Social Engagement in Google Analytics and +1 Metrics in Webmaster Tools

by Alex Grechanowski on June 30, 2011

in Analytical Ninjutsu

Neat Stuff in Google Analytics

The new Social Engagement reports in the new version of Google Analytics allow webmasters to check out some really valuable social stats like how people shared content on their websites using social interactions, including Google +1, Facebook Like/Send, Twitter tweets or Delicious bookmarks.

Social Engagement Google Analytics

Installation. Google Analytics provides integrated tracking with the Google +1 button. So the majority of GA users should see +1 button report data automatically appear in their reports. I.e. no action required. But, to get social interaction tracking and reporting for other networks like Facebook or Twitter, you need to integrate Google Analytics tracking with each network button. See Social Interaction Tracking.

Finally, after years playing with 3rd party tools, we can enjoy some decent social reporting in Google Analytics. (They call it Social Plugin Tracking). Let’s give it a try during the next few months, playing with the data, including comparing metrics for each social source/action combination. For instance, whether visits that included a +1 button click had a longer average time on site than visits that included a Facebook Like.

Cool Stuff in GWT

The +1 Metrics menu is added to site profiles in Google Webmaster Tools. The Search Impact tab shows how +1′s affect your site’s performance in SERPs.

+1 Metrics: Search impact

The Activity tab displays how many times a page have been +1’d, from buttons both on your site and on other pages, say Google search.

The Audience tab shows aggregate geographic and demographic information about the Google users who’ve +1’d your content. But GA we’ll only show audience information when a large number of people have +1’d pages from your site. Privacy stuff.

Google says that “+1’s from friends and contacts can be a useful signal to Google when determining the relevance of your page to a user’s query. This is just one of many signals Google may use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, and we’re constantly tweaking and improving our algorithm to improve overall search quality. For +1′s, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality.”

Important Notes

  • Google Analytics reports include only +1 interactions that occur on your site. Webmaster Tools reports on all +1 interactions for your content, regardless of whether the interaction occurs on your site, or on a search result listing.
  • Google Analytics uses JavaScript to track social interactions, which is a different tool than that used by Webmaster Tools.

Happy analyzing!