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Google Analytics Aims to Centralize Social Media Measurement

Creates 'social data hub' and invites social networks to integrate data streams.

Google today announced it is inviting the various social networks and platforms to integrate their activity streams into a new "social data hub". The project aims to make Google Analytics the central provider of social engagement metrics and measurement.

Much of an audience's interaction with content happens off of a publisher's Web site and in the social Web, making a standardized and centralized approach to measurement difficult. If and when enough of the social media platforms plug their data into the hub, publishers and marketers will be able to measure social media activity across the variety of platforms.

"Through these integrations, marketers and publishers will be able to discover off-site engagement, optimize their engagement within each social community, and measure the impact of each social channel and its associated digital investment," say Phil Mui, group product manager, and Ilya Grigorik, engineering manager, at Google Analytics in a blog post.

So far, Delicious, Digg, Diigo, Gigya, LiveFyre, ReadItLater, Reddit, TypePad and Vkontakte, along with Google+, Blogger and Google Groups, have joined the social data hub. Note the heavyweights that are currently missing.

Google Analytics expects to make a social reporting suite available next year which will provide metrics on social actions such as voting, comments and sharing—exactly the kind of data Google is asking the networks to provide in their activity streams.

In June, Google announced the ability to track social engagement and activity in its Analytics package, but that is for traffic and on-site behavior. This new initiative will expand that tracking to activity beyond a brand's site.

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