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Do You Have Google+ Klout?
November 22, 2011

Our mission here at Klout is to help you understand and leverage your influence. As we add more networks we can more accurately measure your influence. Today, we are excited to announce that Google+ is now a part of the Klout Score!


Since users started connecting their Google+ to Klout in late September, we have been hard at work building a model for G+ influence. With its explosive growth and innovative features, it’s a notable addition to the Klout score.  From the get-go, Google+ came with circles, which set boundaries for shared content.  As on Facebook, you can Like content from other users (called a “+1”) and comment on it. People validate your content by +1’ing it.  They can also Reshare it — which will spread it further through your own circles as well as spreading it to their own. Since it launched, Google+ has seen early adopters crossing over from Twitter and Facebook, especially in the tech industry.  The Reshare, which is in some ways similar to a Retweet, allows Google+ users to comment and discuss topics of interest similarly to Facebook, while having an immediacy of Twitter.


We are currently measuring influence for users who have already connected their Google+ accounts to Klout. Of those users, 62% are active on Google+ and therefore should see it affect their Score based on their ability to drive action on that platform.


Google+ and your Score


If you are active on Google+ and have connected your Google+ account to Klout, you will see a Score increase. Regardless of activity level, no user with Google+ connected will see a Score drop. Similarly, we do not penalize users who do not connect Google+ accounts. We measure influence on Google+ by analyzing public posts.


Distribution of Google+ Influence


The graph below shows the distribution for active users before and after adding Google+ to their Scores. In the graph below, the x-axis shows ranges of Scores. You’ll note that users active on Google+ tend to have scores between 30 and 60, which is much higher than our overall average Score of 20.


The median Score change for active connected users is 0.4742 and the mean Score change is 2.1577. We did see some users who have really embraced Google+ as a platform saw Score jumps of up 40+ points.


Comparing Google+ to Twitter and Facebook


Google+ has a hybrid of characteristics from both Twitter and Facebook. Facebook tends to be a tightly connected network, where users are connected to each other based on mutual agreement. You can connect to someone on Facebook only if they have accepted your friend request or vice versa. Twitter is a more loosely connected network because it is possible for you to be connected to someone whom you may not know. For example, you may follow Barack Obama, though he does not know you personally or follow your tweets. Google+ incorporates elements of both models with the use of circles, and is therefore more tightly connected than Twitter, but not as tightly connected as Facebook.


We compared the behavior of users on Google+ based on their other connected networks. The first plot shows how the distribution changed for users who are active on Twitter and Google+ only, the second shows the same for users who are active on Facebook and Google+ only, and the third shows the same for users who are active on all three networks. The last (with all three connected) is the largest group. One observation from these plots is that most active Google+ users are also active on Twitter and Facebook, which is why most users fall in the 30 – 60 Score range, and why you see a smaller change in the last distribution.




Comparing Social Actions on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook


Key similarities:


  • A comment, like or +1 on either Facebook or Google+ is a sign of engagement between the user who posted the content and the user who commented / liked / +1ed it.
  • A +1 on Google+ is similar to a like on Facebook, in the sense that both are validation mechanisms for “approval” of content.
  • A Reshare on Facebook or Google+ or a Retweet on Twitter both propagate the original content to a wider audience.

Salient differences:


  • A comment or a Like on Facebook may cause your content to appear in the news feed of mutual friends. On Google+ a comment or +1 surfaces your content not just to mutual friends but to anyone who has added you to their circles.
  • +1s on Google+ may also cause your content to appear in Google search results.
  • Due to the larger size of the network, a Retweet on Twitter may propagate your content to a wider audience than a Reshare on Google+ or Facebook. On the other hand, a Reshare on Google+ or Facebook may help you engage with an active audience, even if the size of the audience is smaller.

As part of the process of building this scoring model, we found comparisons with other networks helpful, but ultimately we look at each network holistically to create a scoring model.


Google+ Stars


We took a closer look at the “movers and shakers” on Google+ whose Scores increased significantly in this release. There are two interesting categories whose Score went up:


  • New Voices: Users who “jumped” on Google+ and found their voice there.  Their Score was low to begin with, and we see some impressive rises here.
  • Growing Influencers: Users who were already influential on other networks, who increased their engagement through Google+


New Voices



Erica Joy (G+ account) works at Google TV and her Klout Score had risen by a whopping 62 points! She shares content predominately about politics and food, getting lots of engagement from her audience.



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Tamara Pruessner (G+ account) is a nature photographer and uses Google+ to showcase her photos. She’s found an engaged audience who follows her work and that’s increased her Score from 11 to 67.



Growing Influencers


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Thomas Hawk (G+ account) is a photographer, regularly appearing onhttp://www.thisweekinphoto.com/.  He uses Google+’s excellent photo-sharing features which allow viewers to see all photos from posts conveniently. He is also an advocate of Google+ and connects photographers to the community.  An already high Klout score of 69 rose to an amazing 82.


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Tom Anderson (G+ account) is the founder of MySpace.  He is “happily retired” and a power social media user. He took to Google+ with gusto, as many early technology adopters. He discusses topics such as gadgets and modern art, generating many comments from his numerous followers — he’s been added to circles more than 400,000 times!  Tom’s Klout Score has increased from 64 to 77.


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Jason Calacanis (G+ account) is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and writer.  He shares a lot of photos about political issues, as well as posting about his startup activity, new apps, and related events.  Like Thomas Hawk, he runs a This Week show — but for startups instead of photography. His Score jumped by 11 points.


The same trends are reflected among folks at Klout. Out of about 50 people, only 4 saw a bump. For instance, Megan Berry (G+ account) rose by 3 points, while Derek Wollenstein (G+ account) rose by almost 4 points, proving that being a tech guy pays on Google+, even if you only talk politics there!


In summary:


  • Active Google+ users on Klout will see an average Score increase of 2.177.
  • Active Google+ users tend to also be active on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Google+ allows for close interactions like Facebook, while retaining the ability to share widely like Twitter.
  • Users who see a big jump in score from Google+ generate a lot of discussion and engagement with focused, high-quality content.

We’re excited to add Google+ as the latest of our networks and would love to hear your feedback. Also, check out our own Google+ page!


Update 11/30: We recently resolved an issue with G+ data collection and have updated accounts that were affected. Today, some users will see an increase and some users will see a decrease as we take into account the new data and the distribution changes. Active Google+ users on Klout will see an average Score increase of 2.1636.

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