Friday, July 8, 2011

Google+: The Social Sharing War Is Fully On

Google and Facebook are at war. This is old news. They both want to be the center of the Internet — but there can be only one center. For a while, it looked like things were quickly shifting Facebook’s way after years of dominance by Google. Then Google+ appeared — already the most compelling social experience Google has ever offered.

While it’s still far from clear what the actual impact of G+ will be on the Internet at large, it’s pretty clear already that it’s something Facebook is going to have to take seriously. And they are. Despite Mark Zuckerberg downplaying it, Facebook did just launch a video chat feature a week after Google did in G+. And last summer, Facebook rushed to get the new Groups done in time to beat Circles to the same punch.

But where things are going to be really interesting is on the social sharing front. Facebook has long been in the lead here — and is proud of it. But after just a week, it sure seems like Google+ is seeing some impressive numbers as well (with only a fraction of Google users using it). And a small change Google quietly made yesterday shows just how seriously they’re taking this.

As we noted a couple days ago, it is possible to track the referrals coming in to your site from G+, but it’s not straightforward. Yesterday, Google made it much more straightforward.

When you click on a link now in G+, it redirects it through the domain. Why? Because Google+ uses HTTPS to be more secure, but that strips referrer information that would normally be passed to sites like TechCrunch. So they have to redirect to another non-HTTPS domain to pass that data. Previously, it was simply through a domain (which we were tracking). Now it’s a domain — much easier to track for a casual analytics user.

And sure enough, as of yesterday, is showing up as a referrer to TechCrunch — and yes, a big one despite us not actively using it to send out articles just yet (and again, the limited number of users).

Facebook does a similar redirect to ensure that the pageviews they’re sending others’ way are correctly counted. Others, like Twitter, do not generally do this, which likely makes their sharing stats appear lower than they actually are.

There is real opportunity for Google to leap ahead on the sharing analytics front.

For More Visit

No comments:

Post a Comment

Recent Blog Posts