The Non-Branded Keywords Driving Publisher Traffic

Four natural disasters, Apple’s new iPhone releases and the upcoming National Football League (NFL) season led the list of top non-branded keywords driving traffic to media publication sties in SimilarWeb's U.S. Media Publications Ranking September 2017. The terms were searched for on Google, Bing and other engines. 

Irma took the No. 1 spot for keywords, followed by iPhone 8. People also searched for articles about North Korea, Hurricane Irma, Trump, iPhone X, Hurricane Maria, Mexico Earthquake, Hurricane Jose, and NFL.  

May 2017 was the last time SimilarWeb ran the full report, although the algorithm has changed slightly since then to factor in traffic and engagement. At the time the top non-branded keywords were Trump, Donald Trump, Chris Cornell, North Korea, Ariana Grande, James Comey, Covfefe, Manchester, Comey, and Kathy Griffin.

Along with the revision of the ranking and new list of non-branded keywords, the report notes a change in the type of content bringing media publications the most traffic.

The focus on natural disasters and Apple's latest iPhone drove traffic to sites such as and Traffic to sporting sites picked up significantly, improving their rankings overall, catapulting to the top of the list.

Based on the combination of traffic and engagement, the top 10 of SimilarWeb's Top 100 U.S. Media Publications Ranking begins with, followed by,,,, nytimes,com,, Washington,, and

The biggest winner in this ranking was the Miami Herald, which rose from No. 168 in the ranking in August 2017 to No. 93 in September 2017.

Others that made it into the top 100 in the report that had not been in the ranking prior include,,,, and, among others.

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