Impressive: Tampa Bay Times, in first year of name change, becomes a Top 10 "trending" news source on Google

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How important was a name change to the Tampa Bay Times?

Well, as Assistant Managing Editor Ron Brackett sums it up neatly on Facebook, the Times has gone “from being a nothing search term to a big search term.” Brackett is referring to the Times‘ Top 10 finish in the “Trending News Sources” category in Google’s year-end Zeitgeist rankings based on an aggregation of over one trillion searches (or queries) that people typed into Google Search this year. The “trending” queries are the searches that had the highest amount of traffic over a sustained period in 2012 as compared to 2011.

At the top of the this category are NBC News, FiveThirtyEight, Chi Magazine, ESPN and TMZ. The Times is the only American newspaper in the top ten of this list, which also includes CNN and the Drudge Report.

Regardless of how one feels about the Times‘ name change, analytics like this certainly indicate it was a smart move for the newspaper.

To be in the Top 10 of a list like this, next to some of the most important, most trafficked properties in all of online media, is no small accomplishment for what is, at its core, a regional newspaper.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.