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More Web searches for S. Royal than N. Sarkozy
Web surfers’ favourite topics

A study of requests typed into the search engines reveals the internet surfers’ centres of interest with regard to the candidates, with a private life that sometimes carries them onto political programmes.
  • Survey carried out from 01/01/07 to 01/15/07
  • Perimeter of 67 information websites
During the first fortnight in January 2007, Ségolène Royal aroused greater curiosity among Web surfers than Nicolas Sarkozy...

Ségolène Royal received 63 visits for every 100 visits generated by searches relating to Ségolène Royal or Nicolas Sarkozy between 1 and 15 January 2007.


This score on media & news Websites reflects media coverage of the socialist party candidate who made the headlines during this period more often than her UMP opponent …

The following subjects are of particular interest to Web surfers seeking information on these two candidates in the 2007 presidential elections...

Ségolène Royal’s private life and certain of her remarks are of greater interest to Web surfers than her programme.

If we group searches by subject for Ségolène Royal (raw queries keyed into search engines by surfers), 53% relate to the politician in general (without specifying any particular subject associated with her). These are all searches containing her name, correctly or incorrectly spelt: « segolene royal », « royal segolene » « segolene », « segolene royale »…

The surfers’ 2nd focus of interest is her private life (apart from François Hollande), with 9.4% of searches, in particular her personal relations and her beachwear (« segolene royal bikini »). The recent remarks by Ségolène Royal, which were widely reported in the media, also incited surfers’ curiosity: these rank 3rd among the subjects of most interest with 6% of searches relating to the candidate concerning these. We can cite a few queries in this group, which speak for themselves: « segolene bravitude », « segolene royal quimperle nolwenn », «segolene gaffe »…

Her campaign and programme take 4th place, followed by education/teachers (in particular with searches for the pirate video where she mentioned the 35-hour working week), non-political figures (in particular the sociologist Bourdieu), opinion polls, the Near East, her origins/biography and finally, in 10th position, the UMP candidate Nicolas Sarkozy.


The subjects of searches relating to Nicolas Sarkozy are less controversial, although surfers are not indifferent to his personal life.

The graph below shows that 43.80% of searches relating to Nicolas Sarkozy concern the politician in general. As in the case of Ségolène Royal, various expressions/spellings are used to refer to Nicolas Sarkozy: surname alone or surname/forename correctly spelt (« sarkozy », « nicolas sarkozy »), his nickname « sarko » or his surname incorrectly spelt with « sarkozi » and « sarkosy »...

Web surfers’ 2nd favourite topic is his wife, with 4.5% of searches concerning her. Then come his campaign and programme (3.7%), and non-political figures with some kind of link with him (2.7%) among whom we find Johnny Hallyday, Faudel, Renaud and Doc Gynéco in the lead. Web surfers are also looking for information on links between Sarkozy and the current American President, opinion polls, Sarkozy’s life and immigration. His private life (apart from Cécilia) only holds 9th position.


Their spouses: Cécilia Sarkozy interests surfers proportionally more than François Hollande

In fact between 1 and 15 January 2007 4.5% of all searches relating to Nicolas Sarkozy concerned Cécilia Sarkozy whereas “only” 1.3% of all searches relating to Ségolène Royal concerned François Hollande (this is not one of the top 10 subjects for the candidate).

The following subjects: name, campaign, programme, non-political figures, opinion polls and, in particular, private life are proportionally more present among searches relating to Ségolène Royal than among those relating to Nicolas Sarkozy.


The above subjects selected for comparison are the 7 subjects among both candidates’ TOP 10 to which we have added the subject of François Hollande/Cécelia Sarkozy

This hit parade for Web searches is very much linked to the latest news on the two candidates, Ségolène Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy, and will therefore tend to evolve according to political (or other) news concerning them.

Will we see the Montebourg or Bruno Rebelle affair appear in searches? As the elections draw nearer, will searches on the content of the candidates’ programmes take over from more private subjects? …

Visit XiTi Monitor regularly to follow how the topics that most interest Web surfers evolve up until the second round of the presidential elections on 6 May 2007.

Methodology :
The sites included in the survey are all general media & news sites audited by XiTi. The searches conducted by Internet search engines were taken into account if they contained the candidate’s name or part of his or her name, including with any spelling mistakes. The expressions taken into account are not case or accent sensitive.

We took a sample of the searches. For each candidate the size of the sample enabled the same characteristics as those for the whole to be retained with an uncertainty level fixed at 5%. Precise analysis of the sample enabled us to estimate, initially, the proportion of visits to be excluded (e.g. « Royal Air Maroc » had to be excluded from visits attributed to Ségolène Royal. We then estimated the proportion of associated subjects.

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