Libertarian candidate for President Gary Johnson is telling people to Google him, and I was curious about why. Gary Johnson’s search results aren’t bad, per se. He doesn’t have a Santorum problem. His campaign website does come up first in organic, there isn’t anything negative in the first page of results and so on. But there’s a lot more Gary Johnson could be doing to take advantage of his time in the spotlight- especially if he’s getting tons of exposure via earned media.
Why is he telling people to google his name, rather than just telling people to go to johnsonweld.com? The URL is a little bit clunky, but are the Google results better in some way than his own website? Not as far as I can tell.
It’s pretty inexplicable because he’s not even running ads on his own name. Search engine advertising is a great way to pull in new donors, for example google “Hillary Clinton” (especially on mobile) and see which ads you get. You should see a positive ROI on Google ads on your own candidate’s name, so it’s a no-brainer to do. He’s leaving future volunteers and donors on the table by not doing this, and making it as easy as possible for people to sign up with the campaign.
It makes no sense that I don’t see ads on “Donald Trump” either. You’d figure that even though he’s not running a traditional campaign, the RNC or an outside group would run some ads on his name to try and raise a little money. His first page of search results is not making his campaign (or America) great again, they could mitigate some of the damage and raise some much-needed funds with search engine advertising. In such a strange election year, one of the strangest elements is how the GOP’s endorsed candidate is rewriting the digital playbook – or ignoring it altogether.
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