Skip to main content


New Google Plus Views Count: Important Metric or Vanity of Vanities?

UPDATE November 25, 2015: In mid November 2015 Google+ started rolling out a beta of a completely revamped Google+ interface. There are many changes. Among them is the disappearance of view counts from profiles and pages. (View counts still show in the “classic” desktop interface.) Google has told us that some things that dropped out in the update will eventually return, but many won’t. We don’t know yet whether view counts will be back. I will update this post when we have more news.
In the meantime, you might be interested in our study showing what drives more engagement on Google+.
Below is the original post. 
On March 31, 2014 Google+ added a new visible metric to profiles and pages: view counts. View counts now appear on the cover images of pages and profiles, next to the follower count (if the person or page has made that count visible). In this post you’ll learn:

  • What view counts are and what generates them
  • Why Google+ implemented them
  • How to evaluate them
  • Why they’ve replaced the Page +1 count (yes, they have!)
  • How important they are (or aren’t!)

Google Plus View Counts: Useful Metric or Vanity of Vanities?

Understanding Google Plus View Counts

What are Google+ view counts numbers? According to the official Google help page:

This number tells you how many times your content has been seen by other people, including your Photos, Posts, and the page itself.

Thanks to Google staff member Yonatan Zunger, we have more detail on exactly how each of those features increments your view count:

  • Posts are counted for any view of them in any Google+ stream. A viewer does not have to click on or otherwise engage with a post for it to count as a view. So even if the viewer scrolls by the post in her stream, a view is counted. Basically, the post just has to have been seen on someone’s screen. Interesting tidbits: 
  • Photos/images (UPDATED!) must be “opened”  only need to go by in someone’s stream (or be seen on Blogger, Picasa, or Chromecast) to count for a view.
  • Profiles & Pages only count as a view when someone opens them in their own tab or window.

In addition, we know:

  • View counts may not be exact.
  • View counts are not updated in real time.
  • Views are counted when posts are viewed in communities.
  • Views are counted whether or not the post was shared publicly or privately.
  • Views of a Youtube comment integrated with your Google+ count may count, but Yonatan wasn’t sure, and even if they do, he doubts they count if they are also made visible on Google+ itself.
  • View counts are from October 2012 forward (according to this post by Googler Eddie Kessler)
  • Images on Blogger blogs are hosted on Google+, and thus views there count as views for the associated Google+ profile.
  • Views of images on a user’s Picasa account count as views for their Google+ account.
  • Google+ images shown as Chromecast screensavers may count as views for the profile that posted the photo.
  • View counts for pages have replaced the +1 button and associated count on the page. But the page’s total +1 count is still in the Google+ API, and still appears on on-site buttons or badges that display it (at least for now).

Users and page managers can choose whether or not to display the view count to the public. (Instructions to change this setting)
BONUS: Wonder what drives more engagement on Google+? See our study of 30K+ posts!

Why Has Google+ Implemented View Counts?

The one thing no Google staffer has addressed, to my knowledge, is why they are now showing us these view counts. So that leaves me free to speculate 😉 But first, we need to understand a basic Google tactic in interacting with its users:
Matt Cutts wants to modify your behavior

Google and User Behavior Modification

Google maintains an interesting symbiotic relationship with its users, especially users who generate content (UGC) that Google makes use of. Some of that content is just indexed by Google (Search, Maps). Some is hosted on Google properties (Google+, YouTube). And some Google even grabs from sites to repost on its own.
Google needs that content; helping the world to find information is Google’s stated mission. And users, to varying extent, need Google to help their content to be found or made visible.
So users have a high incentive to do whatever it takes to make their content more visible to other Google users. But Google has a counterbalancing incentive to filter that content, and try to maintain high quality levels. Why? Because if they don’t, people will stop using Google.
Over the years, Google has experimented with various ways of gently–and sometimes not so gently–pushing its users toward practices that help Google to more consistently deliver better content. This is what I call Google user behavior modification (UBM).
Search UBM. In Google Search, this experiment in UBM originally was all carrot and no stick (and not much carrot, really). It consisted mostly of the Google Webmaster Guidelines, which too often had about as much force behind them as the Pirate Code:

