Please explain Google Plus like I'm 5 years old
December 3, 2014 4:59 PM   Subscribe

I have a website that used to be public. I made it private a few weeks back. Today, I tripped across the fact that a post on it, that only has six page views, supposedly has 29,133 Google (I don't even know how to end that sentence.) I have no idea what that means or how to find...anything out. Halp!

I have been trying to figure out where this would show up, or who plussed it to start with that it somehow went sort of viral or something. I am stumped and do not know where to go with this.

posted by Michele in California to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Just imagine your post on your website. They add a little [add to favorites] code underneath your post, and a bunch of people favorite it. That's it. Google Plus profiles are just like profiles elsewhere, and allow users to favorite things (or whatever its called there). Oversimplified, but that's basically it.
posted by cashman at 6:16 PM on December 3, 2014

As cashman says, you would have had to have implemented a Google Plus social widgit (like the one you can implement for Facebook Likes) on your site. OR people like me have a G+ share extension installed on their browser.
posted by Nevin at 6:42 PM on December 3, 2014

Is it possible you're misreading it? Google+, it an attempt to make it not look like a ghost town, posts stuff from other content streams that you didn't subscribe to when you view Google+. So you may be looking at a post from a popular source. Are you sure the +s are on your post/website?
posted by AppleTurnover at 6:47 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I know exactly what you're talking about. My work has a private blogger page for internal communication, except the first post was made when the blog was public. It has something like 16,000 +1's on Google+, but only 7 page views. I can't tell you why it happens, I'm curious to see what kind of answers you get.
posted by clockwork at 7:13 PM on December 3, 2014

Best answer: This could happen without any widget added to OP's web site. A scenario:

Reader Zero found the page when it was publicly available, and posted not only a link to it but some discussion about it. Then over 29,000 people did the "+1" to that posting, as a like / upvote to that posting, without ever visiting the linked page itself.

Depending on what you mean by "I made it private," you may have already taken the steps needed to avoid allowing anyone to gain access to the page, if that is a concern. You should be able to figure out how long ago the most recent +1 was added. Those trails tend to cool off quickly.
posted by megatherium at 1:29 AM on December 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Another plausible scenario is that the +1's are the result of some kind of spambot attempting to pretend it's a human behind the account by mimicing the kind of behaviour a human has. The bot can then be used to spam youtube comments or add fake reviews on maps etc. without being immediately flagged as a bot.

(There are similar scenarios on twitter and facebook where bots follow random people or like random things....)
posted by Ashlyth at 7:06 AM on December 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: The number I am seeing is in my admin account, not on the site. There are not and never were google plus widgets on this site, though it is a BlogSpot site, so, you know, Google owns my ass, basically. The number has dropped at least twice since I posted this ask. It is currently at 28,361. I posted the ask because trying to right click or left click gets me no additional information -- and I am wondering if this is due to a scenario where the pluses happened when it was public and then I made it a private site (invite only -- you must log in if you are a member).

I posted the ask in hopes someone could tell me HOW, exactly, to find person zero who theoretically plussed it and then it went kind of small scale viral. That is the thing I cannot figure out at all -- how to find where it is/was showing in google plus profile, who did it, etc. I am hoping someone can cast light on how to dig up that kind of info. Again: Right clicking and left clicking get me no additional info.

Last night, it occurred to me that I considered sending the link to this particular page to a person I am acquainted with who has a phd and I believe is a published author and business founder, so, in theory, someone who might hold the kind of sway where if he plussed it, others might actually be interested. But checking my records this morning: I emailed him to say "hey" after he touched base with me in a forum we both belong to, I did not include the link at that time, and he never replied to me, so I never actually sent the link. It is posted in my drafts and that's it. That was the only thing I could think of that might have been a reason it could get so many plusses and, nope, it didn't actually ever get sent to him.

So now, I am wondering if this big number, that keeps changing (going down, not up), is some weird bug and no one actually plussed it at all.

Any thoughts on that scenario?

Thanks all!
posted by Michele in California at 9:37 AM on December 4, 2014

What happens if you log into Google Plus, and do a search for either keywords from that post, or even for the full url of it within G+? I don't know if G+ indexes link urls for searching, but if not, keywords might turn it up if they are specific enough.

On Google plus you can share things privately or publicly and you won't find it if it was shared privately. But if it really did get 28000 likes, it must have been shared publicly at some point.
posted by lollusc at 4:29 PM on December 4, 2014

Response by poster: Yesterday, I tried searching for one of the keywords in google plus (the one I thought would be the most useful as most of the title is pretty prosaic) and found nothing. Just now, I tried searching on the url in google plus and it gets no results. Searching the full title just now also gets no results.

I looked at my admin site and considering making it public again to see if that would make it possible to find a link, as I can with another post on another site of mine with 10 google pluses that tells me "So and so and nine others ..." But I am concerned it would break the invite-only scheme and that I would have to reinvite everyone and I don't want to put other people through that just to satisfy my curiosity on this. So I haven't tried that.

Though, I wouldn't say that many likes means it MUST have been shared publicly. I would say that means it was PROBABLY shared publicly. But I can imagine someone having a large private circle of some sort. Kind of like some folks on twitter have thousands of followers and some have, like 10.

I am still leaning towards "weird bug of some sort."

posted by Michele in California at 4:38 PM on December 4, 2014

« Older Literary writing about football   |   Car registered and insured in two states. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.