Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Someone has lots of posts with the same amount of shares, comments, linkedin post - how does this happen?

One of my favorite projects right now is to check how competitors (to our Techpageone) are performing with their content - and one aspect of that is the social media engagement their content receives.

This time I looked at a different competitor, their site is targeted at their medium sized companies, if I am not mistaken.

As usual, I get a list of urls with a little script, after a bit of cleanup, the list has 5326 urls in it.
Then I run a second script to check for social shares on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Stumble upon, Linkedin. Then I sort - and that's where it got really interesting, see all the duplicate numbers in FB and Linkedin? This looks very much not like an organic, natural result. (Twitter and ripples are different enough - if very low).

So, is the tool working? Let's see a sanity check, where I compare the numbers with numbers from Share Tally checks a lot more (small) social media platforms, but includes all platforms my script checks, so the numbers should never be lower, and sometimes slightly higher. Works pretty well as you can see:

Is the tool stuck, cannot retrieve numbers? Sanity check no 2, this time just different urls in the same scan:

Nope, works just fine.

Manual check:
The pages do not have consistent (if any) canonical, they seem genuinely different articles from various authors, to various dates.

What, please can cause this share pattern?
These are the potential causes I can imagine (help me if you see more!)
  • Coincidence 
  • Highly disciplined workforce sharing over and over + great internal process
  • Paid sharing 
  • Automated sharing 
What am I missing? What do you think is most likely?

1 comment:

  1. The only possible other explanation I can think of is they have a base of fans that truly comments, likes, shares everything they write.

    You can imagine how likely I think that is.

    This kind of analysis could really get some traction in the bigger SEO blogs if you wanted it to...


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