Sun Online and other newspaper websites overtake Google’s readership with 40million visitors – The Sun

SUN Online and Britain's other newspaper websites have overtaken Google for the first time, new data shows.

More than 40 million people now use the websites of national news brands every month after an 11 per cent rise in the last year.

Meanwhile Google has seen its monthly unique visitors fall by nearly 1.4m, or 3.4 per cent, to 39.6m over the same period.

Sun Online is leading the way among the UK's news brands, with latest figures from PAMco showing 30m Brits read the Sun Online each month in 2019.

Mirror Online recorded 25.8m monthly readers, Mail Online 21.6m and The Guardian 21.2m.

Meanwhile, The Sun remains Britain's most popular paid-for newspaper with 1.2m copies sold every day.

When Britain's leading regional titles are also included, online readership rises to nearly 49m per month – some 10m ahead of Google.

This also surpasses the combined might of Facebok's social media sites – Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram – which have a combined 43.7m unique visitors per month.

The figures do not take into account the recent effect of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen online news engagement soar.

Several publishers have reported 50 per cent increases in page views and 70 per cent more unique visitors on virus-related content.

'APPETITE FOR NEWS AT ALL-TIME HIGH'

Newsworks, the marketing body for national newspapers, said the industry is taking a "vital role" in people's daily lives by providing reliable information and entertainment.

Executive Chair Tracy De Groose said: “Against a backdrop of Brexit, climate change and the current coronavirus pandemic, we are living in unprecedented and anxious times and the news industry is playing a vital role in people’s lives by providing information and advice they can rely on.

"Amid a growing awareness of the pervasiveness of fake news and misinformation the nation’s appetite for trusted news is at an all-time high.”

She also highlighted the industry's recent effort to keep the public informed during the coronavirus.

“The creativity and dynamism of our newsrooms is astounding," she added.

Particularly in a time of national crisis, more and more people are relying on trusted news brands to provide them with edited, accurate information

"Our journalists are working harder than ever to ask the right questions and deliver the most up-to-date and accurate information to readers in the most helpful and accessible ways possible."

The PAMco report states that online readership of national titles is now 20 million people every day, up by nearly 2.9m over the past 12 months.

Combined national and regional daily unique visitors – across print and digital – now stands at 34 million, a year-on-year growth of 10 per cent.

The figures for Google relate to monthly unique visitors to www.google.co.uk, including maps, images and all its search functions.

Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors, said: "The mainstream media is the only sector where the public can be assured that news and information is edited and subject to robust regulation, standards and is produced by highly-trained journalists.

"Particularly in a time of national crisis, more and more people are relying on trusted news brands to provide them with edited, accurate information.

"The 'wild west' of social media is just that, wild and full of speculation, disinformation and speculation.

"The mainstream media does, should and always will present the most reliable news and information available."

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

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