Mail Online and Guardian.co.uk are the most visible UK newspaper websites on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon, according to a study.
The research by Searchmetrics (carried out over 10 weeks) analysed how often content from 12 leading newspaper sites was shared on six popular social networks and bookmarking sites.
It placed Dailymail.co.uk in top position, with links to its pages being shared 2,908,779 times a week on average. Guardian.co.uk came second with an average 2,587,258 links being shared on social sites every week.
The Times, unsurpsingly, is seldom shared due to its paywall (just 256 links per week).
Average Social Links per Week of UK Newspaper Web sites
1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk (2,908,779 links/week)
2. www.guardian.co.uk (2,587,258 links/week)
3. http://www.telegraph.co.uk (879,783 links/week)
4. http://www.independent.co.uk (617,148 links/week)
5. http://www.thesun.co.uk (195,311 links/week)
6. http://www.ft.com (83,382 links/week)
7. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk (82,151 links/week)
8. http://www.mirror.co.uk (54,881 links/week)
9. http://www.heraldscotland.com (13,063 links/week)
10. http://www.express.co.uk (9,600 links/week)
11. http://www.dailystar.co.uk (702 links/week)
12. http://www.thetimes.co.uk (256 links/week)
Dr Horst Joepen, CEO of Searchmetrics, said: "It’s worth noting that search engines, such as Google and Bing are starting to include popularity on social networks as a factor when judging the quality of web pages and how they should be ranked in search listings. So it’s important for news and other web sites to build and monitor visibility on social sites if they want to rank highly and attract visitors via search."
Searchmetrics also analysed the spread of social networks on which Dailymail.co.uk’s pages were shared over a six month period, revealing that the site received over half of its links (50.78 per cent) on StumbleUpon, with Facebook activity (likes, shares and comments) accounting for 45.87 per cent and links on Twitter 3.21 per cent.
More than half (56.77 per cent) of Guardian.co.uk’s social links came from Facebook with StumbleUpon accounting for 31.35 per cent and Twitter 10.98 per cent according to the study.
"Some people we have shown this data to have been surprised at the volume of links generated for UK newspapers on the StumbleUpon social bookmarking site. This is a very popular site globally and the links could have been generated throughout the world from English speakers who use StumbleUpon," added Dr Joepen.
The most frequently shared content on Dailymail.co.uk was a piece about the Japan earthquake which had been shared 392,521 times on the monitored social sites.
Guardian.co.uk’s most frequently shared content was considerable more trivial - a quiz discussing quotes from Muammar Gaddafi and Charlie Sheen.
Searchmetrics analysed data on the links from 12 UK newspaper web sites which were shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Delicious and Google+. The data was collated in the ten weeks preceding 24 October 2011