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Amanda DiSilvestro looks at Google+ Ripples and why most marketers are missing a great way to gain fascinating insights from their fans.
In some ways, Google+ is Google’s version of Facebook— they look and feel very similar at first glace. For example, comment streams run down the center, groups are on the left and friend suggestions are on the right, and chat windows appear in the bottom corner. However, the further you dive into the network the easier it is to see that there are some significant differences as well. One of those differences is the free tool Google+ offers called Google+ Ripples.
Although ripples have been available to Google+ users since October 2011, many people still miss this option. Fortunately, the concept is quite easy to understand and it’s never too late to get started.
Ripples are what their name implies: It allows you to view the ripple effect of a post. It lets you see where a post has gone since it went live on the web. The information is displayed in a visually stunning array of bubbles that branch out to showcase who shared the post with whom. In essence, it resembles a pretty science experiment. Below is a screenshot of an example ripple:
Below the visual bubble picture are helpful statistics that break down the information. There are three categories:
You can even watch the spread of the ripple effect by moving a time bar to go backwards and forwards in time watching the bubbles bloom onto the screen as well as a graph showing the high and low peaks of those that shared the post. Below is a screenshot of just that:
You can also interact with the bubbles by zooming in and out which reveals the names and comments (if any) of those who shared. Furthermore, you have the option to check out analytics and determine how you can gain more ripples for your content that you share publically (private posts do not spark ripples). Overall Google+ Ripples is not only visually stunning but it is also easy to use and as mentioned above, free! You can learn more about the specifics in a post I wrote on Search Engine Journal.
So now that you know what it is, how can you use it? Google+ Ripples can be an important tool for you because it can help you identify who major influencers are in your industry in order to share your information with those influencers and boost your search results. A few ways you can use this feature include:
Google+ is a very powerful ‘information network’, a place where millions of people go to connect with others that share their interests. Therefore, if an influential person with a large, engaged audience mentions you or links to your content in their posts, the potential is great. Have fun watching your bubbles grow!
The views expressed in this post are those of the author so may not represent those of the Koozai team.
Vector Colourful Water Ripples by BigStock