Monday, February 7, 2011

How they rank - the main Irish Political Parties

Damien Mulley recently lamented how little politicians were using the Internet to promote themselves and engage with the electorate in the upcoming General Election (#GE11) - and in particular networking sites like Facebook. Not that I expected them to much better on SEO/SEM, I thought I'd take a little peek to see how they were at least managing their brand in the Google SERPs.

It seems that Fianna Fail have quite a strong Brand SERP result - most of the results are either their own or at least "brand friendly". Nobody is running any AdWords on their name - including themselves.

Fine Gael have a similarly strong brand performance in the SERP's but they're also targeting their name through AdWords. If nobody else is targeting your brand in AdWords and you own the top Organic spots, then it may seem redundant and a little costly but it will also give you quite a lot of ancillary information: Just how popular is your brand (not if nobody is targeting it) and also how many searches actually take place (assuming AdWords is a lot more accurate than the Webmasters CTR tool - which, given its related to financial charges, AdWords should be more accurate). Because of the close relationship between the site linked in the AdWord, the Quality Score should be high and the CPC quite low, even if being targeted by a competitor.

The most interesting is however Labour. The difference between Labour and the other main parties is that Labour is a generic English word - so the other sites returned are related to instruments of the state involved in Labour policy and management. Interesting that Fianna Fail is targeting "Labour" but also so is Pampers (???)
Nobody seems to be currently targeting either Sinn Fein or the Greens....Draw your own conclusions!


  1. Kind of baffling how the internet and espcially search engine marketing is avoided by Irish and even European parties. Especially after Obama's major success with his online campaign. Then again it might not appeal to every party to use AdWords, especially if their party programme doesn't quite favor Google being the untouchable internet powerhouse that it is.

  2. @Marc,

    Thanks for the post...

    Just noticed that Fianna Fail are now targeting Fine Gael and the Fine Gael are using topical page titles. Seems like Google has gotten some focus.

  3. I think its good to see an Irish political party conducting an efficient on line campaign. There is no doubt that one party observed and learned lessons from the Obama campaign. Fine Gael clearly appear the most comfortable and natural in this respect.


  4. Fine Gael seem to to spending a frap-ton on ads - can't seem to go anywhere online without seeing one these days. I even saw an ad for the Fine Gael website on top of one of their own videos on YouTube! Have you asked them how much they are spending? Is this information available/being disclosed in the interested of openness & honesty? (not holding my breath)

  5. @Martin : I'd have to agree - Fine Gael have stepped up their Internet marketing, although todays Valentines day card app hasn't been well received on either twitter or

    @Irishstu: Well, I have been trying to guesstimate that. The handy thing for them is that ads on Youtube and other sites (known as the Content Network in Google AdWords - anything not on a search) is actually very cheap. You can get 250k impressions and 50 clicks for €10 per day