Missed Connections at Obama.com

A campaign blog.
July 24 2008 5:46 PM

Missed Connections at Obama.com

As we mentioned yesterday , thousands of people every month are visiting Obama.com expecting to find Barack Obama's campaign website. Instead, they find a Japanese site full of links for loans and hair transplants. 

Thanks to the Web analytics firm Compete , we can begin to get an idea of how many eyeballs this is costing the Obama campaign. Compete provided Slate with "downstream" data--where people went after visiting Obama.com--for the 100,000-plus people who visited the site in June of the year:

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  • 21 percent went directly BarackObama.com.
  • 40 percent went to a search engine.
  • 17 percent tried another incorrect URL for Obama's site.
  • 22 percent gave up and went elsewhere.

Of those 17 percent who took a second guess and failed, barakobama.com and barrackobama.com were the biggest attractions, both of which redirect to a Google search for the correct spelling of Obama's name. Obama.org and Obamma.com also show up.

As S late 's Paul Boutin has written before , Web analytics data is fungible. (Just ask Google .) But we can safely assume from these numbers that a failure to proactively register a wide variety of misspellings and alternate URLs is costing the campaign tens of thousands of page views a month. I presume that neither campaign needs my advice that every page view counts.

Chris Wilson is a Slate contributor.

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