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March 2018 U.S. search index watch: Most visible publishers ranking for ‘syria’ and ‘russia’

We’re following up on our recent December-February U.S. search index to reveal the most visible news publishers in March 2018 across these U.S. news-related ranking types:

– Mobile Google News Boxes (the “Top Stories” box in the mobile Google search engine results pages, short SERPs)

– Google News

– Publisher Carousels

News Dashboard methodology

The News Dashboard SEO tool looks at Google search visibility. For this analysis, we’ll focus only on imported keywords – Google News Topics and Google News Related – which are made up of the “trending” or top news topics on Google News at any given time during the analysis. Each Google News category – from Top Stories to Entertainment, World, Sports, Technology and more – is considered.

We use our weighted visibility score, which considers not only if a publisher has an article in a news-related ranking on the SERP for the given keyword, but also where on the SERP that ranking type is located, and where within the ranking type a publisher’s article is located. This reveals more granular information and helps publishers get a better idea about their own visibility, especially as compared to their competitors.

Mobile News Box

The Top 5 most visible news publishers in the Mobile Google News Boxes during March 2018.

CNN’s sharp raise continues through March 2018, where we also see quite of bit of competition in Positions 2 through 4.

For this analysis, we are considering the entire Mobile News Box – both the text links and AMP and non-AMP carousel portion, or in other words the headline and picture ranks. During the August to November period in Mobile News Boxes, we saw a meteoric rise of the Guardian, which rose from fifth in August to overtake the top spot in November.

In addition to ranking the Top 5 publishers in both months by search visibility, we looked into the data to see which specific keyword each publisher was most visible for. When a publisher’s own name was their most visible keyword, we also listed the next most-visible keyword.

CNN – 5.19 percent

donald trump

Fox News – 2.72 percent


Washington Post – 2.61 percent 

michael cohen

USA TODAY – 2.56 percent 

nfl scouting combine

New York Times – 2.43 percent 

rex w. tillerson

Google News

The Top 5 publishers in Google News ( for March 2018.

Not too much variability in the Top 5 publishers, though USA TODAY does take a tumble.

Next, we took a look at which publishers dominated Google News ( There aren’t any newcomers to the ranking type this month, although a couple of the publishers did switch positions. These are also all of the publishers from the Mobile News Boxes Top 5, although in a different order.

Washington Post – 7.17 percent

New York Times4.05 percent

CNN3.45 percent

USA TODAY2.48 percent

Fox News 2.16 percent

Publisher Carousels

Top 5 publishers during March 2018 in the Mobile Publisher Carousels on the Google SERPs.

Top 5 publishers during March 2018 in the Publisher Carousels, which appear only on the mobile Google SERPs and look similar to the carousel portion of the News Boxes, but with all the articles from a single publisher.

Going back to the mobile SERPs, we look into Publisher Carousels, which look similar to the carousel portion of the News Box (with only one text link, usually to a landing page vs. a single article), but all of the articles are from a single publisher. This ranking type is usually most visible for sports, entertainment and breaking-news topics.

There is some overlap with the publishers who topped the two previous ranking types – CNN and the Times. The Guardian often appears in the Top 5 for this ranking type. It’s also intriguing that CNBC – known for business topics – would appear for a politics keyword, but the coverage is primarily regarding what President Donald Trump’s policies and actions mean for the economy.

Interestingly, “russia” and “syria” are both the top keywords for Publisher Carousels for multiple publishers, with coverage mostly dedicated to a Russian ex-spy being poisoned and the ongoing crisis, respectively.

CNN – 7.2 percent 

The Guardian – 6.69 percent

New York Times – 4.16 percent

BBC News – 3.66 percent

CNBC – 3.59 percent
donald trump


If you’d like access to this analysis data for your own website (as long as it ranks in Google News) – along with near real-time tips on Google News optimization – sign up for your News Dashboard demo today.

You can also try our new keyword cluster feature  – which allows publishers to sort their keywords by category, news event, series, article, author and more. They can also sort by single keywords and create clusters on the fly as they see trends of interest in both dashboards. We have many happy customers who are improving their news SEO daily across Europe and the U.S.

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