US Elections: And the Winner is ... the NY Times

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Arriving home late, and well after most of the votes in the US midterm election were cast, I queried "election results" hoping for a quick pointer to a media site.

In Google and MSN, however, queries for both "election results" and "us election results" returned exactly zero page one results for national 2006 US midterm election results -- and only one site relevant to 2006 elections at all.

Only Google offered a news vertical, but none of the three items discussed the current results. MSN displayed a "Related Searches" block featuring such useful items as "Uganda Election Results" and "1984 US Presidential Election
Result".

The Yahoo results were brilliant for "election results". The correct deep pages in CNN, Fox, CSPAN, etc. You'd, um, almost think a real human had a hand in this stack -- a suspicion I think is borne out by the page 2 results, or a query for "US election results" (which featured zero 2006 results on page one).

So who did the best job of SEM for the midterm elections? The guys who bid on this ad, which appeared (with variations) on all three engines:

The 2006 Elections
www.nytimes.com - Continuous coverage of the 2006 elections
from The New York Times.

I know as well as anyone the difficulty in ranking for event-based queries in organic search, but I'm rather surprised that none of the major news sites seemed to make an effort here (should heads be rolling in the CNN search marketing office today). Hats off at least to the NYT ... for spending money. ;)