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Official Google+ Help Page for New Profile & Page Views Feature

Earlier today many of us began noticing that our profiles and pages were now showing a new metric in their cover image: Views

We've spent much of the day speculating about what these views mean. Now +John Dietrich shared with me the official Google+ help page for this feature. It doesn't actually tell us a lot, but it's the first official word we've had on this change. 

According to the page, the view count:

1. Shows "how many times your content has been seen by other people, including your Photos, Posts, and the page itself."

2. You can change settings to determine whether or not your view count is publicly visible. 

3. The view counts may not be exact, and may not be updated in real time (so far, they don't seem to be).

Additional from the horse's mouth: An +Eddie Kessler who claims to have worked on the G+ team that created this feature, in this post http://goo.gl/wgR7CA says that the feature shows views accumulated since October 2012, so if you've been on G+ since June 2011 like me, it doesn't give your whole view history.

And Google +Yonatan Zunger adds: "For a post, [a view] means rendering on the user's visible window, so it includes scrolling past it. For images and profile, it means loading it up. "

#gplusupdate   #googleplusupdate  
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51 comments
 
It's interesting. To the extent that the number of views operates as social proof of the value of the profile, Google is rewarding people who post more often. Which, in turn, will lead people to post more often.

Pretty tricky, Google.
 
What interests me is the ratio of views to followers. For me that's 220:1, and 240:1 for my company's +Stone Temple Consulting brand page. Pretty proud of those ratios.
 
One can only hope there is some sort of engagement metric in addition to views coming along (perhaps already in place behind the scenes). It seems to me that if just views in people's stream give you a boost of some sort, it would open Pandora's Box. 
 
Kinda makes me wonder how long it will be before we see a "Boost Post" button.  Excellent point +Brian Clark. 
 
From the horse's mouth: Eddie does, in fact, work on the team and is in charge of this. :)
 
So in a simplistic way... posting more often gets more views than posting quality stuff less often? I'm not sure about that... but I'm on mobile right now which means I'm also distracted more!

Thanks for gathering the extra facts +Mark Traphagen... that's partly why I like you so much!
 
+Ronnie Bincer Not necessarily. For example, if your post gets reshared, then views of that reshare count towards your views as well. (As well as the resharer's views, since after all, the user is seeing both of your content) 

And posting lots of crap is a fast way to lose followers. :)
 
Thanks for the curation +Mark Traphagen - I notice you have both views and followers, I was only seeing views. When I switched it off in the settings the followers showed; can't see a setting to display both... Mmm...
 
+Paul Simbeck-Hampson If you've got them both on, they should both display. Sometimes there's a hiccup and only one shows up -- just refresh the page if that happens.
 
+Yonatan Zunger I'm assuming that "reshared" includes my posts that get pushed out as recommended posts when someone plusses one of my posts, right?
 
+Mark Traphagen you said they were only pay per engagement right? Well, now people posting will be able to use +post ads and measure their reach by views...
 
+Yonatan Zunger thanks for your clarifications here. I hoped that quality would win over quantity but one never knows it seems.
 
Shervington I would expect that +post ad users will have their own metrics 
 
+Ronnie Bincer I think your fears are valid.
But in addition to +Yonatan Zunger 's reshares bit, there is also the simple fact that quality posts will... 

1. attract frequent visits from your followers. They know you often have something to say, so they come repeatedly (sometimes even when you're not showing up in their streams).
2. (may) get people to add you to special circles where they have notifications switched on. That would also increase the view count.

But above all, quality posts gets you +1's and links (ie links to the posts outside of Google+ in some cases - I've linked to some great G+ posts in so many external sites).  
 
I do suppose that embedded posts on external pages count too...
 
+Didier J. MARY that is a good question... not sure that they can measure how many views an embedded post gets when it is not on Google property. 
 
+Yonatan Zunger I can't thank you enough for being so helpful with info on this today. Really. There used to be more Googlers here who were as helpful as you, but they got promoted elsewhere ;-)
 
+Yonatan Zunger for the non coder, does that mean Google can measure view counts for embedded Google plus posts?
 
+Ronnie Bincer Yup. What an iframe means is that the parent page is literally opening up a rectangle and asking Google's servers to please render a post in that rectangle. Since we're doing the rendering, we know we're doing it.
 
