Election campaigns of recent years have had a huge digital focus, as nominees look to the internet to drive their campaigns to the widest possible audiences.

In the UK today, voters are going to the polls for local elections, with much of the media’s focus on the London Mayoral Candidacy.

Analysing the cumulative backlink data over the past month for the two leading candidates (The Conservative’s Boris Johnson, and Labour’s Ken Livingstone) election campaign websites shows an interesting tussle, with Boris Johnson’s ‘Back Boris’ website taking the lead following a recent surge in new links to the site.

In the 2008 US Presidential Elections, a record-breaking 46 per cent of Americans used the internet to get news about the campaigns, and Barack Obama’s focus on digital marketing has repeatedly been highlighted as one of the key factors that lead to his Presidential win.

With politicians the world over seeking to emulate Obama’s digital campaign success, and using their campaign website as the cornerstone of their marketing, could a look at the backlink data for upcoming elections across the globe highlight potential wins prior to the election results being published?

Interestingly, the final poll figures in the London elections match the lead found in the backlink data, with Boris set to head for victory in the race to be re-elected as Mayor with a six point win.

Key upcoming elections across the globe this year include the French Presidential elections, as well as the US Presidential elections. Looking at backlink data again over the past 30 days highlights Francois Hollande’s website taking a strong lead over Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign platform.

Likewise, in the United States, Barack Obama appears to be surging ahead of Mitt Romney in terms of the number of backlinks directed at their campaign websites.

Whilst many factors of course play a part in each election across the planet,  a look at the backlink data is interesting, and highlights both the impact that the candidates are having across the web, but also the immensely hard work each campaign team must be putting into harnessing the internet as a key communications channel to the voters.


  • Pirate Party International

    In Germany the Pirate Party has become the 4rd strongest political party according to the newest surveys for the parliament vote in 2013. (Between 10-15%).

    Looking a the cumulative Backling index it matches the surveys perfectly. Pirate Party has bevome stronger then the Communists and and Liberal Party and are nearly as strong as the Green Party wich holds place 3 in the survey rank.

    So this method seems to be quite precise 😉

    May 4, 2012 at 10:45 am
  • Karel

    Very interesting article!

    If the number of links will reflect the extent of popularity of an political party, will it also work the other way around? Will the increase of amount of links positively influence the popularity of the party?

    Altough the content of the campaign might also be of influence ofcourse. Given this data, it would be interesting to invest more in link gathering.

    May 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm
  • Finance Market Analyst

    Hi, would be interesting to know if this method also works to check the popularity of companies or products. This would made it possible to find better investment strategies.

    Best if there is not only a backlink but also a word index, so one could check how often a product or company is mentioned in the web to check if its popularity is growing or declining at the consumer side to make prognosis on their future return of investments.

    May 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm
    • Dixon

      Yep, you can. It didn’t exactly make the FT at the time, but I know a few financial analysts are starting to look at this kind of signal ever since we launched a tool to help you track companies in this way, last year: http://blog.majesticseo.com/development/majestic-million/

      May 7, 2012 at 8:46 am
  • Harry

    Really interesting! Today’s result of the French Presidential elections is another example that the Back Link Data clearly indicted the winner of the election.

    May 6, 2012 at 10:21 pm
  • Giacomo

    Also in Italy a new political movement was born on the network and has established itself on the Internet by sharing information on social networks and blogs

    May 8, 2012 at 9:21 am

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