March 31, 2014 Google+ released a new metric on personal profiles and pages. It is a number they call “content views”. They also removed the “plus count” feature from pages.
What was the plus count feature?
There used to be a box displaying a plus count. This still exists for pages which are not verified. The number was essentially meaningless but I always wondered what it was there for. As with anything else in life, people started manipulating these numbers. For example, if a page owned a community they would get a new plus added to their plus count every time a new member joined one of their communities. Some people on Google+ were very upset to see these numbers go away. But who knows, maybe they’ll return.
How are Content Views calculated?
Any time you post something or share something on Google+ and someone sees it you get a new “view”. Any time one of your images goes by in someone’s stream it is a view. If you are sharing images that are popular on Google+ (such as animated cat pictures) and it displays in someone’s stream you get a view. YouTube videos count as a view. Basically any content you put on the Google+ network that is viewed counts as a view.
Do the views matter?
Yes and no. Some people like to make a good first impression. Many people judge a book by its cover. Many business owners are going to want to see their view number increase. A couple small business owners have already asked me: How can I get more content views on Google+? To them it is a simple way to know at a glance how many times their content has been viewed. Of course, the number has nothing to do with search ranking. Some people say it is perception and that perception is everything.
How can I get more views on Google+?
So this is the magic question. It helps to have a following on Google+. The most important aspect of having a following on Google+ is the fact that it completely changes people’s search results. Producing content is half of the battle, and getting it seen increases your view count. If you have no following and do not produce anything of value, you could increase your view count by going into communities and sharing things that the community wants to see. You could go into the Honda community and talk about VTEC technology, or you could go into the cat community and share pictures of cats. YouTube videos, Hangouts, content that gets embedded into people’s websites, etc, are all great ways to get more views on Google+.