19 December 2013

Google Plus Ripples: The Metrics That Were New In 2013

Google Plus Ripples

Google Plus Ripples

The Ripples feature of Google Plus is an interactive feature which enables users to track posts or URLs which are shared on Google or through the Google Plus network. Ripples are valuable to both users and marketers. This is because the Google Plus Ripples feature clearly demonstrates not only what users are sharing but also how, when and with whom it is being shared.

Google Plus Ripples was launched in the autumn season of 2011. During the first 18 months of the features lifetime it remained largely unknown to many of the platform’s users. However due to the confusion and bewilderment attributed to older methods of standard metrics, users and marketers are looking to other methods to gain insight into users behaviour. Ripples presents a means of gaining more in-depth information into user behaviour. However when using Ripples caution should be taken as the feature only uses publically shared pieces.  This means that the results may not be completely reliable.

How does the Google Plus Ripples feature work?

The Ripple of a URL or a post can be viewed on the social media platform by clicking on the small arrow in the right hand corner of a post. The “View Ripples” option can be found at the bottom of this drop down menu. Once you click “View Ripples” you will be taken to a section which presents a visual overview of the sharing which has occurred for the URL or post in question. The circles which are shown are known as “Spheres of Influence”. Influencers are what the name suggests, people who have a wide influence and users which many other users share the link or URL through.

The Ripple graph enables users to view the people who shared the content in question directly from the source. These individuals are included in the circle of influence, as are users who shared the content from these users. However with some Ripples the amount of sharing may be so high that it is difficult to read the graph. Cases such as these can be easily rectified by using the zoom function on the left hand side.

In addition, the Ripple feature tracks the comments which are associated with a post, shows statistics regarding when it was shared and even shows trends of how it has been shared over time. The interactive spread timeline feature enables users to view how content was shared and who shared it. Furthermore, the statistics can be used to discern the languages which a piece of content was shared in. The visually inclined will be pleased to hear that the sharing process can be animated.

Why are Google Plus Ripples of importance to you?

Simply put, Google Plus Ripples are an extremely important yet equally undervalued internet based marketing tool. Ripples present users and marketers with one of the only free means of quantifying both user behaviour and interactions. When using Ripples it is extremely important to remember that it is a tool demonstrating how users are choosing to spread and share content and information. Ripples does not demonstrate actual on page behaviour but chronicles the actions which lead to it. The statistics provided by Ripples clearly demonstrate the names of a particular posts or URLS influencers, how it was spread, the languages which it was shared in and also an interactive timeline of the sharing process.

The importance and value of Google Plus Ripples is not strictly limited to web based marketers. Up and coming writers and independent webmasters can also take advantage of Ripples and the information it provides. Ripples enables users to discover key influencers, targeted subjects and keywords, it is a fantastic research tool in order to understand what is and is not working in your current strategies.