Google is firing on all social cylinders this summer, with a massive integrated push into social media. It started with the launch of the Google +1 button, and now Google is allowing us to track the number of +1s we receive and which pages have been +1’d in Google Webmaster Tools.
This new metric is listed in the side navigation bar as “+1 Metrics.”
The new +1 Metrics lets you examine the following statistics:
- +1 Search Impact: how many times a personalized +1 ranking showed up in search results, which a user then clicked on to get to your site, and the net impact that the +1 has had on your traffic (something that at this early stage will be low)
- +1 Activity: a measure of exactly how many people have +1’d your site, and how may +1’s each of your pages received.
- +1 Audience: the total number of unique users who have +1’d your pages (whereas activity shows the number of total +1 clicks, even if it was one person +1ing everything on your site). The audience section also promises to show characteristics of your audience, but for privacy reasons that information is only available after you’ve received a very large volume of +1s.
When the Goolge +1 button first rolled out, it was an interesting feature, but was something like the Facebook Like button, only without a Facebook. One of the biggest complaints was that there was no reason for a person to +1 anything — they weren’t motivated to share that with friends as with Facebook’s button.
But now that Google is launching their new Google+ social network, that motivation is becoming more clear. Hopefully the Google+ network will also make the +1 button more understandable to the average users — one of the biggest problems limiting the number of +1 clicks right now — and users will begin to understand what that icon means as well as giving them a reason to click on it.