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Late last night Matthew Calouri tipped me off on a very important announcement by the Google Developers Team. I will post the seven minute video below but it you do not have time to watch it I will do a brief overview. The major announcement included Google Plus Page Analytics along with a change in Google Organic Search to show highlights of activity on Google Plus. If you want any type of click through rate (CTR) when it comes to Google search this is huge. No, this is enormous!
Google Plus Page Analytics Announcement
If you have seven minutes to spare please watch this video. The two Google employees explain how the new Google Plus Page Analytics works and how it is set up. If you already have a Google Plus “Page” and you have installed the Sign in with Google button it is really easy. Rather than trying to explain it myself I will let the Googlers do so:
This is very exciting news, but there are still some issues. First of all, this analytical data only tracks users that are signed in with the Sign in with Google. The data tracks how they are using interactive posts. For more on installing the interactive posts Google Plus feature use this link – Sharing Interactive Posts. So, let us get something clear. This is not the Google Analytics like you see when you sign in to analytics.google.com. This will be analytical data to see how Google Plus users interact with your posts that have the correct call to action share buttons.
I think this is a step in the right direction but there is still a lot of work to do. I can honestly say that a significant amount of my traffic from Google Plus comes from users that find me through Google search yet never sign in to Google Plus. I have tested this and I have seen it time and again. Here is a case study. All the visitors that are not signed in with Google are not providing data with the call to action share button. To my knowledge. Please comment below if I am wrong in this statement.
Another issue is the fact that you must be getting this traffic through a brand page or business page. There are no opportunities for personal profile analytics. My personal profile is my brand and I get the most interaction from my 10,000 followers there. If I wanted to start building a “business” page it would take me a very long time to get that type of engagement. Most likely several months or even several years. “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” Ok, I would make time if I saw a true value, not the hardware store, in the Google Insights and Google Plus Page Analytics.
Google Search is Changing Its Look
Along with the announcement of Google Plus Page Analytics there was an announcement that the interactions on these posts will show up in the Knowledge Graph of Google search. It will look something like this:
For a comparison of the current look of search and the future look of search check out this picture. Now, this is huge! As you can see on the comparison, a brand can truly distinguish themselves as a player through their Google Plus account. Even the smallest of brands can beat out the “big boys” if they are getting high levels of engagement on Google Plus. The fact that the front page of search will show latest posts and what is popular with Google+ users will definitely catch the eye of a Google searcher.
Something else that has been brought to my attention is that Google is finally putting profile pictures of brand pages in Google search with Authorship. Prior to May 2013 it was only profile pictures with a face that showed up. There is now evidence that brand page Authorship photos are popping up. Once again, huge! This may very well get the big players to use Google Plus more. If HHGregg or Fry’s Electronics has a brand picture beside Google search results and Best Buy does not some heads are going to roll. I think they will be contacting Mark Traphagen very quickly to find out how to get a picture beside the Google search results.
What to Make of This
We are still very early in the process, just like with Google Plus comments. This type of analytics is very limited because users may still be reluctant to sign in with Google. In time, this will be an amazing tool. Today, it may be very limited. If you have a small business or a brand I would suggest testing the waters ASAP. The coding might be a little difficult to understand but there are plenty of individuals on Google Plus who will be more than willing to help. If you plan on doing some testing let me know as I would love to hear some positives and negatives when it comes to Google Plus page analytics.