Google+ Engagement for News Sites: Top Performers and One-Year Growth Rates

Google+ logoWhich news sites get the most engagement on their Google+ pages?

It’s been a year since I took an early look at engagement rates for news organizations on Google+, so I thought I’d revisit the topic and do a fresh comparison.

As with my previous comparison, I used All my + to pull data on +1′s, shares and comments for every post on the official Google+ pages of a selection of news sites.

NBC News Google+ engagement

I used the same news organizations as last time with a few changes and additions, bringing the list to 48. The group includes a cross-section of print, broadcast and Web-only news organizations, and is not intended to be a definitive list.

It is important to note that the performance of the Google+ pages varies depending on what is examined.

Personally I like to look at the per post averages as this helps to level the playing field and provide a general sense of how much user activity and engagement typically occurs. However this comparison gets skewed by a few pages with fairly limited post activity.

So I also compiled the total engagement counts for all of the Google+ pages. News organizations that post more frequently have a strong advantage in this comparison but it helps to present another side of what’s happening.

Since it has been a year since my first comparison I also calculated the one-year growth rates for both the average engagement and total engagement figures.

Google+ Pages: Average Engagement Per Post

Google+ Page+1's
Per Post
Shares
Per Post
Comments
Per Post
Total
Per Post
1Mashable239.8687.2266.96394.04
2BBC News147.3448.3656.81252.51
3The Economist125.8438.1240.39204.35
4TIME109.7330.1143.74183.58
5The New York Times94.3935.7331.4161.52
6Breaking News75.5633.4944.5153.55
7The Next Web87.3635.8319.43142.62
8NBC News85.2520.6436.64142.53
9The Guardian81.2525.2821.43127.96
10The Wall Street Journal72.828.1625.66126.62
11The Verge70.7618.2627.86116.88
12TechCrunch63.9217.1921.16102.27
13CNET52.712.6719.8685.23
14msnbc44.948.2128.5481.69
15NPR35.8817.9118.9272.71
16Le Monde30.110.3331.5471.97
17CNN International39.769.3420.0369.13
18Al Jazeera English35.8512.361664.21
19Financial Times38.9112.412.1563.46
20The Huffington Post29.319.9318.5857.82
21ABC News22.988.1220.0651.16
22Anderson Cooper 36029.764.0916.0649.91
23Fox News12.744.3130.5847.63
24PBS24.459.045.1538.64
25Washington Post20.598.678.9638.22
26Los Angeles Times23.25.597.3536.14
27Yahoo! News18.596.287.6432.51
28PBS NewsHour17.836.348.2132.38
29The Atlantic17.217.147.9432.29
30USA TODAY17.484.647.4729.59
31Bloomberg News14.366.047.327.7
32Newsweek and The Daily Beast12.574.959.2226.74
33CNBC15.133.036.7124.87
34CBS News8.294.637.7720.69
35Slate8.663.27.4519.31
36Business Insider11.344.342.6118.29
37Daily Mail7.32.425.815.52
38Forbes9.462.743.1315.33
39CNNMoney8.742.563.4814.78
40The New Yorker8.823.211.8413.87
41Sky News6.682.312.2811.27
42ReadWriteWeb6.012.52.1110.62
43Chicago Tribune5.52.022.239.75
44The Boston Globe5.181.481.88.46
45Newser2.431.241.925.59
46The Telegraph1.630.790.562.98
47New York Magazine1.540.320.372.23
48The Fiscal Times0.10.290.020.41

Mashable is the winner here by a considerable margin, with BBC News also faring better than most. Last year’s top performer The New York Times drops to #5. There are 12 news organizations with a combined average above 100.

I should point out that a few of the pages have not been active for some time. As of today Bloomberg News and The Telegraph have not made a new post since July 2012, and the most recent post on the CBS News page is dated September 2012.

Also I was once again unable to find an active Google+ page for CNN. Last year I used CNN iReport but as of today it has only two posts and is no longer active. So I replaced it with the CNN International page, which hadn’t been created yet when I did the first comparison. I also added Anderson Cooper 360.

