It is a dangerous area: taking a look at how many likes, how many tweets or how many +1s a specific website gets and drawing conclusions out of these results. Because, what does it really say about the popularity of those sites?
Searchmetrics decided to take a look at UK newspaper websites and try to figure out which one of them has the most authority. Not just based on one metric, but on several.
Searchmetrics found that despite these having fewer Google+ followers than others the Daily Mail and the Telegraph web sites are more frequently shared.
No Google+ Pages for The Times
Searchmetrics‘ research shows that nine of the 13 UK newspapers they analyzed actually had Google+ pages. They found that The Times, The Sun, Daily Express and Daily Star were not even present on Google+. The newspapers who were there made for a combined total of 544,545 followers. That is less than half of the fans they have on Facebook (1,284,674), but there all newspapers have a page.
One of the elements which might show how ‘influential’ a newspaper on Google+ can be is the number of circles they are in. The Financial Times seems to be the most popular one there, being put in 372,159 different circles, followed by the Guardian and the Independent.
Number of +1s
Another metric which could potentially say something is the number of +1s a page gets. Here we for example see that even though the Financial Times is in the most circles, they are not getting the most +1s. Searchmetrics suggests this could be because of the paywall restrictions the Financial Times has.
The Daily Mail seems most popular when it comes to +1s (approximately 10,493 +1s a week on average), follow by the Telegraph and the Guardian.
Here’s an overview of the UK National Newspapers sites and Google+ visibility:
|Site||No of Google+ followers||Average +1s per week|
|HeraldScotland.com||1 (recently constructed page)||28|
|TheTimes.co.uk||No Google+ page found||35|
|TheSun.co.uk||No Google+ page found||827|
|Express.co.uk||No Google+ page found||10|
|DailyStar.co.uk||No Google+ page found||5|
So what does this tell us?
Do these numbers have any significance when it comes to seeing whether or not Google+ is important or whether or not the newspapers are doing well?
Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics’ CTO and founder (we spoke to him last week at SES) puts it like this:
“Not only is having content shared or recommended on social networks such as Google+ a valuable way of generating traffic, but it is likely to be having an impact on how your web site pages rank and are positioned in search results. Google has already started showing personalised results – which incorporate online content that people’s Google+ followers have recommended – within search results. And it’s likely that it will be looking at using the insights it gets from Google+ data to determine and shape search results in other ways,”
He is right when it comes to the personalised results. Getting shared on Google+ will mean they will most probably get more visibility on certain stories within the Google results. Which will then lead to more traffic and conversion.
So for newspapers especially it is important to be very present on Google+, not just for the social networking, but to ‘get in to’ people’s personal results.Posted in News, Research | Tags: Google, newspapers, Numbers, Research, Searchmetrics