Palin conquers the Internet

Jake Turcotte

Sarah Palin has conquered the Internet. Online searches, eBay, and Wikipedia, at least.

According to a new report from - a firm that tracks web data - "Sarah Palin" was the most searched political term for a four-week period ending September 6.  This is all the more notable considering that the Republican vice presidential nominee was in the national spotlight for only eight days during this reporting period.

Barack Obama came in second. John McCain ranked fifth.

Joe Biden? He didn't show up in the top ten.


The Washington Post reports that the surge of interest for one person is something Hitwise – which has been around for 11 years – has never experienced.

"The reaction to her, in such a short period of time, has been nothing like we've seen before," said Bill Tancer, general manager of research for Hitwise.


It's not only online searches where Palin has made an impact. Back in July, Sarah Palin's page on Wikipedia was edited 22 times. Since then?  Over 6,500 times.

Her Wikipedia page was, in fact, the most read article on the site for the entire month of August with nearly 1.2 million readers in just 36 hours following the announcement.


On Facebook, Palin has amassed over 214,000 supporters.  This compares with some 52,000 for Joe Biden. Barack Obama is the undisputed champion of this social networking site, however, with nearly 2 million devotees.

YouTube?  You betcha

Reports are that there are over 130,000 Palin videos on the video sharing site with thousands more being added and deleted daily. Deleted?  The Saturday Night Live spoof of Palin and Hillary Clinton appearing together was not only a record-breaker for NBC – but Wired reports:

Soon after the episode aired, e-mails with links to the inevitable YouTube uploads flew around listservs. But the take-down notices went out just as quickly, notifying YouTube that the clips had infringed upon NBC Universal's copyright. One of the uploads had already been removed as of Sunday, but several more managed to stay up on YouTube as of Monday.


The online auction site has seen a huge spike in Palin interest as well.  If eBay sales were indicative of the upcoming vote, the election would be over. Sales of Palin-related items have shot up by the tune of 354 percent.  Biden? If he cared, he'd be depressed, as sales of Biden stuff decreased by 11 percent over the same period.


How long can the Palin-mania last?  John Quelch, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School, told CNN Wednesday that she "is like a fresh brand on the supermarket shelf – one with lots of pizzazz that generates a tremendous amount of curiosity."

Quelch says her "staying power and resilience is actually going to surprise a lot of people."

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