Google+ Pages: Total Engagement

Google+ PageTotal
+1's
Total
Shares
Total
Comments
Combined
Total
1The Verge320,66282,774126,257529,693
2Mashable238,66386,78666,630392,079
3NBC News178,17443,12976,578297,881
4The Next Web176,55772,42139,268288,246
5TechCrunch171,24146,05756,683273,981
6CNET154,68037,17958,279250,138
7BBC News137,02244,97152,833234,826
8The Economist109,35933,02435,103177,486
9Breaking News78,28134,70046,104159,085
10Le Monde58,91420,22561,726140,865
11TIME72,41919,87228,867121,158
12ABC News45,01615,91139,307100,234
13Los Angeles Times40,7019,79712,89563,393
14Fox News14,4964,90534,80554,206
15Financial Times30,6629,7749,57150,007
16Daily Mail21,8247,24017,33346,397
17PBS29,06910,7546,11945,942
18The Huffington Post22,6847,68514,38244,751
19CNBC26,9875,41311,96444,364
20The Guardian27,9518,6987,37344,022
21PBS NewsHour22,2877,92610,25940,472
22CNN International22,9805,39711,57939,956
23msnbc19,3683,53812,29935,205
24The Wall Street Journal17,9106,9276,31231,149
25Forbes18,9095,4666,26330,638
26CNNMoney17,4115,1016,92929,441
27Anderson Cooper 36015,7732,1668,51426,453
28USA Today15,5194,1236,63526,277
29ReadWriteWeb14,4736,0205,08025,573
30The New Yorker154405615322224,277
31The New York Times13,5925,1454,52223,259
32NPR10,7275,3555,65621,738
33Slate8,5323,1507,33719,019
34Al Jazeera English9,2863,2014,14516,632
35The Washington Post7,9493,3453,45714,751
36Yahoo! News7,6422,5803,14113,363
37The Boston Globe5,9431,7032,0619,707
38Newser3,6451,8642,8838,392
39Chicago Tribune4,3931,5971,7857,775
40Newsweek and The Daily Beast2,7651,0902,0295,884
41Sky News3,2721,1331,1155,520
42CBS News1,1606481,0882,896
43The Atlantic1,3255506112,486
44Business Insider1,1344342611,829
45New York Magazine9121912211,324
46Bloomberg News6752843431,302
47The Telegraph703424128
48The Fiscal Times1854476

In this category The Verge dominates; they are certainly putting some effort into posting on Google+. Mashable at #2 is also doing very well. 12 of the of the 46 news organizations have more than 100,000 combined engagement actions.

As with the average engagement figures, the disparity between the top, middle and bottom of the table is significant.

Some news organizations have larger audiences and produce more content than others, which gives them a leg up. But there is plenty of opportunity for news sites to increase their Google+ activity and improve engagement.

Google+ Pages: One Year-Growth Rates

Here are the one-year growth rates for average engagement per post:

Google+ PageAverage
Per Post
1/10/12
Average
Per Post
1/8/13
One-Year
Growth Rate
1The Economist14.32204.351327%
2Daily Mail1.7915.52767%
3USA Today5.2329.59466%
4Forbes2.8415.33440%
5BBC News48.02252.51426%
6The Verge22.68116.88415%
7New York Magazine0.442.23407%
8msnbc17.1881.69375%
9The Guardian27.34127.96368%
10Financial Times14.8763.46327%
11Business Insider4.818.29281%
12Sky News3.1111.27262%
13Le Monde20.5171.97251%
14PBS NewsHour11.3732.38185%
15Mashable144.64394.04172%
16TIME68.48183.58168%
17NBC News62.79142.53127%
18Breaking News70.44153.55118%
19The Wall Street Journal58.84126.62115%
20CNNMoney6.9914.78111%
21Los Angeles Times17.5136.14106%
22CNET42.2285.23102%
23TechCrunch53.86102.2790%
24Slate10.5219.3184%
25The Washington Post21.6538.2277%
26PBS23.7438.6463%
27ABC News33.1951.1654%
28The Boston Globe5.658.4650%
29Al Jazeera English44.7664.2143%
30The Huffington Post41.4157.8240%
31The Telegraph2.142.9839%
32Fox News34.5647.6338%
33Yahoo! News23.8332.5136%
34The Next Web112.36142.6227%
35Bloomberg News23.7727.717%
36The Fiscal Times0.370.4111%
37Newsweek and The Daily Beast25.3826.745%
38Chicago Tribune9.369.754%
39CBS News20.8720.69-1%
40NPR78.3872.71-7%
41ReadWriteWeb11.8810.62-11%
42The New York Times247.77161.52-35%
43Newser8.765.59-36%
44The Atlantic59.8932.29-46%

