Vitriol sells, Varun unseats Advani in cyber space | india | Hindustan Times
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Vitriol sells, Varun unseats Advani in cyber space

india Updated: Mar 30, 2009 00:00 IST
Vikas Pathak
Vikas Pathak
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Varun Gandhi’s alleged hate speeches have made him the most searched political figure on internet in the last few days. The latest — and youngest — entrant in the virtual political race has left behind all, including his leader L.K. Advani — who was leading till recently — as the cyber war of Indian politics goes no-holds-barred.

Search for Rahul Gandhi, Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi or Mayawati on Google, and you see a sponsored link to L.K. Advani’s website! Which means: the BJP seems to be paying up to get Congress and BSP searchers visit Advani’s website. The above four Congress and BSP leaders are also the most searched non-BJP political names. Thus, the BJP has a brilliant marketing
strategy to make Advani the king of the virtual world. Advani and his BJP colleague Murli Manohar Joshi have their own personal websites and blogs. Congress or Third Front leaders don’t yet.

Advani’s website — Google data reveal — gets a whopping 5 lakh hits a month! On the contrary, Joshi’s blog shows hardly 3-4 profile visits a day! However, Joshi has some faithful followers on his blog. At the peak of his campaign in October-
November 2008, Barack Obama’s website— which inspired the saffron leaders — got 75 lakh hits a month.

Though other Indian politicians do not have personal websites yet, one can compare google search data to see who is more popular in cyber world.

Here, 81-year-old Advani is going strong in this youngsters’ world: his graph has picked up after his website-cum-blog was launched. However, the term Advani would also include a small proportion of searches for film director Nikhil Advani.
“Once BJP advertised Advani’s website, many may have searched the word Advani to access the site, which has benefited the Advani search,” says a web designer.

Close behind are Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi and Manmohan Singh – in that order. Singh’s search fell a bit once he was hospitalized for cardiac surgery.

BSP leader Mayawati is also in the race for the cyber crown. She has just crossed Manmohan Singh in google search trends, showing how the Dalit leader has cast a virtual spell.

“Advani’s clicks are already half as frequent as a leading Delhi-based English TV channel’s website, and we hope to surpass them as the elections begin,” BJP IT cell convener Prodyut Bora told HT.

But lest the BJP should become too jubilant, they need to be reminded that polls are real, not virtual, and net surfers often surf the net even on polling day while the cyber-illiterate queue up to vote!