If anyone would benefit from a data set tracking the use of paid search advertising in the 2008 US Presidential cycle, we have one to share.
Background: Many of us at RKG closely follow politics. Curious about how campaigns were using paid search, we did one study of the US Senate races in 2006 (finding: very little political paid search advertising). We did a second study one year prior to 2008 US presidential elections (finding: less political paid search than expected). We continued to collect data up through the election, but we found ourselves too busy serving clients to prepare a solid analysis. (Initial finding: substantial use of PPC, which will likely hold true in all future elections.) Thinking a political scientist somewhere might find value in these data, we're happy to share. Our contact info
Method: We recorded all first-page paid results we observed on Google and Yahoo for searches on candidate names and political topics from March 2007 through November, 2008.
Dataset: 205,825 rows. The ads contain 5,940 unique display urls pointing to 14,506 unique destination urls.
Term list: Obama, McCain, Biden, Palin, abortion, alternative energy, Al Gore, al qaeda, Barack Obama, Biden, Bill Richardson, Christopher Dodd, Chuck Hagel, Dennis Kucinich, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, gay marriage, global warming, health care, Hillary Clinton, illegal immigration, iraq war, Jim Gilmore, Joe Biden, John Cox, John Edwards, John McCain, McCain, Michael Bloomberg, Michael Charles Smith, Mike Gravel, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, national debt, national security, Newt Gingrich, no child left behind, Obama, Palin, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback, Sarah Palin, school choice, taxes, Tommy Thompson, Tom Tancredo, Tom Vilsack, war on terror 4 random rows:
|engine||keyword||rank||adcopy||display url||dest url||timestamp|
|Obama||1||BarackObama.com Join Team Obama Obama for America||barackobama.com||http://barackobama.com||9/5/2008 18:00|
|McCain||1||John McCain 2008 Get Involved and Support Senator John McCain.||JohnMcCain.com||http://www.johnmccain.com/?sid=google&t=mccain||9/6/2008 15:00|
|Hillary Clinton||4||Election '08 Hillary: Elect Me. I want to be the president, so bad!||bnpnews.net||http://bnpnews.net||2008-05-29 07:00:00|
|Joe Biden||1||Sick of picking less-bad? Do you want a President you can be proud of? Join the movement.||www.UniteForMike.com||http://www.uniteformike.com||2008-01-05 13:00:00|