' websites for the first half of 2008, revealing the types of content that is being searched for the most among Internet users. The most common type of content that drive visitors to Barack Obama's website was for biographical information or basic facts about the presumptive Democrat nominee. For John McCain's website, almost one third are seeking information about the Republican candidate's views on major issues. Rumors and Religion were the other top content searches for Obama, while Campaign information, Biography and Family searches.

For more information on the audience breakdown of visitors to both candidate websites please view the following post on the Hitwise blog: http://tiny.cc/os6PE

Obama Receives 79% of Visits; New Visitors Dominate McCain's Traffic

Barackobama.com received 79.25 percent of U.S. online visits between a custom category of both presidential candidate websites. This represents a 7 percent decrease compared to May 2008 and a 5 percent decrease compared to June 2007. McCain's traffic increased 42 percent compared to May 2008 and 24 percent compared to June 2007. Among all U.S. websites, both candidates saw increases in visits as Obama's website increased 1,367 percent and McCain's website increased 2200 percent compared to June 2007.

 Market Share of U.S. Visits among Custom Category of Presidential Candidate Websites ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Rank          Name         Domain        June-08 May-08 Apr-08 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Barack 1            Obama  www.barackobama.com 79.25%  85.38% 84.07% ---------------------------------------------------------------------- John 2            McCain www.johnmccain.com  20.75%  14.62% 15.93% ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Note - the Hitwise data is based on a custom category of Presidential candidate websites for only those presidential candidates that have officially announced their candidacy ranked by US market share of visits, which is the percentage of online traffic to the domain or category, from the Hitwise sample of 10 million US Internet users. Hitwise ranks more than 1 million unique websites on a daily basis, including sub-domains of larger websites. Hitwise categorizes websites into industries on the basis of subject matter and content, as well as market orientation and competitive context. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Source: Hitwise ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 

New and Returning Visitors

In June 2008, Barack Obama's website received 55 percent of its visits from returning visitors and 45 percent from new visitors. McCain's website received 21 percent of its visits from returning visits and 79 percent from new visitors.

For more political coverage please visits the Hitwise Election 2008 Data Center located on the Hitwise website at: http://www.hitwise.com/political-data-center.

About Hitwise

Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Only Hitwise provides its 1,400 clients around the world with daily insights on how their customers interact with a broad range of competitive websites, and how their competitors use different tactics to attract online customers.

Since 1997, Hitwise has pioneered a unique, network-based approach to Internet measurement. Through relationships with ISPs around the world, Hitwise's patented methodology anonymously captures the online usage, search and conversion behavior of 25 million Internet users. This unprecedented volume of Internet usage data is seamlessly integrated into an easy to use, web-based service, designed to help marketers better plan, implement and report on a range of online marketing programs.

Hitwise, a subsidiary of Experian (FTS: EXPN) www.experiangroup.com operates in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. More information about Hitwise is available at www.hitwise.com.

For up to date analysis of online trends, please visit the Hitwise Intelligence-Analyst Weblogs at http://weblogs.hitwise.com and the Hitwise Data Center at www.hitwise.com/datacenter.