Searching for a New President: Obama Wins on Search Engine Optimization

Posted by: Rob Hof on November 04, 2008

If Barack Obama wins the election today, will it be because his Web geeks know how to do search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO?

Of course not, but apparently Obama’s Web braintrust has done a much better job of attracting Google love, and therefore potential interested voters, than rival John McCain’s. Thomas Schmitz, an executive with Internet marketing firm Portent Interactive’s blog, writes on the firm’s blog today about the many ways Obama’s Web site is set up with search engines in mind. I won’t bore you with the geeky details, which involve things like “HTML’s native h# hierarchy system,” but here’s the gist:

Someone on Barack’s team clearly understands SEO and made sure that SEO was regarded as highly as the design and the content. As for McCain, it is painfully obvious that search engine optimization was not embraced. I feel sorry for Senator McCain. The two websites are near identical. They both received top notch content and design advice. But because John McCain’s site did not make use of SEO, McCain failed to rank highly for many important search queries or his site did not rank as highly as Barack Obama. I’m sure this cost him in visitor numbers and donations.

If Barack Obama wins the election on Tuesday, which is my prediction, SEO will have played a huge role in his online success.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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