Most popular websites for news in the world: Monthly top 50 listing

Top 50 most popular news websites in the world: Wordle fuels huge New York Times traffic growth

Top 50 biggest news websites in the world: New York Times fastest growing in May 2022

April 2022

The majority of the most popular news websites in the world saw a year-on-year and month-on-month fall in their traffic in April, as news interest in the Ukraine war is likely to be waning.

Six of the ten biggest English language news sites in the world by number of visits saw fewer visits in April, compared to the same month last year, according to data from digital intelligence platform Similarweb. Of this group, Yahoo Finance saw the biggest year-on-year fall in traffic (2404.m visits, down 14%). It was followed by the BBC.co.uk and BBC.com sites (1.1bn visits, down 11%) and Fox News (252.5m visits, down 6%).

Bucking the trend among this list of ten leading sites was the New York Times which had 546.5m visits in March (up 51%) and Mail Online (354.5m visits, up 11%). The New York Times’ acquisition of Wordle in January will likely have been among the factors that have helped increase its popularity. 

Among the whole top 50 list, Live Universal Awareness Map (liveuamap.com), which presents updates on conflicts in the form of a map, saw the biggest year-on-year growth in traffic (57.7m visits, up 2,146%). This huge surge is due to the fact that the site had relatively low levels of traffic prior to February this year when the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. 

Its growth was followed by New York Times, Al Jazeera (45 visits, up 46%) and the web version of News Corp-owned tabloid New York Post (133.1m visits, up 22%). 

Overall April’s data demonstrates a lessened interest in news.

Last month, Press Gazette reported that a majority of sites saw a year-on-year increase in traffic. In April, in contrast, just 16 sites saw more visits when compared to April 2021. Month-on-month analysis reveals an even starker picture: every site in the top 50 list saw fewer visits in April compared to March, likely due to declining interest in coverage of the war in Ukraine, now approaching its fourth month. 

Sites with a particularly large focus on events in Ukraine were among those with the sharpest month-on-month falls in traffic. Despite its strong year-on-year figures, visits to liveuamap.com were down 23% month-on-month. The website of Russian state news outlet RT also saw a large month-on-month fall in traffic (142.7m visits, down 31%). 

Al Jazeera saw the biggest month-on-month traffic fall in April (down 41% compared to March). 

The BBC again was the biggest news website in the world (1.1bn visits, down 11% year-on-year). It was followed by Microsoft news aggregator MSN (843.7m visits, no change year-on-year) and cnn.com and edition.cnn.com (609.1m visits, down 4% year-on-year). The New York Times and Google News website (491.7m visits) complete the top five. Similarweb’s data for the BBC includes visits to the BBC’s main site as well as its news offering, while its data for MSN is for the entire portal.

The best-ranked British newsbrands after the BBC were dailymail.co.uk (in sixth place, 354.5m visits), theguardian.com (seventh place, 283.7m visits) and express.co.uk (ranked 19th, 100.6m visits).

March 2022

All but one of the ten biggest English-language news sites in the world saw year-on-year increases in traffic in March.

The New York Times was the fastest growing website among the top ten news sites worldwide for number of visits in March. Visits to the site of the US daily were up 76% year-on-year to 662.1m, according to data provided to Press Gazette by digital intelligence platform Similarweb. The New York Times’ surge in popularity is likely to have been in part driven by its acquisition in January of the highly popular word game Wordle.

It was followed by dailymail.co.uk (393.7m visits, up 17%) and CNN’s sites (cnn.com and edition.cnn.com) (805.7m visits, up 17%).

Yahoo Finance was the only top ten site that saw a year-on-year fall in traffic (visits were down 17% to 273.2m).

Overall, just over half (27) of the top 50 sites saw more visits this March compared to the same month last year. The growth in traffic is likely in many cases to have been driven by an increased interest in news about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The biggest year-on-year growth overall, however, was to Live Universal Awareness Map (liveuamap.com) which had 74.8m visits, an increase of 3390% year-on-year. The site was set up by a team of journalists and coders in 2014 to report on the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The site, which presents the latest updates on issues including conflicts, protests, terrorism and natural disasters from around the world in the form of a map, is likely to have seen increased interest due to the current war in Ukraine.

