100 Days of Obama Searches

  • Posted April 29th, 2009 at 7:22 am by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Search

It’s been 100 days into President Barack Obama’s administration – this week also marks the first 100 days of an Obama search extravaganza. Users all over the world have turned to Yahoo! Search to learn about the stimulus plan, the housing bill, the First Family, and even Bo, the First Dog.

From the beginning, it was clear this president was as popular online as he was in initial voting. The Obama administration caused major spikes on Yahoo! Search – during the inauguration in January, people looked for ways to watch the event online and see moments from Obama’s inauguration speech.

Inauguration search spikes on Yahoo! also captured quirky details like “Aretha Franklin inauguration hat” (and “Aretha Franklin bow”), “inauguration luncheon recipes,” and “who designed Michelle Obama’s dress.”

The first lady herself causes some of the most amusing queries, including the persistent search for “Michelle Obama pregnant.” (She isn’t, as far as we know.) People want to know everything from “Michelle Obama dress size” and “Michelle Obama wedding ring” to “how tall is Michelle Obama.”

Barack and Michelle Obama - first 90 days

Searches on President Obama’s personable style can cause some entertaining search spikes too – people wanted to know “how to make Obama Hope poster” and what are “Barack Obama’s NCAA picks.” The Obamas’ fitness regime has not gone unnoticed by searchers as they looked for ‘Obama shirtless” and “Michelle Obama arm.”

Queries on Yahoo! Search about the Obama administration also reflected on the seriousness of current economic times. By far, Obama’s stimulus plan was the most popular Obama-related searches on Yahoo!; top search terms included “Obama stimulus plan details,” “economic stimulus plan,” and “what is in the stimulus bill.” We even saw searches for “economic stimulus song.” In April, the G20 Summit heightened interest in Obama’s economic plan. Housing and mortgage terms related to Obama’s housing bill also caused major spikes in Yahoo! Search.

Just as Obama’s domestic economic policies have caused major search spikes, his work abroad was something that people search for on Yahoo! Obama’s overseas visits to France and Afghanistan, as well as his unannounced stop in Iraq, all were buzzing on Yahoo! Search. The graph below shows Yahoo! web search spikes of foreign leaders (and spouses) that Obama visited during his trips.

Yahoo! Web Search Data Activity for Foreign Leaders

One of Obama’s interactions with a foreign leader caused major spikes in Yahoo! search: “Did President Obama bow to the Saudi King” during the G-20? Searchers urgently wanted to know. But does it really matter if Obama bowed? That’s a State secret.

If the administration’s online campaign is any indication, they know people are looking for information and they’re serving it up – makinghomeaffordable.gov, financialstability.gov, and recovery.gov are all new government websites that saw search spikes in the last 100 days. The sheer volume of searches related to the Obama presidency so far suggests that this administration is facing an internet-savvy constituency who follows their every move from the Web – and they’re doing it with Yahoo! Search.

Eugenia Chien and Andrea Sandke

Yahoo! Search

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