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Celebrity Deaths, Presidential Scandals, Odd News Drove Publisher Site Traffic, Engagement

SimilarWeb’s report ranking the top 100 U.S. media publications in the first half in 2018 analyzes total traffic, page visits, and unique views. 

The five search terms with the largest traffic increase from the first quarter to the second quarter in 2018 were anthony bourdain, kate spade, xxxtentacion, avicii, and world cup. The most improved non-branded keywords point to celebrity deaths, presidential scandals and odd news stories such as yanny laurel, Michael cohen, Hawaii volcano, and nba.

The data comes from analyzing traffic, in part, from Google on desktop and mobile.

Based on the combination of traffic and engagement in the first half of 2018, the Top 100 U.S. Media Publications Ranking begin with msn.com replaced espn.com as No. 1, up from No. 2. The No. 3 spot went to cnn.com. No. 4. Went to foxnews.com, which came up a notch from No. 5 in the prior quarter. News.google.com slid to No. 5 from No. 4. Drudgereport.com came up to No. 6 from No. 7, and nytimes.com dropped to No. 7 from No. 6, respectively. Finance.yahoo.com and washingtonpost.com rounded out the top 10 in that order.

The publications experiencing some of the biggest declines in website traffic and engagement in the first half of 2018, compared with the fourth quarter in 2017, were thechive.com at No. 100, down from No. 63; and newsweek at No. 83, down from No. 52 in the prior quarter. And si.com dropped 20 ranking spaces, and rollingstone.com dropped 17 spaces.

The publications experiencing some of the biggest jumps in the first half, compared with the fourth quarter in 2017, were bloomberg.com at No. 20, up from No. 26; cnbc.com at No. 22, up from No. 30; people.com at No. 25 up from No. 33; wsj.com at No. 30, up from No. 39; dailycaller.com at No. 51, up from No. 80. There were many others including Variety, which jumped 28 spaces.

Notable changes in the ranking were seen further down the list, according to SimilarWeb. Celebrity news site nickiswift.com entered the top 100, driving traffic by "revealing the 'untold truth' about the 'shady side' of celebrity." And, the general news site Vox.com entered into the ranking at No. 73.

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