Live Universal Awareness Map was followed by aljazeera.com (75.8m visits, up 168%), reuters.com (121.4m visits – up 76%), nytimes.com and RT.com (207.8m visits, up 58%).

Despite restrictions on RT in Europe, including in the UK where Ofcom last month revoked its broadcast licence due to concerns over its lack of impartiality, the Russian state broadcaster will have benefited from increased interest in its Ukraine war coverage from other countries. RT.com narrowly missed the top ten, coming in eleventh place for number of visits.

The BBC again was the biggest news website in the world (1.3bn visits, up 2%). It was followed by Microsoft news aggregator MSN (912.1m visits – up 4%), CNN, nytimes.com and Google News (559.4m visits – up 4%). Similarweb’s data for the BBC includes visits to the BBC’s main site as well as its news offering, while its data for MSN is for the entire portal.

After the BBC, the best-ranked UK sites globally were dailymail.co.uk (in sixth place) and theguardian.com (344m visits – up 9%, ranked seventh).

Thesun.co.uk fared less well. Visits to the site of the UK tabloid were down 10% (90.3m visits) in contrast to the strong performance of its sister site in the US, the-sun.com which has performed very well in recent months.

January 2022

Several of the world’s leading news sites including the BBC, New York Times and Guardian saw small month-on-month traffic increases in January.

The BBC, the biggest news website in the world by number of visits, had 1.2bn visits in January (2% more than December), according to data provided to Press Gazette by digital intelligence platform Similarweb.

Second placed MSN, Microsoft’s news aggregator, received 884.2m visits (no change compared to December 2021), while third-place CNN received 624.7m visits (up 2%). 

Similarweb’s data for the BBC includes visits to the BBC’s main site as well as its news offering, while its data for MSN is for the entire portal.

Year-on-year comparisons however show a very different picture as January 2021 contained major news events such as Covid-19 surges and the Capitol insurrection and Joe Biden’s inauguration in the US. As in previous months where Press Gazette has reported traffic falls for most leading sites compared to one year ago, all of the ten biggest sites by number of visits saw significant year-on-year falls in traffic. 

Of these ten household names, CNN saw the biggest year-on-year fall in number of visits (down 44%). It was followed by New York Times (353.8m visits –  down 34%) and Fox News (286.6m visits – down 26%). The BBC and Yahoo Finance each saw an 18% year-on-year fall. The Mail Online saw a more modest drop (369.2m visits – down 4%). 

Just 14 sites in our list of 50 saw year-on-year growth. Featuring prominently among them were once again English-language news sites from India. News18.com, co-owned by Warner Media, was the fastest growing site in January (132m visits – up 47%). It was followed by December’s fastest-growing site Indiatoday.in (75.5m visits  – up 41%) and hindustantimes.com (83.2m visits – up 18% year-on-year). 

British news aggregator newsnow.co.uk was among the top ten fastest growing sites in January (69.7m worldwide visits – 5% growth). 

When it comes to the top ten biggest sites by number of visits, UK sites took the top spot (BBC), fifth place (Mail Online) and seventh place (The Guardian). 

The news offerings from tech platforms also performed well with MSN taking second spot, Google News fourth spot and Yahoo Finance and Yahoo News ninth and tenth place respectively. 

December 2021

Many leading news sites again saw large year-on-year global traffic falls in December, although visits fell less sharply than in the month before.

Last month Press Gazette reported that most of the world’s top 10 biggest English news sites saw double-digit falls in traffic in November due to the effect of 2020’s “Trump bump” which temporarily benefitted many sites covering US politics.

