I am a huge fan of BBC and Guardian, they have really good teams both in terms of design/development and search engine optimisation hence I have predominately focussed on these two sites. However, this post will give you a brief comparative overview of BBC, Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Mail.

The following graph demonstrates a comparative organic visibility of the aforementioned news sources. As you can see BBC is way ahead of every one else by leaps and bounds but Guardian is not doing too bad either. Although both sites have been hit (slightly) by Panda updates over the course last 6 months, they are in good shape. I am in fact very impressed by Guardian’s performance, if you look closely enough you will realize that the latest Panda updates haven’t affected that much while BBC has suffered a minor dip.

Please bear in mind all the graphs in this post are based on data curated in the last six months.

Organic Search Visibility

Guardian being the under-dog is complimenting their organic visibility by employing paid search marketing. An interesting trend that you can see below is that both BBC and Guardian are getting aggressive right when Panda updates take place, this is quite evident (see, graph) in the last update which happen last week of September 2011.

Paid Search Visibility

Since July 2011, BBC has been performing exceptionally well in the organic video results – these are videos that appear in normal search results on Google. Guardian has witnessed good visibility for a couple of months (see, below) but then has under performed compared to BBC. Infact if you study the graphic below you will see that Guardian is performing on the same level as Telegraph and Daily Mail. *Disappointing*

Video Visibility

Now given that BBC’s only “true” competitor is Guardian (based on my own biases), I thought it would be interesting to find out what niches they dominate. The following two graphs indicate the industries where BBC and Guardian are dominant in – based on percentage of coverage. As you can see, the main commonality between them is “Media & Events”, “Travel & Tourism”, “Hobbies & Leisure” and “Apparel”.

BBC Niches

Guardian Niches