Stories from the Daily Mail and Telegraph web sites get most Google +1 recommendations

Financial Times has the largest number of followers on Google+, with no official presence for The Times, The Sun, Daily Express or Daily Star.

London, UK – 22 March, 2012: The Financial Times has more followers for its page on the fast growing Google+ social network than any other UK national newspaper site. But Google+ users are most frequently recommending stories and content from the Daily Mail and the Telegraph web sites, despite these having fewer Google+ followers.

The findings come from a study examining the visibility of 13 top UK national newspapers on Google+, which is quoted by Google as having over 100 million signed up user accounts. The research was conducted by search and social analytics company, Searchmetrics.

Nine of the 13 UK newspapers analysed by Searchmetrics had created Google+ pages at the time of the study (19 March 2012), with a combined total of 544,545 followers. No official Google+ page could be found for The Times, The Sun, Daily Express and Daily Star. This compares with a total of 1,284,674 followers (fans) on Facebook, currently the world’s biggest social network, for which all 13 newspaper sites maintain official pages.

372,159 people were recorded as following the Financial Times’ page on Google+ (or having the newspaper’s page in their Google+ ‘Circles’) beating the Guardian’s page which came second with 75,255 followers. The Independent came third with 60,195 people having its page in their Google+ circles.

Weekly data from Searchmetrics showed stories and content from the Daily Mail web site ( received the most +1 recommendations  (content is recommended by clicking the Google+ ‘+1’ button – similar to the Facebook ‘like’) with approximately 10,493 +1s a week on average. Second came the Telegraph web site ( with around 5,822 +1s a week and third the Guardian’s web site (approx 3,367+1s a week).

The Financial Times, while it may have the most followers, averages around 670 +1s a week for its site, possibly getting fewer recommendations because of its paywall restrictions.

UK National Newspapers sites and Google+ visibility (19 March 2012)

Site No of Google+ followers Average +1s per week  372,159  674 75,255  3,367 60,195 2,812 35,490 10,493   1,087 5,822 149 211 110 69 99 22 1
(recently constructed page)
28 No Google+ page found 35  No Google+ page found 827 No Google+ page found 10 No Google+ page found 5

“Google+ is still a relatively young social network but Google is very positive about its future and we’re already seeing a large number of people on the site, so it’s important for newspapers and other big brands to get in early and have a strong presence on the network,” explained Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics’ CTO and founder.

“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,” added Tober.

The most frequently +1’d article on was shown to be a story (with images) about how the majority of runway models meet the Body Mass Index (BMI) criteria for anorexia, which had been +1’d 837 times.  The’s most frequently +1’d article was a news story about an EU ban which prevents water brands from claiming that water prevents dehydration (1110 +1s).

Frequently +1’d articles from national newspapers, 12 Jan 2012, 837 +1s

‘Most runway models meet the BMI criteria for anorexia’, claims plus-size magazine in powerful comment on body image in the fashion industry’,  18 Nov 2011, 1110 +1s

EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration, 25 Nov 2011, 1,142 +1s

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About the Searchmetrics study

The data for the study was collated in w/c 19 March 2012.  It included an analysis of Google+ and Facebook activity for the 13 newspaper web sites using data from the global social media database which Searchmetrics operates to power its online software tools.  This is a regularly updated store of data points related to web sites and their visibility on social networks. The study also included an analysis of the Google+ and Facebook pages of the newspapers.

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