The enduring effect of a particularly intense news cycle is also likely to be reflected in December’s traffic data from digital intelligence platform, Similarweb. Of the top ten sites by number of visits, CNN saw the biggest year-on-year fall (612.7m visits- down 27%) followed by nytimes.com (339.2m visits- down 22%).

UK news providers the BBC (1.1b visits – down 13%) and the Guardian (302.5m visits – down 13%) were among other big name brands that saw double-digit traffic falls in December.

December, however, was a better month for most. The majority of the world’s top 50 English-language news sites saw more traffic in December compared to November. Just 17 sites saw visits either fall or remain unchanged month-on-month.

When it comes to number of visits the BBC, which dominates in the UK, also continues to hold the number one spot globally. Its closest competitors, Microsoft’s popular desktop news aggregator MSN and the website of cable stalwart CNN, had 882.5m and 612.7m visits respectively, leaving the BBC the clear leader by a margin of 30% over second-place MSN.

Similarweb’s data for the BBC includes visits to the BBC’s main site as well as its news offering while its data for MSN is for the entire portal.

Mail Online (357.2m visits – down 5% year-on-year) and theguardian.com are, as in November, the other two British offerings in the top 10.

For year-on-year growth among the top 50 sites, English-language news sites from India performed well. The five top sites for year-on-growth were all Indian and all saw double-digit growth in visits. Indiatoday.in was the fastest growing site in the top 50 (70.6m visits  – up 48% on December 2020) while news18.com, co-owned by Warner Media, was second-fastest growing (118.7m visits – up 39%).

November 2021

Most leading news sites saw large year-on-year global traffic falls in November due to the effect of 2020’s “Trump bump” which temporarily benefitted many sites covering US politics.

Of the top ten sites by number of global visits, CNN saw the biggest year-on-year fall in traffic (590.4 million visits- down 57%), according to data from web analytics firm, Similarweb.

It was followed by another US site nytimes.com (327 million visits -down 54%). Both sites undoubtedly benefitted from the surge in interest last November in US news during presidential election month.

Of the leading ten sites only Yahoo! Finance and MSN did not see a fall in visits compared to last year. Visits to Yahoo! Finance were up 13% (268.3 million visits) while MSN’s traffic was almost static (890.4 million visits – up 1%).

When it comes to number of visits, the BBC continues to hold the number one spot. There were 1.1 billion visits in November to bbc.com and bbc.co.uk (a fall of 25% year-on-year).

Microsoft’s news aggregation portal MSN meanwhile once again came in second place, while third most visited globally was CNN. A surge of interest in US news in late 2020 and early 2021 meant that the cable news channel’s sites were ahead of MSN for some time, but since then it has remained in third place for much of 2021.

Similarweb’s data for the BBC includes visits to the BBC’s main site as well as its news offering while its data for MSN is for the entire portal.

Two British sites join the BBC in the top ten – Mail Online (307.5 million visits – down 16% year-on-year) and theguardian.com (277.9 million visits – down 42% year-on-year).

For year-on-year growth among the top 50 global news sites as a whole, several English-language news sites from India did well in November, echoing their October success.

Although entertainment new site gazillions.com re-took its crown as the fastest growing news site (51.8 million visits – up 631%), five of the fastest ten growing news sites were Indian. Livemint.com, website of Indian financial daily Mint, was the second-fastest growing new site in November (53.2 million visits – up 73%), while website of Indian news magazine India Today was third fastest growing (65.4 million visits – up 71%). Other fast-growing Indian sites  included news18.com (128 million visits – up 31%), hindustantimes.com (84 million visits – up 21%) and timesofindia.com  (133.7 million visits – up 19%).

Yahoo! Finance was the only other news site to see double-digit year-on-year visits growth in November.

As has been the case in recent months, only a minority of sites (11 of the top 50) saw more traffic in November 2021 than during the same month last year.

October 2021

Microsoft’s news and app platform MSN continued to close the gap on the BBC in October, according to Press Gazette’s ranking of the biggest English language news websites in the world.