Over time, Google found they had to turn more to stick. First came algorithm changes that attempted to sniff out spammy or “cheating” sites and devalue them in search. Then came manual penalties directed at specific sites. More recently, there seems to be an arms escalation as Google appears to be intentionally singling out very visible sites in order to create examples that will get a lot of publicity.
Google+ UBM. I see the new view counts as a gentle form of User Behavior Modification within Google+.
For the longest time, many Google+ users and brands have tended to focus on two primary metrics: follower counts and +1 counts. That’s not surprising since these were the most visible metrics for Google+ engagement. Actually, they were about the only metrics one could get without resorting to third-party services.
But in my view follower count and +1 focus unintentionally created user behavior that was not in Google’s best interests (and probably not in most users’ best interests either). In pursuing these numbers, users too easily succumbed to the temptation to game them in various ways. It is not difficult to find sites that will sell you Google+ +1’s and/or followers for your page or profile. In the case of followers, massive (“snowball” or “megaball”) circle sharing became popular.
In these circle sharing schemes, users create sharable circles of up to 500 people (the maximum). Usually, the “entry fee” to getting into the circle is to +1 and/or share it to your own followers. This creates a sort of pyramid effect, as the circle gets pushed out to hundreds of thousands of followers. The intent is to quickly bolster the followers of the people in the circles.
It is my contention that obsessing with follower counts is behavior that benefits neither Google nor the users. I’ll leave aside the users, for now, to focus on why Google would want to change that behavior. And why they added in viewer counts to help do it.

The Lure of Follower Counts

Why would Google+ want us to focus less on follower building? I think it’s because at some point follower building becomes eating the seed corn. We’re all competing for the same pool of Google+ users. And when that competition is focused on a number (follower count as some kind of bragging right), then users will be less concerned with creating content and engagement and more concerned with gaining followers (and at worst, followers who often have little relevance to the user or interest in his or her content). In other words, follower and plus-building activities are inward focused. They are not true growth activities. [Tweet This!]
Building follower networksFollower- and plus-gaining activities set up a situation very similar to many pyramid schemes or multi-level marketing (MLM) plans. In many such get-rich-quick scenarios, the promise of unlimited wealth comes from the idea of building an ever-growing downstream network. The idea is that people at the next rung down in your network become customers for whatever product the MLM is supposedly selling, and then you get some kickback from people further down in those peoples’ networks. But inevitably, more and more people become obsessed with network building over product selling, and the scheme collapses.
I believe Google+ was seeing a similar breakdown on their platform. Users obsessed with building follower numbers were less incentivized to build engagement (analogous to “selling product” in my MLM comparison), and it is engagement that Google+ wants and needs for Google+ to grow and thrive.
I believe view count is meant to incentivize the things that bring about engagement. [Tweet This!]

The Value of Engagement to a Network

Why is engagement more valuable to Google than users trying to grow following and plus numbers? Because engagement is produced by more and better content. And engagement + more/better content brings two things any network needs to thrive:

  1. Time on site
  2. New users

Engagement and Time on Site: Most websites or social networks fight a two-front battle. Getting users to their site, and then keeping them there. The latter battle is only won with engaging content. There has to be some “there” there. There has to be enough “Lays potato chip” content:

Like a good potato chip, engaging content keeps users coming back for more. And that means more time on site.
Why should a social network care about time on site? For one thing, poor time on site metrics can get bad publicity as supposed evidence that the network is failing. Certainly Google+ has suffered from past studies that show users spending only a fraction of the time per month there that they spend on Facebook.
But most people never see those figures. Probably of more importance to a social network is the satisfaction and enjoyment that existing users get from the network. If they are compelled to spend more time there, they provide the network with more user data that helps the network better monetize through things like improved ad targeting. Moreover, happy users are more likely to recommend the network to their friends. That leads to our second incentive for a network to incentivize engaging content:
Engagement and User Growth: As noted above, engaging content produces happier existing users, and those users will be more likely to recommend the network to their friends. But that’s not the only way engagement helps in new user recruitment.
For at least its first two years, Google+ suffered from a perception that it was a “ghost town.” Many of us who have been around from the beginning think that appellation was always unfair, but it caught on early in segments of the press and became “true by repetition.”
To be fair, though, it was the experience of far too many potential new users that they would sign up for Google+ and soon lose interest because not much seemed to be happening in their streams. If they weren’t particularly proactive about going out and finding the active communities (in the general sense, not necessarily referring here to G+ Communities), even if they followed some people, not much happened in their stream. So they lost interest and left.
So obviously it would behoove Google+ to incentivize its existing user base to turn their energies less toward follower-building and more toward engaging-content-building.

