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Clinton vs Obama in online click battle

Neilsen ranks presidential hopefuls' sites

The websites of Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ran neck-and-neck in August in the battle among presidential candidates for page views, according to data released by Nielsen. However, Clinton continues to dominate the race for most mentions in online blogs, according to the online researcher.

Nielsen said HillaryClinton.com logged 759,000 unique visitors during August, while BarackObama.com pulled in 749,000. The race for best viewed site went back and forth all summer: Clinton led the way in June, while Obama garnered the most hits in July.

Former Senator John Edwards followed Obama with 448,000 unique visitors to JohnEdwards.com. Former Senator Fred Thompson and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney rounded out the top five with 410,000 and 281,000 unique visitors, respectively, Nielsen reported.

While he pulled in only 58,000 unique web visitors in August, Senator John McCain's online advertising effort topped all other candidates. McCain had 4.3 million sponsored link impressions in August, followed by Representative Dennis Kucinich with 1.8 million sponsored links, Romney with 1.7 million and Clinton with 522,000, Nielsen/NetRatings reported.

Clinton led the presidential pack in the third quarter of 2007 with blog mentions, while Obama saw his blog mentioned decrease by 33 percent from the first quarter to the third, according to Nielsen BuzzMetrics.

Fred Thompson's blog mentions grew 526 percent from the first quarter to the third. Mentions of Romney and Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani were up for the quarter while McCain's mentions were down by 27 percent.

In related news, Community Connect, a publisher of niche social-networking communities, announced on Monday that Obama has created a profile on each of its five sites as part of an effort to attract voters from different ethnic background.

Since the profiles went live on 5 October, Obama has gained some 200,000 new 'friends' on the sites, Community Connect noted. In one week, his profile on BlackPlanet.com, a social network aimed at African Americans, pulled in more friends than either of Obama's MySpace and Facebook profiles.

Obama currently has 153,000 Facebook supporters and 182,000 MySpace friends, according to the TechPresident.com blog, which is tracking the Web 2.0 efforts of the 2008 presidential candidates. Obama leads all of the candidates in Facebook and MySpace supporters, according to TechPresident.

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