There were 1 billion visits in October to the Microsoft site which aggregates news, as it continued to eat into the BBC’s position as the leading news site in the world. Bbc.co.uk and bbc.com meanwhile had 1.1 billion visits from around the world in October, according to data from web analytics firm, Similarweb. Similarweb’s data for the BBC includes visits to the BBC’s main site as well as its news offering while its data for MSN is for the entire portal.

Nevertheless, both sites were well ahead of third-placed CNN which had 569.5 million visits in October. CNN’s sites, CNN.com and edition.cnn.com, had for much of 2019 and 2020 been vying with MSN for second place but were overtaken for number of visits by the Microsoft platform in February this year.

Rounding out the top five were Google News (498.7 million visits) and the website of The New York Times (317.3 million visits). The BBC was the only British  site in the top five – although Mail Online placed sixth (302.9 million visits).

Of the top ten news sites by volume of visits in October, only MSN saw a year-on-year increase in the number of visits (up 16% compared to October 2020). Of this group, CNN saw the biggest fall in audience compared to October 2020 (visits were down 36% on last October’s total of 891.6 million).

For year-on-growth among the top 50 global news sites as a whole, several English-language news sites from India did well in October. Website of Indian news magazine India Today was the fastest growing top 50 site in October (69.7 million visits – up 62% year-on-year). It was followed by livemint.com, the website of the Indian financial daily, Mint (45.3 million visits – up 38%) and Warner Media’s India news site news18.com (129.3 million visits – up 34%). Seven sites record double-digit year-on-year growth in October.

USnews.com (54.7 million visits – up 9%) and Reuters.com (73.4 million visits – up 9%) also featured among the fastest-growing sites in October.

Following a particularly intense news cycle in 2020 which saw the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the US elections, all but 13 sites among the top 50 saw a fall in year-on-year traffic.

September 2021

Australian news site 9News.com.au was the fastest growing site in September.

The site, the digital arm of broadcaster Nine News, had 45.6 million visits in September – an increase of 30% compared to the same month last year according to data from web analytics firm, Similarweb. 

It was followed by far-right fake news site, thegatewaypundit.com, which was last month’s fastest growing site. The site which has published false information about Covid-19 and the 2020 US presidential election grew 28% year-on-year to reach 39.4 million visits. 

Four other Antipodean sites also made it into the top ten for year-on-year growth. Visits to nzherald.co.nz were up 24% year-on-year (46.9 million visits).  Australian site abc.net.au also saw visits up 24% (121 million) while visits to stuff.co.nz were up 21% (48 million) and news.com.au saw a 15% increase (107.8 million).

When it came to monthly gains,  only a handful of sites saw an improvement in traffic compared to August. Ctvnews.ca, the news site of Canada’s CTV Television Network saw the biggest month-on-month gain (80.7 million visits – up 15%). It was followed by technology news specialist theverge.com (44.8 million visits – up 8%) and msn.com (960.5 million visits – up 5%).  

Press Gazette has this month revised its ranking to now include MSN and Yahoo! News among the sites it analyses.

Once again BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined to come out on top in terms of total visits with 1.1 billion website visits in September. Newly-ranked msn.com came in second place, while CNN’s sites (cnn.com and edition.cnn.com) counted 583.8 million visits together. Similarweb’s data for the BBC  does, however, include visits to BBC’s main site as well as its news offering while its data for MSN is for the entire portal. 

The next largest websites belonged to the New York Times (329.5 million visits, down 13% year-on-year), Mail Online (313.6 million visits, down 15% year-on-year), Fox News (292.7 million, down 22% year-on-year), and The Guardian (284.7 million, down 10%).

Continuing the trend seen in recent months, all but 18 of the top fifty sites had less year-on-year traffic this September. MSN.com and Yahoo! Finance were the only top ten-ranked sites for number of visits that saw year-on-year increases in traffic

August 2021

Far-right fake news site Gatweaypundit.com was the fastest growing site in August according to Press Gazette’s ranking of the biggest English language news websites in the world.

