According to Mashable it seems that Obama is winning the presidential google race. Indeed, the Democrats have been ahead in their strategy much before the Republicans give it a go, and, on the Internet, the early bird often catches the worm.
Another fact is that President Obama is much more notorious around the world than Mitt. Romney. First, he is the president of the USA; Second, he is highly popular. In an article in Le Monde, it says that 75% of the europeans would like M. Obama to be reelected.
There is about 2 billions people on the Internet vs 300 millions in the USA. Sure, not all of them are interested in USA presidential elections, but if there is any national elections raising interests in the world opinion, these elections are the ones. It can be a hint for the discrepancy between the number of youtube views between Obama and Romney.
Figures do matter
So far, it doesn’t mean it helps. But high figures does matter on the Internet, and while you can see this phenomenon as a media bulk, it provides the Democrats with more exposure. Whether you are looking an information on the Internet through direct links, search engines (ie, the Google algorithm provides an advantage to popular pages), or social network, popular news always get more spotlight than others.
Not so fast
This view may be easily counter-balanced. Our first view on the Internet is that it is an exponential network with a perfect navigability favoring a flawless spread of opinions or ideas. But some researchers (like Albert-Laszlo Barabasi) shows that the model it can be compared to is much more one like a clustered model. And Google is well-aware of this model.
We can assume that this clustering model is an obstacle to the influence of international pro-Obama opinion to the American cluster. It would need a high degree of connection between these clusters to spread an opinion from a cluster to another. Search engine always consider where you stand, so there is a high probability that they will push content situated within the shortest path from you.
Still, the international pro-Obama opinion will be directly influencing the figures in the American cluster. Because it doesn’t need to spread, it just hops from one cluster to another, and it influences directly the content situated in the right cluster.
From a psychological point of view, this also can act as a repellent to some voters (“Some international goofs are supporting Obama in this youtube video. They will undermine the American power. Obama cares more for these people.” and so on). But once again, expression is one thing, figures of views and trafic are another.
We are too close, now, to the results of these elections to provide more data on this matter, but we thought the question interesting, because it underlies the influence of the international opinion on the Internet and its effect on the world evolution.
It also asks the question of the shape of the Internet to come : its clustering degree, the fitness of
these different clusters, and so on.
Next time, we will provide you with another case (french centered), which highlight these kind of evolution and influence.