On Google+, Traditional Media Catching Up To Online News Sites

google-plus-logo-tiltOnline-only news sites get the most engagement on Google+, but traditional media are catching up … and fast. That’s according to Adam Sherk, a consultant that works with many news and content sites.

Studying a total of 48 news organizations, Sherk collected the overall engagement counts for each on Google+ — how many +1s their posts get, how many comments and how many shares. He ran a similar study a year ago and compared the new results to see which organizations are doing better in engaging their fans.

Mashable has ascended to the top spot overall, according to Sherk’s study, with an average engagement per post at 394 comments, shares and +1s. It was second in his study from a year ago, behind The New York Times, which dropped to fifth this year.


That’s average engagement per post. Mashable was also second in total engagement with its 392,000+ combined +1s, comments and shares. The leader in total engagement is The Verge at just under 530,000. As Sherk points out, sites that publish more stories should do better in the total engagement counts.

When it comes to year-over-year growth, traditional media is leading the way. The top five sites with the biggest average engagement growth are all traditional news organizations. The Economist raised its average engagement per post from 14 a year ago to 204 now, for a whopping increase of 1,327 percent.


Traditional media also held the top five spots in total engagement increases, led by The Daily Mail, a UK tabloid that’s really jumped on the Google+ bandwagon. It went from only 61 total shares, comments and +1s a year ago to more than 46,000 now. There are several similar jumps in total engagement, a sign that many traditional media sites have adopted Google+ as part of their regular online strategy.

At the same time, though, Sherk says he found several news organizations that seem to have given up on Google+ — Bloomberg News and The Telegraph, among others. And, while CNN has a few international pages, it doesn’t appear to have a primary Google+ page for the network itself.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Google: Google+ | Social Media Marketing | Statistics | Statistics: Popularity & Usage | Statistics: Social Media | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • theprone

    You should compare those numbers with Facebook. When you compare them with Facebook, take account of the number of followers as well.

  • http://twitter.com/08ight 0.8ight

    If you really want to make an honest comparison, then compare Google+ with Facebook when it was 18 months old. Same for Twitter…

  • 4u2discuss

    Well those that advocate that G+ has failed should be blamed for some of the sad stories as quoted

    Start Quote ” seem to have given up on Google+ — Bloomberg News and The Telegraph, among others. And, while CNN has a few international pages, it doesn’t
    appear to have a primary Google+ page for the network itself.” end Quote

    Truth is G+ is doing well when those in the driving seat take some time and ensure that they have applied “FUFISM” or Functional User Friendly Integrated Social Media where all your team work together to ensure that your issues are found in search engines, this includes using as many Social media platforms as your budget allows and ensuring that they all link to your base web and blog…

    Problem with traditional media is they are afraid of sharing, so their SEOV (Search Engine Optimisation Value) is not shared and they drop out of the rankings…

    Google PLUS posts are found in more search engines such as BING, YAHOO, ASK and others than face book post are, and we will see more results from G+ in the future being trusted as G+ profiles are run by real people and not machines like Twitter and FaceBook…

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