The site, which has published false information about Covid-19, vaccines and the 2020 US presidential election, had 39.7 million visits in August – an increase of 31% compared to the same month last year according to data from web analytics firm, Similarweb. Monetising that popularity is however, now likely to be more difficult: according to Forbes, in September Google removed the site from its AdSense programme due to violations of its company policy. 

The website of New York-based news agency Associated Press was the second fastest growing site in August, with year-on-year visits up 26% from 41.4 million in August 2020 to 52.2 million in August 2021.

The remaining sites in the top five meanwhile were all Australian. The third fastest growing site was that of Australian news broadcaster, abc.com.au, which saw visits increase 26% from 109 million to 137.7 million. It was followed by 9news.com.au, which saw visits up 22% from 41.6 million to 50.8 million, and smh.com.au to which visits were 22% higher at 47.4 million.

When it came to monthly gains, Al Jazeera saw the biggest increase compared to July. Visits to the broadcaster’s site were 29% higher in August than July  (40.5 million visits). The site of longstanding Antipodean daily The New Zealand Herald also grew well over the month (48.1 million visits – up 25%) while another site from New Zealand, stuff.co.nz, was the third-fastest growing site month-on-month (51.2 million visits – up 22%). 

Once again BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined to come out on top in terms of total visits with 1.2 billion website visits in August. Next placed CNN racked up just over half the number of visits as the BBC sites (656.1 million), although the gap between the two leading sites narrowed slightly in August compared to July: BBC’s visits decreased compared to July , while CNN’s increased. Similarweb’s data for the BBC does, however, include visits to both BBC’s main site as well as its news offering. 

The next largest websites belonged to the New York Times (356 million visits, down 9% year-on-year), Mail Online (335 million visits, down 15% year-on-year), Fox News (313.9 million, down 21% year-on-year), and The Guardian (306.4 million, down 4%).

All but 16 of the top fifty sites had less year-on-year traffic in August. Of the top ten sites only BBC.co.uk and BBC.com, express.co.uk and finance.yahoo.com saw small falls in the number of visits. 

July 2021

For the second month in a row Australian news sites dominated the list for the top five fastest growing sites in June.

The website of celebrity and royalist news magazine Hello! was the fastest growing site, with year-on-year visits up 34% from 46.3 million in July 2020 to 62.1 million in July 2021 according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb.

Three of the top five, however, were Australian national news sites. The second-fastest growing site year-on-year was that of leading commercial Australian news broadcaster, 9news.com.au which saw visits increase 33% from 42.6 million to 56.7 million. It was followed by abc.net.au, which saw visits up 31% from 103.4 million to 135 million, while news.com.au was the fifth-fastest growing site with visits up 16% to 113.1 million.

American news site The Daily Beast, described by its editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman as a “high-end tabloid”, saw the biggest month-on-month gains in July with visits up 26% to 36.2 million visits compared to June 2021.

The three Australian news sites that grew well year-on-year were also among the fastest growers on a monthly basis, as were hellomagazine.com (up 23%) and apnews.com (46.2 million visits – up 21%).

Once again BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined to come out on top in terms of total visits with 1.3 billion website visits in July. Next placed CNN racked up just under half the number of visits as the BBC sites (630.1 million), although the BBC’s lead over the CNN in July has reduced slightly compared to June when the BBC had over 700 million more visits than CNN. Similarweb’s data for the BBC does however, include visits to both BBC’s main site as well as its news offering.

The next largest websites belonged to the Mail Online (348.8 million visits, down 7% year-on-year), New York Times (342.7 million visits, down 18% year-on-year), The Guardian (317 million, no change year-on-year), and Fox News (298.4 million, down 25% ).

Most of the top ten sites saw slightly more traffic in July than June. Of the top ten sites only BBC.co.uk and BBC.com, express.co.uk and finance.yahoo.com saw small falls in the number of visits.

