I have been using Google’s friend connect feature for a long time on my blog. Though I have 66 followers for my blog through friend connect as on date, the kind of traffic generated to my blog through this is miserable! In the last 12 months, my site had over 1,96,600 visitors from various sources. Of these, only 52 visits source was Google Friend Connect Module. That is a mere ~0.026%. So, now my question is – should I continue using it or simply remove and continue with any other alternative? What is your experience, have you ever got a chance to measure the performance of ‘Friend Connect’ module by Google?
You may be wondering how I arrived at those numbers. The source for the mentioned stats is Google Analytics. Yes, If you have an account on Google Analytics for your blog/site, you would know all these metrics including number of visits, unique visitors, number of pages viewed per visit, demographics of visitors, break up of browsers/OS, Average time on site, content overview and many more. I really like the analytical info provided by Google. Going back to the point of discussion, has Google failed to create a strong social network through friend connect?
In contrast to Google’s friend connect, I recently added Facebook Fan widget on my blog. It has been less than 2 weeks since I added this widget and I already have 41 subscribers via Facebook. More over Facebook is providing a very clean way of publishing the content and to socialize with subscribers in a much better way. Even the traffic sourced from facebook has been a number of times better!
Those of you who use blogspot as your blogging platform, Google friend connect is made a default widget in the sidebar. Though Google is trying to promote this product the most through its free blogging solution, I doubt the kind of socialization element provided to increase the effectiveness. At least I was on the verge of removing it a couple of times, still continuing to see if it can get any better. I presume the time has come to retire Google ‘friend connect’ stuff on my blog. I am planning to do so because of a number of reasons. First one being the slowness to load this module. When a user makes a request to my blog, it does multiple DNS lookups to fetch the module. Secondly, kill some more time in fetching & loading the images etc.,
May be an integration of Google Friend Connect with its own product ‘Reader‘ might help to certain extent. But, looking at the kind of effectiveness Facebook has offered through its fan pages, I am jumping over there! It may also be possible that I haven’t got the trick of getting Google friend connect to work for me. If you have seen considerable success, please share the tips :).
Since I am talking about socialization of blogs, let me take the liberty of showing some of the tools I have on my site. If you like any of the post, feel free to make use of any of the sharing options I have provided. Just below this article, you have options to share this article via ‘Yahoo! Buzz’, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Digg, stumbleupon and many more! Please do make use of these and share with others whenever you like a particular post. Oh yeah… you have an option to subscribe for email notification as well! look at the top of right sidebar, feel free to subscribe if you haven’t done that yet.