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ShareThis creates Social Quality Index for web publishers, advertisers

ShareThis, the Cincinnati-founded company behind the ubiquitous green button that lets you quickly share web content, is expanding its relevance through a social analytics tool.

The company created the Social Quality Index, which measures the quality of websites by measuring their sharing activity across 27 content categories.

“The whole point of SQI is to be able to give advertisers more bang for their buck," says ShareThis Social Media Manager Tom Spano. "What we’ve done is come up with a grading system based on an algorithm that measures the quality of a website’s content (via sharing).”

The Social Quality Index comes as web analytics tools are becoming more sophisticated, and search engines like Google and Bing are emphasizing websites with quality and relevant content over ones arbitrarily stuffed with keyword and links.

The SQI will also help measure the quality of pages on social media sites like Facebook by looking at metrics like content sharing engagement, which tells advertisers more than a pure number of followers. It also identifies users with higher purchase intent and those more likely to share content widely.

“It’s basically a quality versus quantity tool,” Spano says.

The ShareThis tool determines a site's social traffic score by looking at metrics including outbound share and inbound clickback traffic, and comparing them to page views. The SQI could prove valuable to advertisers as a number of studies have shown that people trust shared content more than traditional placed advertising.

“There is a definite need for this in the advertising space. It’s a great struggle to wonder if the ads are getting in front of the people who need to see it,” Spano says.

By Feoshia Henderson
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