This April, I learned Google’s social media networking platform, Google Plus, had started to list profile or page views in users’ profile. Curious, I checked out mine and was shocked to see I had 33 million & counting page views! Wowza! This is like the MySpace days, I thought.
I was even more surprised to learn that I had more profile views than all of Google founders’, brand ambassadors and even its CEO’s, Larry Page (still is as of this post as I am nearing 40Million)
My first cynical response was to think it was a marketing ploy similar to the one social media business site LinkedIn pulled off last year. LinkedIn started sending emails to certain users telling them they were among the top 1, 2, 5, 10 or 15 percent of profiles, and inviting these privileged influencers to share the news among their many millions of social media followers, friends and fans, collectively.
Many took the bait and indeed tweeted or announced their top status proudly among their friends. However, many of these top profiles also included in their share the confession that they barely used LinkedIn since setting up their account years prior.
Needless to say, some dismissed it all as a gimmick! Pooh! And not everyone feel proud boasting about a privilege if they do not think they genuinely earned it.
And given that Google Plus had failed to become the Facebook alternative that would eliminated Facebook as planned and plotted when it launched in 2011, I figured this was an example of G+ following the LinkedIn model of drumming up interest and promotion.
In tweets, there too, you saw many people shocked that an account they NEVER updated EVER could really be showing 5,000 or 20, 000 views. Many were skeptical.
As was this blogger:
Yet in the interest of making lemons out of lemonade, I figure I could use this number to promote myself as a top influencer and social media superstar but I still needed to learn more about the algorithm.
I decided to learn more about how come my number was so large. I didn’t feel popular or famous. I still am yet to break 1,000 followers.
A quick Internet search revealed that no one had even bothered to try to figure out the algorithm. Sad, it came and went and no articles on it. No one cares? Hrmph!
So yet again, I’d have to reinvent the wheel and try to decipher it on my own.
I think I’ve figured it out as I watched my views spike after a post I shared got a few +1s. Here is the deal:
- Early Adopter benefit: I have had a Google account since before 2007 so it counts that I’ve had a 7 years to build up a following; and that includes all 3 years since G+’s launch. I signed up for Google Pluse in Beta so I was a super early adopter, before it even became available to general public.
- Google Authorship has a lot to do with it. Again, always an early adopter, I signed up for a relatively new platform, Google Authorship, which permits writers, columnists, freelancers, bloggers, content managers or curators to associate themselves with the publications they write for or own.
- I listed in my profile the Washington Times for a column I own that used to appear on its old Communities section (Politics of Raising Children), My high-traffic mom blog that has been around since 2007 (Bellyitch); my staff writing gig for a couple of political sites (Politic365) and my own blog properties (Bellyitch Parent, TechYaYa).
- All of these sites are technically part of my profile and thus views of my articles on them count towards my “view”. This is true even if I stopped writing for the site. All of these pieces, whenever clicked, count.
- EDITED: An expert over at Google Authorship, Mark Traphagen, who spoke with a Google staffer confirmed that authorship on NON-Google affiliated blogs (non Blogger Blogs) do NOT count towards profile views. See his analysis of the vanity analytics HERE!
- Google counts historical pages towards my count. So for Washington Times, which is a top 15 Alexa rank site, there is a high possibility of people seeing my old posts even though I no longer have a column there.
- Google counts images viewed. Given that a couple of my sites have been around since 2007 and the Bellyitch one, in particular, is heavy image focused and is updated between 3 to 5 times daily now, it has cranked out a lot of images to show up in Google searches or as part of Picasa which Google owns now. All those times my images showed up in searches, that counted toward my Profile views.
- Being alone in space helps. Since not a lot of my competitors are on Google Plus or use it actively, when others search on that platform for pregnancy or celebrity, for example, they will see one of my many posts. Those count. Score one for the little guys! I always tell people to go where no one is and spread their wings!
- Scrolls count. Even if a person doesn’t actually click on my link but it comes up in their search or they scroll past it because they are in one of my Google Circles (like Twitter Lists or Facebook Group), that counts.
- Using the Email Posts function in Google Plus helps. That brings me to the last point. When you share an image, link or something else in Google plus, it gives you the option to send an email to two of your “circles” . This allows the post to show up in their Gmail as an email and increases the likelihood of more people clicking your link and/or opening up your post.
- It also increases your chances of getting more “pluses” (the equivalent of a like or heart) But the pluses may help you gain SEO traction so they have more weight than what a “like” means on FB.
That is what I’ve come up with so the moral of the story is:
- Sign up for Google authorship and include all the various outlets where you have ever written for even if you no longer are on staff
- Open up a G+ account and share your content there.
- Make sure your blog posts include many images.
- Share your posts in Google Communities/
- Use the function that enables you to personally email the posts to those you have encircled.
Do these things and watch your profile views soar then use that to bolster your social media resume and land a consulting gig or something.
And if you are looking for an expert to help your brand or company achieve similar results, check out my contact info at GhattMedia.com!
Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt can be heard nightly at 8pm on DCRadio/WHUR 96.3HD4 on "Coming to America with Wayna and Friends. She is an editor at Techyaya.com, founder of the Digital Publiching Academy and JayJayGhatt.com where she teaches online creators how to navigate digital entrepreneurship and offers Do-It-For-You Blogging Service. She manages her lifestyle sites BellyitchBlog, Jenebaspeaks and JJBraids.com and is the founder of BlackWomenTech.com 200 Black Women in Tech On Twitter. Her biz podcast 10 Minute Podcast is available on iTunes and Player.fm. Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks. Buy her templates over at her legal and business templates on Etsy shop!