The Top 25 U.S. Newspapers According to Google

Clicks is one thing, credibility is another. When it comes to online credibility, Google PageRank rules over all. Few metrics illustrate true authority on the Web more than Google’s PageRank. PageRank is the accepted standard for authority on the Web. If you ranked the top 25 U.S. newspapers by PageRank instead of circulation, the list looks like this:

  • 9/10 – The New York Times stands alone as far as Google concerned – it has the highest PageRank of the top 25 U.S. newspapers
  • 8/10 – The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, NY Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle and StarTribune have equal authority at 8/10
  • 7/10 – The Dallas Morning News, The Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, Houston Chronicle, The Arizona Republic, The Oregonian, The Star-Ledger, The San Diego Union-Tribune and Newsday are tied for third place with a PageRank of 7/10
  • 6/10 – The Seattle Times, The St. Petersburg Times and The Plain Dealer share fourth place at 6/10
  • 5/10 – The New York Post, The Oakland Tribune and The San Jose Mercury News are tied for fifth place at 5/10
  • 4/10 – Rounding out the bottom is The Denver Post and Contra Costa Times – each share a PageRank of 4/10

When comparing newspaper to newspaper, PageRank seems like a good measure of a newspaper’s authority. Once you get outside of an apples to apples comparison – or in this case, newspaper to newspaper – it gets harder to determine influence or authority. Take popular blogs like The Huffington Post or TechCrunch for example. Both blogs have a Google PageRank of 8/10 – do those blogs have the same authority as The Wall Street Journal or USA Today? As far as Google is concerned they do.

But enough about the PageRank stuff – how popular are the top U.S. newspapers on social media? My next post will focus on the top U.S. newspapers’ Facebook Pages and the number of Facebook Friends (‘Likes’) each newspaper has.

What do you think? Is PageRank a good gauge of a newspaper’s authority? How do you determine the authority of a newspaper?

(Image Credit: Google Classic by dullhunk)

About Jeremy Porter 214 Articles
Jeremy Porter has been passionate about the intersection of public relations and journalism since studying both Public Relations and Journalism at Utica College of Syracuse University in the late 90s. Porter launched Journalistics in 2009 to share his ideas and insights around both professions and how trends and developments in modern day marketing, communications, and technology impact those working in these fields. Porter also values the traditions and history of both professions and regularly shares his perspective in these areas - and related topics geared toward the next generation of journalism and public relations professionals.

33 Comments

  1. Google Page Rank comes from links to the papers’ website – NYT is used as a reference for other articles more often than they reference others – thus their higher PR. But USA Today wins for traffic numbers which converts to higher circulation the true measure of a papers’ success.

    The Huffington Post ranks high for PR because their editorial columns are also highly linked to – but also because they have good internal linking and smart site architecture .

    PR reflects authority, traffic shows popularity.

    • I agree Jonathan, but the purpose of this post was to look at how the Top 25 newspapers with the top U.S. circulation would stack up if I ranked them by PageRank. I think there’s a good follow up post in your suggestion – thanks for sharing the idea and resource.

    • I added WashingtonPost.com to the list (error on my part). The AJC and Boston Globe weren’t on the ABC’s Top 25 as of the March 2010 numbers. If you have access to more current numbers, I’d be happy to share. Thanks!

    • Oops. WashingtonPost.com should have been on there – clerical error on my part. While Boston.com does have 8/10, The Boston Globe wasn’t on the Top 25 list by circulation (the papers I re-sorted by PageRank for this series). Boston.com is a great news site though.

  2. Looking at the list of newspapers in the ABC report, it appears that The Boston Globe is in the top 25 newspapers. It ranks#24 M-F and #18 on Sunday. Am I missing something?

    • I might save your comment and hang it up – It’s not everyday that Jay Rosen would say “Jeremy’s Right”. If I had known this topic would be this popular, I would have expanded the research to the Top 100. Perhaps next time.

      I’d be interested in getting your thoughts on how to compare offline and online news sources in an objective way (ex: how does the New York Times compare to the Huffington Post), but expand the comparison to 10 leading print/10 leading online. Any ideas?

  3. Did you look at any of the McClatchy Newspapers? The Sacramento Bee gets a 7/10 pagerank by my reckoning and is not listed here. Nor is the Bee listed in any of your other rankings, when apparently it should be (Twitter, Facebook, etc).

  4. I think the strength of the Web has nothing to do with PageRank. Pagerank pages 7, may have less force than one that only has 5. That is a function of the links that point and quality.

  5. agree Jonathan, but the purpose of this post was to look at how the Top 25 newspapers with the top U.S. circulation would stack up if I ranked them by PageRank.

  6. I added WashingtonPost.com to the list (error on my part). The AJC and Boston Globe weren’t on the ABC’s Top 25 as of the March 2010 numbers. If you have access to more current numbers, I’d be happy to share. Thanks!

  7. Did you look at any of the McClatchy Newspapers? The Sacramento Bee gets a 7/10 pagerank by my reckoning and is not listed here. Nor is the Bee listed in any of your other rankings, when apparently it should be

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