Enter View Counts

Think about what generates view counts (see “Understanding View Counts” above). Views are primarily of content. (The exception, perhaps, are profile views, although one could argue that a profile is content about the profile owner.) So to increase the viewer count, a user can do the following (in escalating order of effort):

  1. Create and share content (posts and/or images)
  2. Create more of the kind of content that seems to best resonate with his/her followers
  3. Build a network of real followers and fans who are more likely to engage with and reshare the content

Unlike some of the follower- and plus-building activities I mentioned above, there is no way around the necessity of content for view count building. Furthermore, the most successful view count builders are going to be those who are a) building real relationships on Google+, and b) working at building a network of real and active followers and followers-of-followers.
Now, that’s not to say there aren’t ways of “gaming” view counts, just as
there are with follower and +1 numbers. For example, a number of Google+ users who value the platform for the way it has attracted thoughtful people who tend to post more in-depth, text-based content, fear that we will now see an onslaught of silly meme images, the kind of content that more frequently tends to go viral (and thus rack up views).
Are cat memes the future of Google+ because of view counts?
Those user fears may have some merit, but from the viewpoint of Google+, content is content. More to the point, engaging content–content that gets commented, plussed, and shared–does what Google+ needs. Such content makes the network more “alive” and active. That serves both of the goals I mentioned above: increasing time on site and gaining new users.
Oh, and one more thing (channeling either my inner Columbo or Steve Jobs, take your pick): View counts are likely also a ploy to lure more brands to Google+. Why? Because view counts on brand pages demonstrate what I think is Google+’s greatest strength for brands: reach. When you look at the huge number of views the most active brands on G+ have, if you’re a brand owner it should make you sit up and take notice. This is why I have been preaching to brands for two years that whether or not your customers are currently on Google+ makes little difference. Google+ is designed to create exponential reach, and that’s not even including its potential reach into Google Search and other Google products valuable to your business.
Conclusion: At least one major reason Google+ has implemented view counts is to incentivize user behavior toward producing more engaging content. [Tweet This!]

How Important are View Counts to the User?

Much of the discussion on Google+ about the new view count metric over the past few days has centered around what view counts mean to users and brands, whether or not we should care about them, and how to use them to evaluate profile or page value. It’s not my intention here to cover all of that discussion, but I will offer my opinion on each of those issues.
What do view counts mean? Another way of asking that is, “What is the importance (if any) of view counts?” or “How much importance should we assign them.”
First off, I agree with many that this is a very limited metric. Of course, so are follower counts and +1 numbers. It’s much more important for me to know who are those followers, which ones are most valuable to me, why are people plussing some content and not others. Raw totals don’t tell me any of that. Same with view counts. An aggregate total doesn’t tell me who is viewing my content, which content is getting viewed more, where the views are occurring, and dozens more pieces of information I’d love to know.
Should we care about view counts? But an aggregate total does have its uses. First off, it’s useless to deny that social proof numbers open doors. Just as people at a conference glance at your name badge to see if you’re with a company worth their time, so people will look at your follower count, +1’s on your page, and now views, as a quick evaluation of “is digging into this person/brand further, or even following them, worth my effort.” That may be unfair, but it’s the reality in which we live.
Moreover, a view count may be a good indication of whether or not a particular user or brand is actually creating engaging content and is active on Google+. If I see someone with a lot of followers but a relatively low view count, I’ll be suspicious that they may be gaming followers instead of earning them.
How should we evaluate view counts? Obviously the raw view count number can only tell us so much. As I said above, a high view number may indicate a more valuable user or page, but it is certainly no guarantee. Someone could build such numbers entirely out of posting funny cat GIFs, but that may not be what I’m looking for.
Very quickly after view counts were introduced, some users began proposing using them in conjunction with other metrics to try to develop some kind of useful “profile quality score.” The most popular of these was dubbed the “V2F” ratio by Gideon Rosenblatt. That metric simply divides the number of views by the number of followers, with the idea that the higher the number, the more engaging the profile or page is likely to be. For example, today I have 18,253,100 views with 79,881 followers. So my V2F score would be 229. Our Perficient Digital Google+ page has 658,468 views with 2,720 followers, so a V2F score of 242. Great!
David Amerland on the Google+ SULBut…look at a user like David Amerland. David is easily one of the most engaging and interesting Google+ users I know. His fans are, well, fanatical about him and his content. His posts are all substantive, yet they consistently get high numbers of comments, plusses, and reshares. Now David currently has 15,112,926 views with 283,142 followers. That gives him a V2F score of only 53, way lower than mine. Clearly V2F doesn’t reflect David’s value. What went wrong?
Some time last year David was put on Google+’s Suggested User List (SUL). The SUL is a curated list of users and pages in a number of topics that are suggested as follows to all new users. Typically when someone makes that list they will start gaining thousands of new followers per day. So David’s follower count rapidly inflated. Unfortunately, most people who have been on the SUL will tell you that the vast majority of followers from the SUL never engage. They’re just adding people from a list without any personal investment in who those people are or why they should care about them. So being on the SUL actually “hurt” David’s V2F score. And therefore merely looking at V2F would give a false signal about David’s Google+ activity.
Others have suggested other ways to try to improve the usefulness of V2F (for example, Yonatan Zunger suggested using V/(P*F) where P=number of posts). But at the end of the day, my suggestion is that you use the viewer count as just one of a number of signals you look at to evaluate whether or not any Google+ user is worth following and/or engaging with.
Recommended: For more on this topic, watch a 25 minute video discussion about view counts I had with Google+ expert Martin Shervington.
Want to Pin this post on Pinterest? Use the graphic below (created by Kristoffer Howes of Weal Media). Just hover your mouse over the image to get a PinIt button, or repin from here:
Google Plus View Counts: Useful Metric or Vanity of Vanities?
What do you think about the new viewer counts? Does your viewer count matter to you? Will you use it to evaluate other Google+ users? Let me know in the comments!
BONUS: Wonder what drives more engagement on Google+? See our study of 30K+ posts!

