Google Suggest and the Presidential candidates

As an adjunct to something else I’m working up, there are some interesting dynamics that come up when you start looking at how Google Suggest views the Presidential candidates and their running mates.

Putting in the first names (presumably one would start a search for a candidate by putting in their name) of the four ticket holders reveals hit counts and – more interestingly – relative “ownership” of their first names in the web world.

Barack Obama, of course, is the clear owner of “Barack”:


It’s all Obama, all the time with his name. The Muslim stuff, his biography, “Barack Roll” … it’s all there. And 57.5 million results for “Barack Obama” is pretty strong.

It’s a different story altogether for “John” and John McCain:


Oof. “John” is, of course, a really common name, but McCain can’t finish better than third. And my own Congressman John Lewis gets top billing? I’m not sure what that’s all about. And, yes, we live in a world where people are more likely seeking out John Mayer than John Lennon. But the old man does have 40 million results, which isn’t bad.

On the VP end, “Joe” is owned nicely by Joe Biden:


Satriani can’t hang with Joe Biden, man! I think (but I’m not sure) it says good things about the world that Joe Rogan beats out Girls Gone Wild dude Joe Francis, and it’s satisfying to see Joe Strummer making the cut – but below Joe Walsh? Please. Biden’s result count of just 3.1 million, however, shows you why he’s not at the top of the ticket.

And, finally, we have “Sarah”. I have some bad news for Gov. Palin here:


Wow. Behind both soprano Sarah Brightman and super-sassy Sarah Silverman. At least she beats Buffy and that Canadian singer. And just 357,000 results? Ouch – less than “Barack Obama Antichrist”.

It should be noted, though, that the result counts in Google Suggest lags what Google shows on its results pages. “Sarah Palin” returns 16.1 million results when you actually run the search. She’s come a long way, baby.

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