According to research out today from search and social analytics firm Searchmetrics, The Financial Times is ahead of other UK newspapers for followers on Google+, but The Daily Mail and The Telegraph are doing better for engagement and sharing.

“Google+ is still a relatively young social network but Google is very positive about its future and we’re already seeing a large number of people on the site, so it’s important for newspapers and other big brands to get in early and have a strong presence on the network,” explained Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics’ CTO and founder.

A closer look at these profiles on Google+ showed that although The Daily Mail has more engagement than The Financial Times, on average it is seeing less than ten shares and a handful of comments, if any, on stories it posts there.

Searchmetrics provided this handy run down of the UK newspapers on Google+ at the moment:

newspaperstats Financial Times leads the UK press pack on Google+

It’s interesting to note the Guardian taking second place in this particular run down as today it broke records for web traffic, seeing  over 4 million daily average unique browsers according to the February 2012 ABC digital audit.

It’s not a surprise that paywalled publications like The Times have no presence on Google+, also missing official pages are The Sun, Daily Express and Daily Star. Though readers of course are sharing their finds as would be expected.

At the time of the study (March 19), UK newspapers had a combined total of 544,545 followers. This compares with a total of 1,284,674 fans on Facebook, for which all 13 newspaper sites in the research maintain official pages.

All of which appears to point to the importance of providing relevant, timely and valuable information with a reasonable method for distribution. It also seems that UK print brands are not yet keen to address the international audience on Google+, or maybe they’re just unsure what to do with it.