Thoughts on “New Google Plus Views Count: Important Metric or Vanity of Vanities?”

  1. Thank you for the article Mr. Trapenhagen. We now know a part of the functioning of the Google Plus view counts.
    What I do not understand is: View Count is a limited metric as you and other said. Why has Google Plus no view/engagement-ratio introduced? I’m interested on Google+, how I can create a professional conversation with an unfamiliar person in 5 seconds. Why Google is not giving us a feature that allowed us to find easily professionals who are engaged on Google+? My question is more of a rhetorical question.
    Elke Greim, Germany

  2. By the description, it seems as if they’re nothing more than Reach metrics. And we all know how valuable Reach is… 😉
    I’m sorry, I can’t help but feel this is another tactic used by Google to try inflate numbers (much like clicking the G+ alert number in Gmail just to get rid of the alert counts as “active use” of G+).

  3. Hi Mark, I find this article very useful, and I’m amazed that you managed to put something like this up, so fast. It was less than a week ago that google implemented this, right? Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this article, great stuff!

  4. Fantastic read, Mark – there’s been so much chatter over the past few days about this change, and this really cuts to the heart of it, while laying out the why, what, intent, and history of it all.
    A question on the V2F ratio. First, some background:
    We’re still fairly new to Google+ (began getting really active around November or December), and as a result we don’t have anywhere near the followers that the major names on the platform have. Right now, we have 190 followers and 134,987 views. Using the V2F ratio/formula, that would give us a V2F of around 710 – not too bad.
    Thing is, I wonder if it would could work the same way in reverse – could a higher V2F score ever be a bad thing?
    Say you have a ton of views, but people aren’t adding you to their circles all that often, compared to other users with a lower V2F score. Could that indicate a problem, and is there a sweet spot between too low and too high, then?
    Granted, this question might have a very simple answer: I’m making too much of it.
    Like you said, total views are just one signal, and you need more than that to get a clear picture of the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of your usage of the platform.
    (Note: I was interested in trying Zunger’s suggested tweak on the formula, but I couldn’t find our total number of posts – if Google+ itself doesn’t show it, I’m guessing some third-party tool that I don’t have does, but I might just be missing something obvious where that’s shown)

  5. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Mark… although I’m not sure that’s a true growth activity or not. 😉 Considering my ‘numbers’ (since Oct. 2012 no less), I’m a happy camper even if it doesn’t mean much (yet.) I salute those who strive to attach relevance to them! In the meantime, I’ll keep engaging and sharing and posting and having a blast on G+. I love this place!

  6. Hi Kim,
    “I’ll keep engaging and sharing and posting and having a blast on G+” is exactly the right thing to keep doing. Numbers are interesting, but social media is a human activity. Never lose sight of that and you’ll do fine!

  7. Zbra Studios some great thoughts there. Thanks for your comment.
    To me, having a high V2F score is most meaningful for a relatively young page like yours. It means that even though you don’t have a ton of followers yet, you are getting reach. That means you have enough fans who care enough about you to share or +1 your content, and that they have networks to which it’s getting pushed. So people are at least getting exposed to your brand. Keep in mind that it’s much harder to get people to actually add a brand to a circle than it is for them to engage with it. But it looks like you’re off to a good start.
    As far as total number of posts, yes, you can’t get that info within Google+. But tools like CircleCount and SteadyDemand can extract it.

  8. Hi Danny,
    As I think I make clear in the article, I agree that at least in part, Google+ is displaying this number as a PR move. But can we blame them for that? They’ve certainly had a tough battle given all the “ghost town” bad PR>

  9. Hi Elke,
    Well, I have no pipeline to Google+ top brass, so I can’t answer 😉 Google+ seems to be a long term project that they aren’t rushing. We get more information in dribs and drabs. But I agree that getting more granulated analytics will be critical to getting more businesses to invest time in the platform.

