By Michael Dorausch, DC
Everywhere I've looked on the Internet these past 48 hours I've seen searches related to Joe the Plumber. It's reached the point that search engines are even suggesting related terms such as obama plumber and joe the plumber keating. What about all the "normal" plumber searches, like those seeking local plumbers, a plumber in Los Angeles, or a plumbing drain specialist in San Diego? I have to imagine the search traffic in the plumbing industry has significantly been affected these past few days, likely clogging some plumber web sites, with lots of new unexpected traffic.
(photo: patient lying face down on a chiropractic table advertising who he's voting for in this year's presidential election)
OK, so I'm a little bit jealous that Joe happens to be a plumber instead of a chiropractor. It certainly would not have been good news if Joe was a chiropractor and the news media found out he was practicing in his state unlicensed, but that's not my point. Publicity as publicity, and this could've been one heck of an opportunity to educate the public on the difference between spine plumbing and actual specific chiropractic. Looks like that opportunity has gone down the drain.
I went back and did some keyword research using Google hot trends. Checking top 100 results for October 14, there's not a single search for either the term plumber or the term Joe. But on October 15th, the day of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University, searches for "joe the plumber" were reportedly volcanic, with a peak search time of 7 p.m. and related searches including terms like: joe wurzelbacher, who is joe the plumber, joe the plumber ohio, joe the plumber mccain, joe the plumber obama.
Other hot searches appearing on the 15th included joe wurzelbacher, which was also listed as volcanic, and included related terms such as: joe the plumber, joe wurzelbacher plumber, joe the plumber houston, joe the plumber ohio, joe the plumber mccain.
The next day, October 16th, there were popular searches for joe the plumber, joe the plumber keating, joe the plumber ohio, joe the plumber video, joe the plumber houston, and joe the plumber seattle. If your name is Joe, and you are a plumber (I bet there's thousands of you in America), I'm sure it's been a crazy week. While I don't have the search results, I would suspect that searches for "Joe the [enter city or state name here]" increased dramatically since the 15th. Did anyone from the media contact Joe the plumber in Pennsylvania, or Joe the plumber in Arkansas, or Joe the plumber in Manhattan?
Even today, on October 17, people are continuing to search for Joe the plumber and some of the above related terms. I don't normally follow news results for plumber, but when I checked earlier today, news results related to the term plumber were around 3500 plus articles. That's not including blog posts. I suspect those numbers are even higher than what we are seeing in the news. Just take a look at this plumber search related screenshot I created earlier today. It included news results and blog results integrated into standard search results for the term plumber.
To see how different the results are compared to typical searches for local service providers such as a chiropractor or florist, take a look at current search results for the term dentist and you'll notice how significantly they differ from the news media and blog related posts currently showing for the term plumber.
Looks like I'll have to wait until 2012 for a "Mike the Chiropractor" opportunity. Until then, I hope you can find the actual plumber you are looking for, and best of health to you!