When Not Owning www.SarahPalin.com Can Cost You Votes
On Friday, I was as shocked as probably the rest of the country when John McCain chose a total dark horse for his Vice Presidential nominee. Sarah Palin is a virtual unknown in political circles outside of her home state of Alaska, where she presides as Governor.
However, after the initial shock wore off, I put on my online marketer thinking cap and I went to work trying to find out more about Sarah Palin. Other than the official Governor of Alaska bio, there's not much "official" stuff out there. She doesn't even have her own domain name showing up in the results on the search engines.
I then went to www.sarahpalin.com and below is a screen cap of what I got.
So you get a 403 Forbidden error, nice job there McCain's team! I went a step further to see if they just haven't moved fast enough to redirect her domain over to www.johnmccain.com like the democats have done for Joe Biden's website - www.joebiden.com now redirects over to www.barakobama.com (Barack Obama's official site), with a special page announcing he's the vice presidential nomiee for the democratic ticket. Unfortunately speed or even techincal glitches aren't the problem here for the Republicans.
Sarah Palin doesn't even own her own domain name (www.sarahpalin.com). Think McCain does? Think the Republicans do? How about the state of Alaska? Sorry to report, none of the above own www.sarahpalin.com. Some web designer from Alaska does, take a look at the public "Who is" Record for the domain. (BTW, no other "Sarah Palin" domain names are available)
The republican ticket of McCain and Palin are really missing out on educating the perspective voting base on this vice presidential candidate. On Friday according to Google trends, her name was one of the most searched on terms. Yesterday, again it was another hot term, due to the announcement of Palin's oldest daughter being pregnant.
A search on Google for "sarah palin" shows that the Wikipedia page shows up first, then the Alaskan government page. Everything else is subjective articles and pages of opinions about Palin, not one official organic result belongs to the Republicans or the candidate herself. There is a paid result up in the right hand corner - at least there's that. Unfortunately for the republicans, more people click on organic results than paid.
When it comes to missing out big time with the online marketing for a political candidate, the Republicans have really done a number here. With more and more people turning to the web to get their information its amazing that they've missed out so hugely on this opportunity. They are letting other people define "TrooperGate", her association with big oil, the bridge to no where, her view of hunting from helicopters, polar bears not being endangered, and even her lifelong association with the NRA.
What would be even more disastrous is if the Obama site put up a page about Palin and it started ranking within the top 10. With a PR of 7, Obama's online voter base linking to the page, in no time a page like that could be ranking. Having the opposition define your vice presidential candidate is not something you really want happening.