  10. Wow a truly great explanation and overview Mark thank you so much. 33 million or so so far on my profile but my pages are not getting seen nearly as much as I thought they were. Will work on more engagement as you suggest

  11. Mark, as always I couldn’t keep up with Google+ without you and Perficient Digital.
    As for those who think that this is just another ploy by the Great Google to give us inflated numbers for G+ I disagree. I think this move has more to do with Google giving us data, which they love to do. Remember they are a data driven advertising company(look at adwords/analytics). I’ll be interested to see if they give us any kind of dashboard in the future that gives us more accurate numbers for impressions, clicks, etc. for G+.

  12. The tinyURL inflates views to include impressions far down on a page unscrolled. Now, “views” appears to me as though Google is assuming the majority of us, in The Plus, are easy suckers for a single bloated number.
    As fo the ghost town PR, while I tune out the blogger who is dissatisfied with the lack of interaction he gets on link-litter, I think the bigger problem is how they’ve become less interested in listening. What happened to the HOs with G+ Community Mgrs? Perhaps they became weary with the common sense they were hearing on the hangout search experience, the stifling API, the foolish move to remove contacts status from inside G+ and the lack of an option to minimize all the bloated images…? How they stopped verifying profiles long ago… How they promote the same people (and how those are the people who sing the praises of G+.) “Hmm…” If only they still cared about The Plus that we, the avid users, still have come to rely on…

  13. Great explanation Mark. The new metric looks very interesting although I think it’s more on a vanity side.

  14. Mark i am following the Data as well on very different metrics of research, and i think your post is inaccurate or at least that is the general indication that i am getting.
    profile and pages views, include the views on the content that you have shared publicly and i believe that also re-shares are being counted for.
    For the images and photos you still have a count view, so if the theory that all links on a post (not a shared link) are the so called no-follow you still have a metric to explore your data views.
    i would add images to show but is not supported on this comment box
    +Daniel Berger

  15. Daniel, your objections are very unclear, so I don’t know how to answer them. One thing: followed and no-followed links within G+ have nothing to do with the topic of this post. In the first section I explain exactly what increments the new view count, and that information is straight from Google staffer Yonatan Zunger himself. It has nothing to do with link connections.

  16. Cole, I think the complaints are mostly from those who want much more detailed data. The big numbers of things like follower and view counts are useful up to a point, but they can also give a very distorted picture of one’s actual effectiveness.

  17. I guess for certain businesses like mine who sell very expensive products it’s nice to have the view count but it still comes down to who is viewing the content. I would rather have 10 views and a sale than 1 million views and no sales. Am I right in thinking this way or will the million views bring me exposure that will reap more benefits down the road?

  18. Hi Mark,
    Tip top article.
    I’m a little concerned though.
    I run a small private G+ community for vacation rental owners and all is well, except I had a new member join recently. As of now she has 38 followers (mainly community members) and has made just one post in total (which was posted only this morning) yet according to the metric she has 15,103 views. Now I would love to believe that her “hello, I’ve just joined the community” post was hugely popular but that just can’t be the case. I can share her details privately if you wish to see this for yourself.
    I would be interested in your thoughts on this.
    Regards Alan

  19. This is a great summary of the new View Count changes Mark. I appreciate your thoroughness and thoughtfulness when predicting the reasons why Google made this interesting change.
    I would like to suggest one small exception. Though my primarily business is coaching for entrepreneurs and business people, I have spent many very successful years in the network marketing world. Though there are many companies that create the behavior that you speak you about, there are also many that don’t. In the end, a ethical, well-run MLM company is nothing more or less than a great word of mouth distribution system for products. If the product are good and the right behavior is rewarded, the company remains and grows. Walmart sells more products by building more stores. Good network marketing companies sell more products by building bigger networks for word-of-mouth distribution. The difference is, that in network marketing done correctly, the people sharing the products get compensated. With Walmart (or any other retail establishment), I could tell everyone I know about the great snow shovel I bought there and Walmart would never reward me for helping them sell shovels.
    Thank you for your continued pursuit of G+ information and your efforts in keeping us all informed!

  20. Medhajit Pahari

    Hello sir, a really nice article.
    Just one question. I have 1,019,245 views and 73 followers on Google+. That gives me a V2F score of 13962.26. Seemingly nice, but will you please interpret it for me?

  21. I think we can, and should, hold them accountable. Using inflated numbers – or, at the least, useless vanity metrics – doesn’t suddenly give them great PR to counter any questions they were already getting about users, active profiles, inflated numbers, etc.

