How To Track Who Clicks Links In Google Plus

Posted By on Monday, August 8th, 2011 on 5:46 am CEST

I was playing around with Google plus recently and i noticed that when you post a link to a site Google spiders the content of the link and posts the title, an image and a description ripped from the destination page.

It seems that most of the things people do at the moment in Google Plus are post links to other people stuff for whatever reason so it makes sense to track the links you post and try and gain some control for future use.

Below is a picture of a link i shared earlier with the red link added to show you what link it was and this is what it shows on mouse-over.
I have no way of knowing if anyone clicked this link or who clicked the link.

Google spidering shared plus links

As soon as you post a link on Google Plus the Spiders hit it

But the problem is how many people are clicking the links and how many people are interested in what you share?
You have no way of knowing because its posting a link to someone else’s site.

Also what happens if it goes viral and you have no way of monetizing it or putting adverts anywhere in the click stream?

So to take a bit of control you can jump the links through your own site to not just track the clicks but actually grab some decent data and also in the future you can do anything with those links.

Either register a new short domain to use as your sharing  jump site or use one of your existing WordPress sites to do this.
Install wordpress and Pretty Link Lite or Pretty Link Pro on your chosen domain name you will be using for your shares.

Go in to your Pretty Links interface in wordpress and choose options.
Tick; Track link, add nofollow, set it to redirection 307 and lower down tick Extended tracking.

Whenever you are going to post a link to anything just go into Pretty Links and setup a redirect that does a hop through your site so you can log everything.

Below is one of the links I posted the other day using the tracking method i am describing to you.

worlds best restaurant to close

Track everything to keep control

You can put your links in groups such as `GooglePlus Links` to manage the links and see how many times your stuff has been clicked.

Click on any of these images to make them bigger.

clicks tracked with pretty links

Overview of clicks in pretty links

Not only is there a simple overview but there is also pretty detailed stats with graphs and pretty stuff.

unique hits more data

Ip, Unique ID, Time, Hostname and Referrer

So you have some nice tracking going on that you would never otherwise have and rather than sending people to other peoples sites you are sending them to yours to keep control and then sending them on the journey.

This means if you get a link that goes viral you can very quickly change it and send it to the page you desire but loaded with ads or whatever.

Just login to the interface and change the link or build a page in wordpress on your site and delete the redirect to keep them on your site.

changing the link to whatever you want

Changing the link or creating the page

I am sure i don’t have to tell you that at all times you should be doing the best to keep control of your own content and tracking everything possible.

Also i recommend setting up a domain with a https by using an SSL Certificate because most of the times a https site doesn’t send a referrer so the site you are sending the traffic to has no idea where the traffic is coming from.
The data stops with you and you pass very little forward to create your own data black hole.

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