There are many ways to gauge the strength of a social network: users, page views, monthly active users and time spent per page are all effective. One that I like to look at is referrals, which look at how often a social network is sourcing a link to great content. For instance, if a blog post goes viral and gets 100,000 views overnight, it’s interesting to look at the breakdown and see where all the viewers came from. Netmarketshare is a company that tracks this type of data, and their November outlook has revealed that Google+ is losing its power to refer content.
Taking a look at the table below, we see that if there were 10,000 links clicked, Facebook’s 0.64 rating would mean that 64 of 10,000 links clicked across the web would be on FB itself. There are some other interesting statistics such as the page depth per referral, which shows the number of pages that a person visits after they click a link from a social network. So when someone clicks a link to a page from YouTube (0.12% of all links clicked on the web are like this), that users will typically look at 3 other pages on the destination website.
So that brings us to Google +. With a paltry 0.00064% rating, we can see that while Google may be advertising that they have a lot of users, those users are not necessarily sharing a lot of good clickworthy content with one another. This could also mean that there just simply aren’t a lot of active users on the social network yet. I know that my Google Plus news feed consists of about 3 of my 100 contacts posting self-promotional posts all day. I have only one person on there who seems to be making a genuine effort, although he does get tens of comments and likes with each post.
We’ll keep an eye on these statistics next month as well, and in the next year, to see whether Google Plus can improve that number.