A study from BrightEdge examining the prevalence of social plugins on the home pages of major sites shows that Facebook is still the most dominant social button on the web. Google +1, however, is growing quickly, having seen a 28 percent increase in adoption over the last month.
The Dominance of Facebook
BrightEdge, an enterprise SEO platform, examined the 10,000 top ranked sites on the web to see what social elements were present on the home page. The study looked for standard links to Twitter, Facebook, and other social profiles, as well as buttons or plugins provided by the social sites. The data was pulled using the "inaugural version of our SocialShare Site Analysis," as specified by BrightEdge's CEO Jim Yu on the post announcing the findings.
For both plugins and standard links, Facebook is the leader. 10.8 percent of the top websites posted a Facebook "Like" button on their home page, compared to 4.5 percent for Google +1 and 2.1 percent for Twitter share buttons. Three additional Facebook buttons also placed high on the list, with the Facebook "Like box" present on 6.1 percent of top sites, the Facebook Connect plugin present on 1.9 percent, and Facebook recommendations present on 1.2 percent. Twitter's "instant share" also made it to the list, with 1.3 percent of top sites adopting the plugin.
When it comes to standard links, Facebook is seen on the home page of nearly half of the top sites, with 47.4 percent linking to a Facebook page. Twitter fared better here, with 41.8 percent of major sites linking to a Twitter profile. YouTube was also a popular site to link to, with 16.75 percent of major sites adopting it.
The Rapid Rise of +1
Whilst Google +1 button adoption is on a smaller-scale in comparison to the Facebook Like button, the Google plugin has seen rapid growth over the last few weeks. Since figures were tallied in June, Google +1 has risen from 3.5 percent adoption to 4.5 percent, a 28 percent increase. In terms of button presence on the home page of the top 10k sites measured, Google +1 has already surpassed the Twitter tweet button plugin in web popularity (but a Twitter social profile is more commonly displayed on every page).
Commenting on the findings, BrightEdge's CEO Jim Yu said to SEW, "What is surprising is the magnitude of the spike in publisher adoption that we are seeing following the launch of Google +1. However, the broader story here is the missed opportunity among large websites to fully leverage the top social networks, as over half are still missing basic social optimizations on their homepage."