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!