Top 10 news sites on Google: Patch and Huffington Post lead way

03/05/2013

Google has been integrating many non-traditional search results for years, with news articles being one of the most common. New research from Searchmetrics has highlighted the 10 most prominent sites that appear on Google News integrations, with Patch.com and The Huffington Post leading the way.

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What are Google News integrations?

For certain keyword searches, Google decides that the searcher is looking for the latest news related to that search and presents a selection of current news results with links and images integrated or blended into the standard search engine results pages – these are known as News integrations.

News integrations are part of the broader Universal Search integrations including video, images, maps and shopping integrations which Google also presents within search results pages.

News integrations in Google US search results have increased by 70%

More News integrations are being displayed in Google.com search results, with content from AOL-owned local site patch.com, followed by huffingtonpost.com, currently the most likely to appear, according to Searchmetrics.

Disney property go.com and the nytimes.com and washingtonpost.com sites are also positioned highly in Searchmetrics’ list of top ten sites that appear in Google.com News integrations (see table underneath) according to an analysis of search results for several hundred thousand keywords conducted in March 2013.

Top ten sites which appear in News integrations on Google.com

1. patch.com, (4,352)
2. huffingtonpost.com, (3,530)
3. go.com, (3,140)
4. nytimes.com, (2,141)
5. washingtonpost.com, (1,873)
6. guardian.co.uk, (1,834)
7. yahoo.com, (1,826)
8. nydailynews.com, (1,488)
9. usatoday.com, (1,456)
10. foxnews.com, (1,405)

(The figures in brackets are the total number of appearances in News integrations based on a Searchmetrics analysis of search results for several hundred thousand keywords)

British newspaper site guardian.co.uk is the sixth most popular site to appear in News integrations, ahead of yahoo.com, showing the international nature of news sources that Google.com presents in News integrations.

Sites have to apply and be vetted by Google before they can be accepted into its Google News channel and have the chance of appearing in News integrations. Rather than a simple list of website results, Google now automatically integrates or blends distinct news, video, images, maps and shopping results (integrations) into the standard organic search results it displays to try and closely match what searchers are looking for. These are collectively known as the Universal Search integrations.

Overall the total number of News integrations within Google.com searches grew by 70%¹ during 2012, according to a Searchmetrics analysis which is part of a separate wider study of Universal Search integrations using data spanning the whole of 2012.

This analysis found that News makes up 6% of all Universal Search integrations or ‘blended’ search results on Google.com. And News integrations are being drawn from a much wider range of sources, with a 15% increase in the number of different news sources, including news sites, blogs and other publications, over the course of the year.

Marcus Tober, CTO of Searchmetrics explained: “Our research has found that news integrations are growing dramatically in importance and aren’t always from the big traditional media owners. Even small publishers and blogs from small or large companies can feature if they can get accepted as a news source for the Google News channel.”

“Pages listed within the Google News channel have higher click-through rates (CTRs)” continued Tober. “And because News integrations always appear on page one and are often blended near the top of search engine ranking pages (SERPS), they present an opportunity to be listed high on the first page, even for competitive search terms you might struggle to rank highly for using traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO).”

As part of its Universal Search study Searchmetrics analyzed search results for millions of keywords on Google.com during 2012, noting the frequency and type of Universal Search integrations displayed. Video content had the highest share of Universal Search (62%), followed by images (32%), maps (7%), news (6%) and shopping (5%).

About the Studies

To create the list Top ten sites which appear in News integrations on Google.com Searchmetrics analyzed the search results for several hundred thousand keywords during March 2013 and analyzed the sites which appeared in news integrations most frequently.

As part of its separate Universal Search integration study Searchmetrics analyzed search results for millions of keywords on Google.com during the course of 2012, noting the frequency and type of universal integrations displayed. Universal Search in this case being the separate shopping, maps, video, news and image focused insertions that Google displays within its results pages for many searches.

The data from the study is highlighted in a Searchmetrics infographic and the Searchmetrics White Paper based on its Universal Search study can be found here.

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