World (wide web) domination

Forget the Alexa browser toolbar, site audits and any other methods our colleagues and peers in marketing and public relations use to judge the popularity of an internet address. A quick Google search will easily reveal the UK paper that currently holds the number two spot in terms of English-speaking news online, according to analytics firm ComScore.

Like, love, or loathe it, The Daily Mail has been the most popular web publication in Britain for some time, and now the centre-right title has surpassed AOL’s infinitely popular Huffington Post to bag the world’s number two spot by attracting more than 39million unique visitors in March alone. It’s a huge figure that represents a 27 per cent rise in visitors over the month preceding.

On Tuesday The Guardian nodded to the increase in US based content as a key reason behind the growth in readership Mail Online has seen. Though at first glance it would appear there’s a long way to go before market-leading American broadsheet The New York Times has much to worry about, given the fact some 61,964,000 individuals perused its online pages over the same period. There’s also been plenty of talk about appealing, accessible and digestible content, in particular The Daily Mail‘s decision to populate a good chunk of its web space with scandal and celebrity. Or, as The Next Web puts it, ‘a very blog like formula’.

Overall the future remains unclear though. The most successful English language newspaper in global cyberspace will soon introduce a subscription service set to cost users between $15 and $35 per month, which is sizeable to say the least. But will readers flee NYT in favour of The Daily Mail? It seems more likely The Huffington‘s writers will see more people reading their work. Meanwhile, The Guardian is set to expand operations Stateside, with current web editor Janine Gibson leading an information assault designed to build on the broadsheet’s 8million monthly US readers. What happens in the next half year will, therefore, be nothing short of fascinating.