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What platform you should focus on when covering news – a French election case study

The presidential election has come to an end: Emmanuel Macron remains president of France but he will have to prove that he has what it takes to make the necessary changes ahead of the legislative elections in June. Contrary to our last analysis, this time we will be focusing on News Box visibility for both candidates. The key focus will not only lie on the top 5 publishers for each keyword set (found below) but also on what search term a publisher a publisher should use while optimizing its articles. We will also take a look if there is a difference for well performing articles when it comes to desktop and mobile devices. As always, we have used our 15 minute-crawling interval to get insights into all French Google SERP rankings.


Mobile News Boxes:


Le Pen:

Top 5 publishers in Google's mobile News Boxes for Marine le Pen. finishes strong for Marine le Pen.

In mobile News Boxes for the second placed candidate we had all in all about one fifth more recorded rankings for “marine le pen” than for “le pen”. However, the users were more likely to search for the last name only. When looking at the rankings we had a lot of movement overall. There were definitely publishers that ranked well on both days like and Others were especially visible on the first day as or on the second day like or in-between like



Top 5 publishers in Google's mobile News Boxes for Emmanuel Macron.

A great start for concerning news for the president.

Here, we had only 32 rankings distinguishing “emmanuel macron” from “macron” – proving again that Google is still a little more inclined to play out more relevant news elements for full names. Additionally, the search interest for the last or full name was nearly the same with “macron” having insignificantly more interest. Saturday, was by far the most visible publisher in mobile News Boxes followed by and The last two were also somewhat succesful on Sunday, although and more prominently joined the ranks.


Desktop News Boxes:


Le Pen:

Top 5 publishers in Google's desktop News Boxes for Marine le Pen and are on top for Marine le Pen.

Again, “marine le pen” had more rankings than “le pen” with and being especially visible on both days. Similarly to the mobile News Boxes, we had ranking well on day 1 and better on day 2. Here, makes up the middle-ground.



Top 5 publishers in Google's desktop News Boxes for Emmanuel Macron.

Publishers fighting it out over Emmanuel Macron.

For the first time a last name “macron” gained more rankings than a full name, but with just 2 more this number proves more than to be irrelevant looking at the bigger picture. Moreover, the landscape of publishers was vastly different than on the mobile SERP. Still, did best on Saturday just like and fared well over both days, while shone on day 2.



Let’s compare the most visible articles of publishers who were part of the top 5 on both SERPs during the weekend:


Le Pen:

Après la polémique sur Marine Le Pen, Delphine Wespiser prend une décision définitive (mobile and desktop)

Appeler à faire barrage à Marine Le Pen, le dilemme des médias (mobile and desktop)

Présidentielle 2022 : Emmanuel Macron favori du second tour, mais Marine Le Pen à un niveau élevé, selon un ultime … (mobile and desktop)

DIRECT. Marine Le Pen : un résultat historique au 2eme tour de cette présidentielle ? (mobile and desktop)



Macron répond à Mélenchon qui se voit déjà Premier ministre (mobile)

Ce SMS envoyé par Emmanuel Macron fait enrager Marine Le Pen (desktop)

Présidentielle 2022 : Emmanuel Macron favori du second tour, mais Marine Le Pen à un niveau élevé, selon un ultime … (mobile and desktop)


All in all, there was only one instance where the most visible article over the whole weekend was different for a publisher in the mobile News Box compared to the desktop one.


Final thoughts:

Clearly, we see that most articles that do well on one platform do almost always equally well on the other – leading to the question if article wise a focus on one or the other device is needed? However, when it comes to preferred publishers by Google the answer is not as clear. This leaves us wondering why. Either the publishers have a better site set-up for mobile or Google takes other factors more into consideration – for example more trust for publishers that write more about topics that trigger news elements on either mobile or desktop. In terms of available news elements versus search interest we see here that Google is more likely to play out more interesting news elements on SERPs for longer or more correct terms although users are more likely to use shorter/easier search terms. This is definitely a result from this case study that we will definitely focus on more for a broader keyword set in further studies. So, look out for future in-depth analyses. Let us know if you have a specific topic in mind!


Macron: emmanuel macron; macron
Le Pen: le pen; marine le pen