And the one-year growth rates for total engagement for all posts:

Google+ PageCombined
Total
1/10/12
Combined
Total
1/8/13
One-Year
Growth Rate
1Daily Mail6146,39775961%
2Forbes23130,63813163%
3The Economist1,501177,48611725%
4USA Today38326,2776761%
5The Guardian82944,0225210%
6The Verge10,313529,6935036%
7NBC News6,383297,8814567%
8CNET7,519250,1383227%
9Financial Times1,51950,0073192%
10BBC News7,213234,8263156%
11PBS NewsHour1,37140,4722852%
12Business Insider721,8292440%
13The Fiscal Times3762433%
14ABC News4,020100,2342393%
15TechCrunch12,141273,9812157%
16Le Monde6,810140,8651969%
17New York Magazine661,3241906%
18Los Angeles Times3,29363,3931825%
19CNNMoney1,62029,4411717%
20The Boston Globe5609,7071633%
21Chicago Tribune4727,7751547%
22Sky News3495,5201482%
23The Washington Post93314,7511481%
24TIME7,982121,1581418%
25PBS3,27145,9421305%
26Mashable28,142392,0791293%
27The Atlantic1952,4861175%
28ReadWriteWeb2,17125,5731078%
29The Next Web28,723288,246904%
30msnbc3,70335,205851%
31Fox News6,33354,206756%
32Breaking News20,252159,085686%
33The Wall Street Journal4,18231,149645%
34Newser1,1308,392643%
35Slate2,58119,019637%
36The Huffington Post6,71144,751567%
37NPR4,04721,738437%
38Al Jazeera English4,07416,632308%
39Yahoo! News3,36213,363297%
40The New York Times6,48123,259259%
41Newsweek and The Daily Beast2,1395,884175%
42Bloomberg News4991,302161%
43The Telegraph49128161%
44CBS News1,3352,896117%

Both comparisons are skewed by the fact that a year ago some of the news sites were just getting started with Google+ and hadn’t made a lot of posts yet. But it is still interesting to see the differences one year later.

CNN International, Anderson Cooper 360, The New Yorker and CNBC are not included in the growth rate tables because they were not part of the 2012 comparison.

Comments

  1. I’m not surprised that Mashable is # 1 for Google+ engagement. As it’s primary focus is on social media news, Mashable appeals to the early adopters and social media enthusiasts, so it makes sense that these people are more active on Google+. It will be interesting to see what this snapshot looks like next year as more users become engaged on the Google+ social platform.

  2. Agreed Nick; it’s not surprising to see Mashable at #1 and #2 in this year’s tables. I hadn’t realized how much output The Verge had on Google+ until I saw their dominant lead in the total engagement table.

  3. Tom Willis says:

    Hi Adam,

    Thanks for sharing. Your website was recommended by big Wil Reynolds via Twitter, I’m adding it to my reading list.

    Especially love the G+ engagement breakdown displayed above, will give us something to think on when expanding our presence on the platform in the UK – we have a network of small news websites.

    What changes do you expect to see G+ rolling out in 2013 to rival FB?

    @tom_the_writer

  4. Thanks Tom, glad you liked it. I’m not sure Google+ could do anything to rival Facebook in the near term, but I do think usage and engagement will continue to increase, particularly in certain categories.

    For example as an individual user I limit Facebook mainly to my personal relationships and then use Twitter and Google+ for work-related content sharing and interactions. Google+ offers greater functionality than Twitter for that type of networking. And specifically for news organizations Hangouts on Air is a nice resource.

  5. Adam, thanks for the info this is very interesting about Google+ and yes it definitely does seem to allow better interactivity – looking forward to a follow up post on this thanks

Leave a Comment

*


− 2 = four

Thanks for leaving a comment. In the "Name" field above, please use your personal name and not a company name or other phrase.