Google is moving beyond traffic referrals and hopes to become a destination for political information just in time for the 2012 Presidential election. The company has gotten involved over the past year with a dedicated YouTube channel and virtual town halls, but this is the first time it has dedicated a website exclusively to elections.
The new website – which will cover both Egyptian and U.S. elections – will help voters stay informed by sorting news articles by candidate and issue. Additionally the site will include links to voter resources, including the political calendar, the YouTube politics channel, and a dashboard that displays search trends, news mentions, and YouTube views for each candidate.
“As Nov. 6, 2012, draws closer, the site will evolve into a robust election hub where citizens can watch, learn, discuss, participate – and perhaps, even make an impact on – the digital campaign trail as it blazes forward to the election of the next President of the United States,” a Google spokesperson told Mashable.
Content from the website will be displayed on large screens throughout the Media Filing Center at the Iowa Caucuses. Google will also have more of an offline role at tomorrow’s Caucuses and will host live Hangouts on Google+ with journalists covering the 2012 elections.
Tying in its social network is a great move for Google. Governments and politicians are embracing social media and all it has to offer. Not only does it help to humanize campaigns, it also helps to pull in support from voters. It will be interesting to watch how the website will continue to integrate with different social media platforms over the next year.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.