BTW, I just posted some more answers -- although I think they may have all shown up already in your various threads. :)
 
+Mark Traphagen Is it just me or is the +1 count not being displayed on business pages anywhere? If that's the case is it simply cosmetic do you think or an indication that views are a more important metric for Google?
 
+Paul Simbeck-Hampson I'm finding that I only see both the follower and view count on my profile when I switch to the "view profile as public" view.
 
+Chris Sutton that is correct. +1's for a page no longer display on the page, but if the page has a verified site, and the site has a +1 button, that button or badge still displays the number, at least for now.

I can only speculate as to why they did this, but it may very well be that they want pages to focus more on engagement than just racking up plusses, as you said.
 
+Mark Traphagen Seems to be some teething problems - sure they'll iron them out. The view per follower ratio is an interesting metric too...
 
thx +Ronnie Bincer +Yonatan Zunger
yep an iframe is just a window on something that happens elsewhere and can be traced at the source. On the other side, this means the source can inject more than what was requested (e.g. ads...)
 
I would use that with caution though. Doesn't tell the story in all cases
 
Thanks for this post and all the comments - all my questions have been answered without needing to ask!
 
Interesting, Nike for instance has 12million views and 2million followers, with high engagement?

I looked at a local brand pages we manage today and found there was no way to correlate the data to what was being displayed.

I looked at a 1week old local page
On brand page public displayed page views =  1,838 views  
Brand page Followers: 7
G insights - local views = 3039 for the past 7 days
G insights profile views = 13

This is just data, no opinion it so far.
 
Thanks for the update +Mark Traphagen.  Be interesting to see what the eventual implications are.
 
Ah, thanks +Mark Traphagen. This answers the question about views counting when someone merely scrolls past your post. +Jaana Nyström here is the answer to what I asked you. Nevermind. :-)
Still curious about reshares though. Seems logical that OP and resharer would both get credit. 
 
+Jimmie Lanley I assume they do, because of the way Google+ structures reshares. A reshared post is both a completely new post (by the resharer) and an embed of the OP (with a link back that Google can trace).
 
+Mark Traphagen  do you think this is newest update correlates to Google+ ads? I think maybe this is the step Google is moving to. Still so many people don't know about Google+ or how to use it. So many are still stuck on Facebook. 
 
+Anne Smith for brands, it could be a first step to providing justification for the new +post ads when those come out of beta.
 
+Mark Traphagen  that is exactly what I thought. I manage a lot of companies and they focus on the +1 number...now we have 'views" to work with ....which will just help me prove to them how important Google+ is! Thank you for answering my question! ((smiles))
 
For example, if your post gets reshared, then views of that reshare count towards your views as well. (As well as the resharer's views, since after all, the user is seeing both of your content) 
+Jimmie Lanley and +Mark Traphagen, that was +Yonatan Zunger's comment further back on this thread 
 
I don't want to ignore the new metric (or the V/F ratio, or the  V/(F*P) that +Yonatan Zunger suggests may be a better metric anyway). But I'm still looking for the so what part if you're not subscribed to the "follower" view of G+ participation.

Here on G+, "followers" are interesting but the interactive experience in Circles and Communities is more interesting. That remains true even as the business side tries to convert the numbers into meaning something quantitative for the business (as opposed to the people running the business).

Yonatan describes the V/(F*P) in the comments at +Gideon Rosenblatt's conversation:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/Hb4xeApNu4L
 
I am a little shocked that views would be a metric to share, as Google has made constant reference to social signals being hard to validate, but then they choose a metric that is very easy to game. 

I also wonder if the views are purely for logged in Google+ users?

Getting a quality +1 was much harder than getting a qualified view, so this just makes no sense at all to me.
 
I'm having a hard time to wrap my head around the implications & whether it's better (in practical terms, and/or from Google's perspective re one's authority or whatever) to have more followers or a strong V/F ratio.
 
+Mark Traphagen +Yonatan Zunger thanks for clarifying the information on the new metrics. The view count is a cool feature and does show that people care about our content. As for the fear of quality vs quantity, I feel Google can handle it
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