What's Buzzing

Winning the Toronto mayoral race, if it was based on Internet popularity

21. 10. 2010

President Obama broke new ground with the use of the web and social media tools to connect to the voters.   Toronto is currently undergoing its own elections for mayor and we wanted to see if the new candidates are utilizing the web to its fullest extent.    We conducted online research to determine how candidates were using the web and to ultimately answer the question: If positive web popularity was an indication of our next mayor, who would win? 9th sphere's Internet Marketing team put together a Web Popularity Poll with the answer.

Based on the numbers, if the election was based only on Internet votes, Rob Ford had more people searching for him online and viewed more of his videos, however, George Smitherman had higher numbers in online social activities and therefore is currently winning the Web Popularity Poll. Our findings were based on the use of both automated tools and manual reviews as of the evening of October 25, 2010.

1. Number of times names have been searched for online.

The Keyword tools that we use allow us to input keywords and provide an estimated number of times someone has entered that keyword into Google, Yahoo or Bing. Although the exact number of searches is not accurate, we looked at who had more requests relatively to each other. In all three tools we used, Rob Ford was more frequency searched.  This obviously won't tell us the intent of their search so it has little weight on the overall poll.

2. Number of Video views and comments.

George Smitherman had more videos on this collective YouTube Channel, however, Rob Ford was more popular based on the overall number of views.  George Smitherman won this one by a land slide with more than double the amount of posts of his competitor.

3. Number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans.

Both candidates had similar numbers of "likes" on Facebook, with Smitherman having a slightly higher lead, but with Twitter followers -  George Smitherman has many more followers.  We didn't use Twitter "mentions" as a metric since it gave a less accurate indication of positive intent.

4. Number of positive versus negative pages in SERPS

(Based on top 10 results on the first page in  Smitherman won this category by a small margin showing more positive and  less negative search results. If history tells us anything about how the web may influence who will untimely win, we may have our winner. George Smitherman may just have the better Internet marketing and online reputation management company working for him ;)

Historical Results:

Toronto Mayoral Web Popularity Poll
(as of early morning October 21, 2010)


Toronto Mayoral Web Popularity Poll
(as of October 22, 2010 evening)


Toronto Mayoral Web Popularity Poll
(as of October 22, 2010 evening)


* 9th sphere has no connection or preference to to any one candidate. We are just reporting on the numbers. PS: Thank you Gary for your help on this one.

Add new comment

All fields required.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.