Monday 30 June 2014

How I Got 58 Million Views on Google+

A couple of weeks ago Rebecca noticed that my Google+ profile was showing a craaaaaazy number of views & sent me this screengrab:

Yup, you're reading that right - that's over 58 MILLION views on a profile that I only set up late last year (because I needed it to change an annoying new setting Google had added) and had never used.

How the heck was this possible? Was it a bug? Or were gazillions of people actually visiting my profile on Google Plus for some weird reason?? I mean, a lot of people in the blogging world talk about how it's important to post on G+ but is it really this popular???

I was a bit baffled.

Then I (appropriately) did some Googling and it turns out that the view count isn't tracking the number of times your profile is viewed but in fact shows "how many times your content has been seen by other people, including your photos, posts, and profile page." (my italics) since October 2012.

This still sounds like a mystery (as I haven't been sharing any content on Google Plus!) but actually the answer is quite a simple one. Basically: the views are actually from my blog.

I use a Blogger blog (owned by Google) and the photos uploaded to my blog are stored in Picasa Web Albums... which Google are now redirecting to / merging with Google+ Photos. So even though these albums are set as private, all the photos on my blog are now "content" that's part of my Google+ account.

It seems that every time someone visits my blog and views some of my photos each one of those views is added to the tally of views showing on my Google+ profile. You read a blog post with ten photos in it, that's ten more views on the tally... and there are a lot of photos on my blog!

Which explains where that gigantic number came from, and why it keeps on going up. As I type this (on Saturday - look at me being all organised and scheduling posts in advance), the current view tally is 58,932,603, so that's 650,749 "views" in about ten days. Crazy.

So I have no idea what tiny number of people might actually be viewing my Google+ profile, but I am taking this as a sign from the universe that I should try and start actually using G+. You can find me here.


Dr Sonia S V said...

Thank you Laura..I hadnt realised myself till I checked and found I had 41,205,700 views!! It is crazy!! Love your blog

bairozan said...

Frankly, Google+ is overwhelming sometimes - you have to share the same things you share on FB and Twitter, its picture viewer is worse than old Picasa and I really think it's useless though some people have connected their accounts to it and the links redirect the reader there and not to the actual site, which is frustrating. But - we have to utilize every opportunity to increase our audience :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Sonia - They're such weird, huge numbers, aren't they? And thank you x

bairozan - I definitely find it a bit weird (and time-consuming!) having lots of different social media accounts and posting a lot of the same things over and over, but I think lots of people who use Twitter don't use FB and vice-versa... and the more I've used them both I've found you can have different types of conversations on each site.

So even though I'm sharing the same links to my blog, etc, I'm sharing different things / chatting about different things / connecting with different people in the two spaces. I guess G+ might be like that too?