Capstone, Journalism, Share

Top U.S. Newspaper Websites by Share, Rank and Traffic

The New York Times boasts highest shared content and page rank but the USA Today wins in web traffic. So what then is more valuable for a news site? While USA brings more traffic to the site, which in the end is better for clicks and ad revenue, a high share rank means better exposure to content which potentially builds better brand, reader loyalty and arguably more interesting (and therefor better) content.
Statistics and text via

Top Shares

While Google PageRank is an accurate gauge of authority on the Web, it doesn’t tell us much about how much people ‘Like’ a newspaper. When it comes to ‘Likes’, Facebook is the authority. It took a little (okay, a lot of) trial and error to find the Facebook Pages for each of the Top 25 U.S. newspapers(you’d be surprised how hard some of the top 25 make it to find), but alas here’s the list of the Top 25 U.S. Newspapers ranked by the number of Facebook Friends (‘Likes’) each newspaper has (click the link to visit the newspaper’s Facebook Page):

  1. The New York Times – 781,655
  2. The Wall Street Journal140,515
  3. The Washington Post68,152
  4. The Denver Post30,690
  5. USA Today28,332
  6. The Los Angeles Times 20,715
  7. The Chicago Tribune 19,448
  8. The Arizona Republic 18,002
  9. The New York Post8,087
  10. The San Francisco Chronicle8,051

Top Google Rank

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:

  1. 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
  2. 8/10 – The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, NY Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle and StarTribune have equal authority at 8/10
  3. 7/10 – The Dallas Morning NewsThe Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, Houston Chronicle, The Arizona Republic, The Oregonian, The Star-Ledger, The San Diego Union-Tribune and Newsdayare tied for third place with a PageRank of 7/10
  4. 6/10 – The Seattle Times, The St. Petersburg Times and The Plain Dealer share fourth place at 6/10
  5. 5/10 – The New York Post, The Oakland Tribune and The San Jose Mercury News are tied for fifth place at 5/10
  6. 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.

Visit the Top 25 list of U.S. Newspapers by Web Traffic:

  1. USA Today – 239,425,560
  2. The New York Times – 217,513,400
  3. The Wall Street Journal122,397,004
  4. The Los Angeles Times 94,889,543
  5. The Washington Post – 9,1758,837
  6. New York Daily News82,225,690
  7. The San Francisco Chronicle – 46,696,844
  8. The New York Post45,903,055
  9. The Chicago Tribune33,230,030
  10. The Star-Ledger – 31,836,326

Nina Mehta is a writer and product design leader in Brooklyn, New York. She began her design career in journalism and has been writing online for 20+ years. Nina is from outside Chicago and has since lived and worked in San Francisco, Berlin, London, and Tokyo. Learn about Nina at

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