  22. Thanks for the thorough rundown. I noticed the number on the 3rd of April thinking I had just overlooked it until now. After I saw my view number I was first of all surprised because it was very high, and then I became curious. I have decided to track it in a spreadsheet every day to see if I find any patterns.
    I have decided not to show the number of followers on my page (a very modest 117) because I don’t think it’s anybody’s business who is following me (I haven’t investigated if you can show the number without showing who the followers are). Anyway according to your V2F metric I am doing pretty well at at 2180 …

  23. Medhajit I have no way to “interpret” it as Google+ gives me no way to see exactly what of yours is generating those views. Are you by any chance using a Blogger blog and posting images there? Those count as G+ views and can run up your numbers very fast.

  24. Hi Deborah,
    I’m sure there are reputable and good MLM networks. I apologize for tarring them all with the same brush. I was reaching for an analogy, and unfortunately my own experience has only been with MLMs that were pyramid schemes.

  25. Alan, keep in mind that private posts and images still count as views. She could have lots of activity outside your community that you aren’t seeing.

  26. Very well done article. Much appreciated. I am not quite sure what to make of Google Plus. It certainly has its homebase users, but in comparison to other social media, so few profiles are utilized. In fact, many are simply left blank. I haven’t exactly figured who the homebase users are (I use the term homebase to reference where a social media users spends the majority of their time) but they are there. And perhaps the new views will generate some buzz.

  27. Kendall, they definitely are there. I get hundreds of notifications every day of conversations I’ve created or entered, or from people mentioning me on Google+. But they tend to be in concentrated pockets, such as marketers, tech geeks, photographers, whereas many niches are still fairly empty. Google+ takes a little more effort because its more of a discovery network. You’re not going to find the same old friends you have on other networks, but it’s a great place to seek out and discover new people and new conversations.

  28. Thanks Mark – interesting article.
    I have a similar situation to Ivan. I’m a legacy Picasa user and only use G+ to share photos privately with two people. I don’t have any other connections and don’t post anything publicly at all but I somehow have over 65,000 views. How is this possible? Does it suggest that the photos are not as private as Google leads me to believe? Thanks for your help

  29. Mark – thanks for replying. No they’ve never been public. I just tried switching to the old Picasa view and it seems to have the privacy for all the albums set to “limited, anyone with the link”. This seems to be the default for anything shared privately via Google+. I’ve racked up another 10,000 views in the past week.

  30. I have a V2F score of 30,622 from my 6 followers and 183,732 views. Breath taking and phenomenal. Content is truly king on Google+ account in a nutshell. Today is April 23, 2014 A.D. 12:16pm.

  31. Medhajit Pahari

    No sir, I don’t use Blogger, YouTube or even Picasa. I only use G+. Is there any solid reason as to how I am getting so many views, when I never have crossed the 100 +1’s mark?

  32. Hi Mark,
    I have Samsung S3 phone, and only created a Google email account due to it. My Apps (already installed) included a Google+ but I never really filled in a profile there, as I have no interest in creating yet another social network. I take lots of pictures, usually travel photos, and always viewed them in my Gallery. I have recently became aware of another App on my phone, ‘Photos’, when I started receiving notifications from ‘my Google+ profile’ about photos ready for share. I clicked to see photo collections of ‘Moments’ shown on the profile page. I quickly deleted those and disabled the profile (no followers, or circles, no connections). But it wasn’t disabled, as I received the same notification the next day, with more photo collections on display. By now, my Google+ views count had gone from 100+ to 1500+. Confused and alarmed that my private photos were being viewed, I logged into the account using my computer. There, I could see that nothing was shared publicly, according to Google. I have deleted the account since (never created it in the first place, as far as I can remember, the App automatically added my email). And I un-synced my Gallery with my Google email account.
    But I am still bit concerned about where those views came from. I have no Picasa, unless the App titled ‘photos’ which shows the same images as my Gallery, is also called Picasa. I don’t use Blogger, I have a WordPress blog.

  33. Lucas Balaminut

    My count is broken. Even though I changed the settings to show the count, it will not appear in my profile. 🙁 Does anyone know how to report this issue?

  34. HI ,
    I have only 26 follower but the view of my profile is above 100,000 . I have shares only 2 3 posts in past , want to understand from where i got such numbers of view & is there any benefit of these view.
    PS:- I m just a beginner in digital marketing

  35. Varun, do you user Blogger/Blogspot? Any images you post there are actually hosted on your G+ account and any views of those images would count toward your view count.

