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?