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Dan Peden

Director of SEO & Analytics

Today at Le Web, Google announced the launch of its social data hub. The social data hub aims to enable social network partners to submit their activity streams, making the data available to Google Analytics users within a set of social reports currently in development.

This means that GA customers will be able to determine down to the activity level - e.g. +1 button, comment, vote - what activities are taking place relevant to their content, when, by whom, and how they help achieve goals. This comes as an extension to Google’s recent development of default integration of +1’s into Google Analytics. The social web offers a great opportunity for brands to engage with customers in relevant and genuine ways, but social measurement hasn’t kept up. The goal of the new social data hub is to provide marketers and publishers with a comprehensive view of how social helps customers discover their brand and drive sales. Google has partnered with several social platforms allowing Google Analytics users to integrate their activity streams straight into GA. The launch partners are:

  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • StackOverflow
  • TypePad
  • Delicious
  • Gigya
  • LiveFyre

and of course

  • Google+
  • Google Blogger
  • Google Groups

Google will be following the Activity Streams specification, an industry format for describing socially interesting events, or "Activities," about the people and things an individual may care about. In its simplest form, an activity consists of an actor, a verb, and an object. It tells the story of a person performing an action on or with an object. For example, "Geraldine posted a photo" or "John shared a video." Any of the data submitted may potentially be used but it must adhere to the specification. Detailed requirements are available on the GA Developer Documentation site. This is another fantastic step by Google. There are already paid services that exist in this field but this now makes Google Analytics an even more valuable tool to SMEs as they can really begin to get a handle on the social web without it costing the earth. What are your thoughts on this announcement? -@danpeden