Hidden among Google’s many April Fool’s Joke this year, they released an update to how our Google+ pages display our popularity. Instead of using the number of +1’s we have as a metric, our profile pages now show our number of followers alongside our number of “views”.

Google Plus Views

Why has the +1 been replaced with views?

And is it really something that we should take seriously? While the number seems rather large (with people who don’t even post to Google+ or care about their circles wondering how they managed to acquire such a high figure of views), there must be something to it that Google considers more important than our total number of +1’s.

There seem to be a number of people who believe that the change was made primarily for Google’s vanity or ego. A retaliation to Google Plus’ unfortunate “Ghost Town” reputation that it has acquired, becoming the butt of every social media joke with even the New York Times not long ago preluding a front page article stating: “Google Plus, the company’s social network, is like a ghost town. Want to see your old roommate’s baby or post your vacation status? Chances are, you’ll use Facebook instead“.

Some people believe the change is due to how ridiculously easy it was to game the +1 system, and a view count will be harder to cheat.

But what do Google+ views mean?

Before we can really determine what these Plus views really mean, we need to first determine how they are being calculated. It seems that thinking of these numbers as strictly “views” may be a tad bit misleading. Posts don’t necessarily have to be clicked on or even engaged with at all, a view can count as someone having scrolled past it down their Google Plus stream. In other words, it’s more of an impression than a view. It’s your overall reach. You can even collect views from other people having shared your content and then their Followers scrolling past it down their stream, in which case both you and the sharer get rewarded for these impressions. So there is definitely a benefit to having Followers that like to engage and share your content!

Unsolicited posts that pop up on your feed (as recommended by your friends) also claim a view. And of course, impressions on posts that are embedded into other websites by iframes also count as views. You can even get views from a photo that has been seen on Blogger and Picasa, as photos uploaded to these services are hosted on Google Plus, and each time a photo gets viewed it adds to your view count the same as posts.

Private shares can also give you views and, of course, any visits to your profile/pages also count as a view.

It seems that anything you do relating to Google Plus can get you views. A Google spokesperson explained the view count as “the composite number of how many times others have viewed your profile, photos and posts, based off of information since October 2012”. It’s clear to see now how even inactive Plus members have been able to accumulate such high numbers of views.

Of course, you can choose not to display the view count on your profile. But you won’t be able to see the figure either if you opt out. If you choose to do this, all you have to do is just pop over into your Google+ Settings or your Google+ Page Settings and uncheck the box saying “Show how many times your profile and content have been viewed”. On both the Profile and the Page settings, the option is listed under Profile right down at the bottom of the page.

Disable Plus viewcount


    1. I know in the past that Google have decreased view count due to “overcounting” and then balancing them after. They can also remove views that their algorithm deems “artificial”. But it’s hard to say really, bearing in mind that the views are calculated from multiple sources. \n\nWith the recent Google+ layout, however, view count is no longer shown on your profile.

      1. thank you for your response. Whats bizzare is that when I go to insights that higher profile viewed number is there but different than the profile views number that shows up on the actual page. yeah i stick with the google classic. btw you have any info on how to optimize the google + profile? thanks again!

        1. I don’t think that there’s too much to it. Beyond ensuring that the profile is completed fully and accurately, and optimised for the keywords/topics that are most relevant to you and your posting activity.\n\nOf course, the more you participate in communities and generally just post and share images, the more views and followers you will naturally acquire over time. Having a good following/authority in your niche/industry will likely be the highest factor in optimising your Google+ profile.\n\nGood luck!

  1. For me the end of Jan 2017 was when classic version Google+ finally became unavailable and disappeared. Can’t find any Google + feature to bring it back… or find a website, blog, comment board explaining how to pull up my page VIEW counter. Anyone?

    Has Google+ once and for all nixed the VIEW counter.