Overall, there was little change in the combined amount of visits to the current top 50 most popular news websites in July (6.8 billion visits) compared to June (6.6 billion visits). Combined year-on-year traffic remains 10% lower than in the same month last year, when there were a combined 7.6 billion visits to these leading 50 sites.

June 2021

Australian news sites 9News and ABC were among the fastest growing sites in June.

US-based technology news site theverge.com was the fastest growing site in June 2021, with month-on-month visits up 22% from 43.4m to 52.8m according to data from web analytics company Similarweb.

It was followed by the website of leading commercial Australian news broadcaster 9news.com.au, which saw visits increase 18% from 38.6m to 45.8m, and abc.net.au, which saw visits up 13% from 100.7m to 114.2m.

Among the sites that saw significant falls in traffic that month were sites from India. The timesofindia.com saw visits fall 18% from 211.4m to 147.1m between May and June, while visits to indiatoday.in were down 9%, falling from 81.7m to 63.5m.

Right-leaning video news platform BitChute saw the biggest year-on-year gains in April: up 78% to 40.1m visits.

Also among the top ten fastest growers year-on-year were hellomagazine.com (50.5m visits, up 25%), finance.yahoo.com (288.5m, up 21%) and usnews.com (56m, up 15%). Three Australian sites (9news.com.au, abc.net.au and news.com.au) also made the top ten.

BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined came out on top with 1.3bn website visits in June. This was 10% more than in June last year, when both sites combined received 1.2bn visits.

Next place CNN had 599.7m sessions on its websites (CNN.com and edition.CNN.com). Visits to CNN.com and edition.CNN.com sites were 30% lower than the 857.6m visits that the two sites received in June 2020.

The next largest websites belonged to the New York Times (336.9m visits, down 20% year-on-year), Mail Online (325.6m, down 6%), The Guardian (304.6m, down 12%) and Yahoo! Finance (288.5m, up 21%).

Overall, the current top 50 most popular news websites saw a combined 4% fewer visits in June (7.2bn) versus May (7.5bn), and traffic remained 10% lower than in June last year, when there were a combined 8bn visits to these leading 50 sites.

April 2021

Hello magazine and The Times were among the fastest growing sites in April.

Hellomagazine.com was the fastest growing site in March 2021, with month-on-month visits up 117% from 27.9m to 60.6m according to Similarweb. It was followed by right-wing video news platform BitChute, which saw visits increase 83% from 20.3m to 37m and thetimes.co.uk, which saw visits up 35% from 27.6m to 37.3m.

Among the sites that saw the falls in traffic year-on-year were politics-focused news site The Hill, right-wing news aggregator Drudge Report and business news site Forbes.

The websites of two Canadian brands, CTV Television Network and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, saw the biggest month-on-month gains in April: up 17% to 87.6m and 8% to 84.3m, respectively.

Also among the top ten fastest growers month-on-month were dailystar.co.uk (35.3m visits, up 5%), nypost.com (109m, up 1%) and the website of Russian-state owned RT (131.8m, up 0.5%).

BBC.co.uk and BBC.com combined came out on top with 1.2bn website visits in April. This was 8% more than in April last year when both sites combined received 1.1bn visits.

As a result the BBC has widened its lead slightly over next place CNN with 636m sessions on its websites (CNN.com and edition.CNN.com). Visits to CNN.com and edition.CNN.com sites were 35% lower than the 979m visits that the two sites received in April 2020.

The next largest websites belonged to the New York Times (363m visits, down 18% year-on-year), Fox News (269m, down 30%), Mail Online (320m, down 13%) and The Guardian (301m, down 23%).

Overall, the current top 50 most popular news websites saw a combined 5% fewer visits in April (6.6bn) versus March (6.9bn), and traffic remained 15% lower than in April last when there was a combined 7.7bn visits to these leading 50 sites.

Note: Press Gazette will be updating this page on a monthly basis. See our previous coverage here:

Biggest news websites in the world archive data

Picture: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko 

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