New York Times Has Most Google+ Followers But Washington Post +1’d More

New Data from Searchmetrics Shows Social Recommendations Diverging from Traditional Readership of Top U.S. Media Sites

New York, NY – April 5, 2012: The New York Times is the dominant leader in Google+ followers among all U.S. newspapers, yet the Washington Post has 25% more average +1s per week for its stories, according to new data compiled by search and social analytics software provider Searchmetrics.

The findings come from data comparing the social visibility of top U.S. newspapers as of April 2, 2012. The New York Times has the most Google+ followers with 360,062, and the second highest average number of +1s a week with 26,665.  Stories from the Washington Post received the most +1 recommendations with approximately 33,206 +1s a week on average, despite a following more than 10 times smaller on Google+. The Wall Street Journal has the second highest number of Google+ followers, with 149,905, and the third highest average +1s a week, with 18,754.

U.S. National Newspapers sites and Google+ visibility (as of April 2, 2012)

Site No of Google+ followers Average +1s per week 360,032 26,665 149,905 18,754 21,294 8,973  19,674 33,206 5,566 2,439 3,821 4,269 789 898 198 1,554 189 36 176 479

Some of the Most frequently +1’d articles from national newspapers as of April 2, 2012

The most frequently +1’d article in the Wall Street Journal was an August 20, 2011 essay by Marc Andreessen titled “Why Software is Eating the World,” +1’d 1,570 times. The article built a case for the “software transformation” of industries and why software and tech company valuations do not constitute a bubble but in fact are understated.  The most frequently +1’d article in the New York Times was “How One-Minute Intervals Can Improve Your Health,” a February 15, 2012 article which detailed new research pointing to very short, intense exercise as effective for health. (+1’d 2,377 times)., August 20, 2011, Why Software is Eating the World
Total +1s: 1,570, February 14 2012, How One-Minute Intervals Can Improve Your Health
Total +1s: 2,377

“Although this data is raw and deserves careful analysis, we feel these numbers are quite revealing about the social visibility newspapers can achieve or fail to achieve by leveraging all the social networks,” said Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics’ CTO and founder. “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.”

“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 personalized 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.

About the Searchmetrics study
The data for the study was collated on April 2, 2012. It included an analysis of Google+ activity for 10 leading 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+ pages of the newspapers.

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