  36. This was exactly the question in my mind that got me searching.
    I’d really like to leave Facebook but needed to build a couple pages on G+ and see some life before I could actually do it. The goal was 300 followers and I’m at 168 so far.
    But with over 200,000 views, I’m wondering what’s wrong with my “conversion” number. Seems to me that 500 views and 168 followers would mean a great thing….with most ppl who see your content “subscribing” to it via a follow. Going by V2F, it’s 1190 with 200K views and my tiny following.
    Wouldn’t it be fair to say that the lower # of views to the higher # of follower (v2f) actually rates your content value, or profile value — whereas a higher V2F merely rates your reach value? Furthermore, that reach could be skewed simply by having one follower with great reach, no?
    The amount of actual interactions (+1, comments, shares) seem to be of higher value (to me) than how many actually “see” my post.
    Anyway, thank you for all of the information!

  37. Can someone explain to me how I have over 13000 views on my profile when I have nothing on it, I don’t use Blogger, and the pictures in my gallery are set for my eyes only?

  38. Good question, Ana. We’ll never know everything that triggers a view. Do you have a profile photo on your Google+ profile? That could be coming up as an image result in searches for your name.

  39. I do have a profile picture, which is the only thing anyone sees when looking at my profile. I have done a search for my name and got some results, but none corresponded to my profile – they are of other people with the same name. I have that that ‘Help other people find my profile…’ option unchecked.

  40. My view numbers just jumped from 1,691,509 to 4,207,308 in ONE day . This indicates 2,514,308 views from Sept 13th – Sept 14th 2014
    How can this be ?
    BTW: Thanks for your article … an answer is needed for these concerns.

  41. Michael, we noticed the same thing today. On 14 September there was a major jump upward for many (but not all) users. We observed that this seem to affect users who were active before October 2012, the date Google told us that view counts went back to. So we surmised that Google+ had added in counts from before that date. But today those jumps seem to have been rolled back. No reason given so far. Perhaps the jump the week before was unintentional, and Google just caught the error?

  42. You said
    “My view numbers just jumped from 1,691,509 to 4,207,308 in ONE day . This indicates 2,514,308 views from Sept 13th – Sept 14th 2014
    How can this be ?”
    ==> they just corrected the bug

  43. Eva that happened (we think) because Google suddenly added in view counts from before October 2012. Previously they only showed views since then. However, people are reporting today that over this weekend those counts were rolled back. (That happened to me, in fact.) It may be that putting them in on the 14th was a mistake, as Yonatan Zunger told me months ago that the view data before October 2012 was too corrupted to be of value.

  44. I have an exact opposite scenario. My views decresed from 112K or in that vicinity, to now 95K. How is that? Last I saw the count I believe was sometime late last week and just tonight noticing the change. Not 100% sure when exactly this happened . Thanks 🙂

  45. To answer some of the suggested scenario of the quick jump around the 14th … I did not have such a jump in my profile views. My numbers were just steadily increasing over time. Thanks again

  46. My Counter showed 6,887 views more yesterday !!! than it does today ???
    This is making less and less sense as time goes on …. what exactly constitutes a “view ”
    anyway …. it’s really starting to look like this whole thing is totally bogus .
    Weird …. }:^ ( …

  47. Michael, what constitutes a view is explained in my article above (at least according to Google+’s Chief Architect Yonatan Zunger back when view counts were implemented). Zunger told us from the beginning that view counts were not an exact number, and that they weren’t updated in real time. The most likely reason view counts drop is that Google+ periodically cleans out fake, spam, and terms-of-service-violating accounts. (That’s why many of us occasionally see a drop in average daily follower growth, or even a negative day.) When they do that, it appears they also remove any views, plusses, and other metrics that those accounts may have generated.
    It also appears to me that they have recently made some bigger adjustments to the view count database, causing some bigger than normal jumps or declines.
    I wouldn’t get too obsessed about view count. Watch it as an overall trend but don’t put too much weight on day-to-day fluctuations.

  48. Jade, were you active on Google+ before October 2012? And if so, how active. That’s crucial information, because we think the 14 September jump was views from before October 2012, which was the previous beginning point of view counts.

  49. I was active before that date. And it looks like I wasn’t overly active but active. I’d posted and shared vacation photos, and a few posts and such.
    I don’t think I understand the rest of the explanation 🙁 .. my apologies. if you can clarify a bit more it would be helpful please.
    As I mentioned, I dont remember a huge jump. Last i remember, it was at 85K or so, it slowly started going up, then over time it was 112K (or so),

  50. I know how this sounds but could Google+ be counting OUR views of OUR photos when we open the ‘Photos’ App from a browser in the total visits count?

  51. Good question, Hazel. My guess would be they wouldn’t count your own views when they know it’s you. But if you’re viewing photos from a browser and not logged in, then yes, those probably count.

