CNN.com appears to have about twice the search engine optimization visibility of Foxnews.com. Backlinks in the articles and links and posts in social sites seem to contribute to that increase, according to data released Thursday.
Marketers can have a multitude of backlinks that don’t make a difference, because the links come from sites with low “authority.” One thing is certain: SEOs are in the business of using data to grade the quality of a backlink, which is determined by the authority of the site and how many links it gets.
“Having powerful backlinks from highly trusted sites means a lot to SEO visibility,” said Marty Weintraub, aimClear founder. “It’s almost like an echo system.”
SEO visibility -- an index created by Searchmetrics based on search volume and other triggers such as rank, position and monthly rate -- sits at 2.254 million for cnn.com, valued at about $37 million for about 4.24 million keywords analyzed on the site between September 4, 2016 and June 12, 2018. Per the data, the index jumped in June 2018.
“Fox News is getting its ass kicked by CNN as indicated by Searchmetrics visibility likely fueled by CNN’s backlink profile and superior site structure,” he said.
The traffic index for the keyword “cnn” on cnn.com, for example, ranked in the No. 1 position with a traffic index of 4.6 million. Search volume came in at 23.6 million.
In the No. 4 position on the list, the traffic index for the keyword “trump” on cnn.com for a specific article had a traffic index of 368,148 million. Search volume came in at 10.8 million. If someone bought the traffic as a pay-per-click search ad, the keyword “Trump” would cost an estimated 97 cents per click -- the estimate if a search marketer bought the keyword “Trump” in Google Ads.
“Foxnews.com does not rank for ‘trump’ or ‘donald trump,’" said Marcus Tober, founder and CTO at Searchmetrics.
Tober created groups of different news pages to analyze CNN.com’s and FoxNew.com’s historical visibility in search. Some conservative pages clearly appear to have lost visibility.
Both cnn.com and foxnews.com were successful in specific circumstances, but overall, cnbc.com came out a clear winner. The publisher outperformed foxnews.com since the election, Tober said.
In terms of President Trump's accusation against Google, it's unclear whether the search engine technology does or doesn't want to rank certain pages. But it’s clear that "some pages like cnbc.com outperform many others,” Tober said.
Searchmetrics provides a software technology to analyze the visibility of individual domains. In the U.S., the company measures a couple hundred million search queries monthly. It does not typically measure any specific keywords, but rather publisher sites. The visibility of a site is influenced by Google search ranking factors. The higher the search volume for a keyword, the higher the visibility. Foxnews.com, for example, ranks for 1.4 million keywords.
Searchmetrics data shows that the keywords “Trump news” typically do not rank on foxnews.com in search results.
It also shows that Foxnews.com has a hub page for “Donald trump,” but even this page ranks very poorly, compared to competitors from politico, abcnews, nytimes, and cnbc.