Aftonbladet, Expressen (and its regional publications), Dagens Nyheter, and Svenska Dagbladet are the four big daily newspapers in Sweden. All four have gone through The Beantin Index during Janaury 2012 and been rated.

The result was, in part, a little surprising.

Best in test: SvD

What wasn’t surprising is that the website that had most recently undergone a major overhaul was the one that received the highest rating – Svenska Dagbladet. SvD could have quite easily scored higher, but some standards and techniques were inconsistently applied. They wouldn’t need to do another major overhaul to bump their score up to well over 8.

Aftonbladet surprisingly good

It surprised me just how high a rating Aftonbladet earned – despite being visually cluttered and overbearing. I personally can’t stand to look at Aftonbladet for very long before feeling uncomfortable – it’s just too much.

Under the hood though, Aftonbladet is really quite well done – it deploys many recommended techniques. Its sheer size (gauged by download size and number of pageviews) has almost certainly made the business case for implementing some points blindingly obvious.

Despite scoring high (with a rating of over 7) it’s not perfect, underachieving for both accessibility and usability.

Expressen surprisingly poor

Another surprise was how poorly Expressen scored. At the time of testing, Expressen had one of the lowest ratings recorded (5.2). Receiving a rating that low involves scoring poorly across a number of categories – which Expressen did, with only SEO and Web Tech being reasonable.

The way in which Expressen mixes content from its various sub-sites and regional publications (or “Channels” are Expressen calls them) causes navigation to be confusing and disorienting.

It was also unusual to see such a complete lack of alt and title attributes on images. Most sites tested are inconsistent in their use, but never the less have a number of images with the correct attributes provided.

Dagens Nyheter lacks a CDN

Interestingly Dagens Nyheter was the only website out of the four Swedish newspapers tested that wasn’t serving its images from a cookieless domain (which in most cases is also a CDN)

Not only is this a wasted opportunity to reduce bandwidth use, but a straight-forward way to improve page speed. It was very surprising that such a large website wasn’t utilising this technique.

Rating breakdown

Spider graph showing the breakdown of the scores of the four newspapers tested

The highest scoring newspaper in each category was:

Web tech: SvD
SEO/SMO: SvD/Aftonbladet
Accessibility: SvD/Aftonbladet
Usability: DN
Content: SvD/Aftonbladet
Branding: DN

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2 Responses to SvD highest ranked of big four Swedish newspapers

  1. CB says:

    I love the radar chart type! It should be used more often. :-)

    How about a follow-up comparing the four big banks? ;-)

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