  52. I meant when you’re logged in and viewing private photos, like the ones your android device backs up to your Google account. I’m asking because I viewed mine the day before last – 650 of them – and today my counter jumped almost 700. I have had no other interactions with my account.

  53. Say, a photo album consists of 100 photos. A user views the album and browses the 100 photos. Should the profile view counter increment 1 or 100? Thanks.

  54. Abel, we don’t have any detail down to the level of whether album views constitute impressions for the purpose of view counts, but my suspicion is that they do. So if I’m right, someone scrolling through your album of 100 photos creates 100 view counts.

  55. Slightly off topic. I notice that Google seems to be ignoring requests about being able to know eactly WHO is visiting one’s Google+ profile page. After all, you can know exactly who visits your FB page, so why is Google avoiding discussing this issue for Google+?
    Although I’ve not disclosed any personal info on my profile, I’ve only got 2 followers but yet ‘views’ are jumping by almost1,000 within a couple of days or less – and I know it’s not my followers – they have better things to do than skulk around my profile. It’s somewhat disconcerting not knowing who’s lurking.

  56. Hi Erika,
    First off, we need always to be careful to distinguish between pages and profiles when it comes to Facebook and Google+. The former will always have more analytics available than the latter. It’s not quite clear from your comment to which you refer.
    In the case of pages, I am not aware of anything on Facebook that allows you to see a list of individuals who visited your page. You can see how Liked the page, but that’s not the same thing. And on Google+ you can see who has followed your Page, so I don’t see any substantive difference.
    As for your view counts, are you not aware that on virtually any social network where you have a public profile and/or public posts, anyone can view them? That’s the meaning of “public.” If you don’t want people you don’t know viewing your profile, don’t create one on public social networks. If you’re concerned about what they’ll see, Google+ gives you tools to choose what parts of your profile are publicly visible, and if you post only to circles, only people in those circles can see the posts.

  57. I appreciate this insight re views vs. followers. However, I found this page trying to get an answer to why my G+ follower count on my website does not match the number on my G+ page? I have confirmed they are one and the same page yet the count is incorrectly reflected on my website. I am all for pushing engagement more than followers, but it would be nice if my count was consistent across platforms. versus the count shown at Any thoughts on how to fix this? Is this a bug? There seemed to be something like this affecting Twitter last year.

  58. I’ve been posting on Google+ for a little under 2 mo, and I have just under 8000 views and 18 followers. My website tells me I have 400 page views. I was wondering how significant the views are, as there is little engagement. My website is also new. Should I be happy with these numbers?
    I don’t understand analytics, but your article helps. Thank you.

  59. Selma, analytics numbers are always going to be relative. What you want to be looking for, whether on a social network or your own site, is healthy growth over time.

  60. Maureen Mortenson

    If you have the time look at me on my google+.
    For some reason i have 50+ followers and over 160,000 views but why?
    I asked the latest four person how they found me and they said I was just on the page when they opened it one day. Odd I think.
    I would love to turn these viewers into client and rent then a house abroad!
    Any thoughts???
    And Thanks so much! I do take lots of photos….might that be a part of the answer?
    And i wonder how I might be seen if i worked at getting views. As for now I don’t.

  61. john sennekkah

    Hi Mark
    it would seem that they have changed te updating interval over the last week or so from 24 hours to 72 or is that only on my account?

  62. john sennekkah

    Hi Mark
    It would seem that there were no updates between 28 April and 01 May, this just happens to coincide when I changed the background to the profile banner with an image which in Australia/Indonesia might have been non PC (execution of drug runners).
    May be it was just coincidental.

  63. Hi,
    Here is something that is puzzling – I see 17 pluses right now on a quote I put up yesterday (here ) but the Page stats tell me that I have only 7 views…. should I not have atleast 17 views?
    Previous week the Views and Plusses caught up and have equalled count by now – that means everyone who viewed it, gave it a plus… that atleast makes sense (maybe)..
    This undercount is on for about a couple of months now.
    Some advice would be much appreciated.

  64. I don’t post a lot on my google + I have a blogger website that is connected to google + . Does this mean that people who view my website count as views on my Google + profile?

  65. If I Had A Blank Google Plus Page But My Youtube Channel Had Views Would Those Views Be Counted On Google Plus

  66. I use G+ more than FB, it give more genuine traffic and leads as compare to Facebook and Twitter. I keep more stress on increasing followers and posting & sharing interesting links.
    Thanks for telling some good things about G+ through the wonderful post.

  67. Muhannad, as I stated in the update at the top of this post, with the recent update to Google+ they are no longer displaying view counts on profiles. You can still find them using a tool like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

More from this Author

Follow Us