News organizations (along with businesses of all kinds) have been able to create official Google+ pages for a couple months now so I thought I’d check in and see how their pages are doing.
I’m going to forgo looking at which media outlets have attracted the largest following since that data becomes quickly outdated.
Instead I’ll focus on some basic signals of user activity and engagement: the number of 1+’s, shares and comments on each page.
Submitting the profile ID for a particular Google+ page generates an overview chart like this:
I collected the +1, share and comment figures for a selection of 45 news organizations. The post volume varies greatly by page so I focused on the per post averages to allow for better comparison.
The list of organizations is not meant to be comprehensive; I chose a cross-section of print, broadcast and Web-only outlets. Most are from the US but there are a handful of international sites too. I omitted location-focused outlets such as local TV stations.
Normally in posts like Which News Sites Get the Most Social Media Engagement? I stick to mainstream news sites, but this time I expanded the scope a little to include TechCrunch, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, The Next Web and CNET.
Here are 45 news organizations ranked by the combined figure of total +1’s, shares and comments per post:
|1||The New York Times||130.92||73.85||43.00||247.77|
|3||The Next Web||41.50||58.08||12.78||112.36|
|9||The Wall Street Journal||26.32||21.18||11.34||58.84|
|12||Al Jazeera English||21.87||13.02||9.87||44.76|
|15||The Huffington Post||15.33||10.26||15.82||41.41|
|19||Newsweek and The Daily Beast||10.44||5.11||9.83||25.38|
|27||Los Angeles Times||6.38||4.30||6.83||17.51|
|37||The Boston Globe||2.67||1.75||1.23||5.65|
|44||New York Magazine||0.19||0.14||0.11||0.44|
|45||The Fiscal Times||0.12||0.25||0.00||0.37|
The New York Times leads the group by a considerable margin. Their total output on Google+ is considerably less than some of the more active pages but what they do post gets a lot of interaction.
Mashable and The Next Web at #2 and #3 is not surprising based on the nature of their audience. I expected TechCrunch to be right up there too, but they did make the top ten.
Fox News tends to get a high volume of comments per Facebook update, so I was curious if the same would hold true on Google+. It does to some extent, as 22.70 puts them in the top 5 for comments per post. But their fan base is not nearly as active on Google+ as it is on Facebook.
One organization that is missing is CNN. Surprisingly as of today they do not appear to have an official page. The top Google+ search result for “CNN” is a people result that no longer exists. So instead I included CNN iReport (although it is not a great representative since there are only a couple posts on the page).
Have you noticed any news organizations doing particularly noteworthy things with their Google+ pages?
Based on feedback from Cory Bergman of Breaking News (see comments below) I went back and pulled the total +1, share and comment figures for each site.
Originally I chose not to use the total figures because it felt like more of an arms race comparison. Sites with more posts will typically have more user interactions, so that didn’t seem like a useful insight. I was more interested in the level of activity and engagement the pages are getting on average. In addition the total figures will quickly go out of date.
However I agree that a comparison based on averages can also be skewed by pages that have made very few posts. It’s sort of like baseball statistics; you need a minimum number of at bats in order for the figures to be meaningful.
So while I prefer to look at the average figures, it is a good idea to cross-reference them against the totals to get a better overall picture:
(as of 1/10/12)
|1||The Next Web||10,821||14,663||3,239||28,723|
|10||The Huffington Post||2,530||1,640||2,541||6,711|
|11||The New York Times||3,425||1,933||1,123||6,481|
|14||The Wall Street Journal||1,872||1,504||806||4,182|
|15||Al Jazeera English||1,991||1,185||898||4,074|
|20||Los Angeles Times||1,256||788||1,249||3,293|
|24||Newsweek and The Daily Beast||882||429||828||2,139|
|31||The Washington Post||384||304||245||933|
|33||The Boston Globe||265||173||122||560|
|42||New York Magazine||26||23||17||66|
|45||The Fiscal Times||1||2||0||3|
In this comparison Breaking News moves up two places to #3 overall. The Next Web, Mashable and Breaking News dominate the group in terms of total user actions, which is impressive.
The New York Times drops down to #11, but based on the welcome message in their first post they are apparently taking a more conservative approach in terms of total output. Attracting a decent number of user actions with a fairly limited number of posts is impressive too.