However, since implementing Google Analytics Social Interaction tracking on our blog, I’ve noticed that the count of Facebook Likes and Unlikes seems, well, off … way off.
Unnaturally High Number of Unlikes in Google Analytics
For the period of July 17, 2011 to August 17, 2011, Google has recorded 177 Likes on our blog and 64 Unlikes.
Now, perhaps people are just having a hard time deciding whether or not they like our content, but a 3:1 ratio of Likes to Unlikes seems like too many Unlikes and, as our blog does not trade in controversial topics, it just doesn’t seem right.
Comparing Like / Unlike Metrics between Facebook Domain Insights and Google Analytics
I decided to see what Facebook Domain Insights had recorded for the Like Button for the same period, and its Like total was 241 which is the total of Likes and Unlikes count with Google Analytics.
I recently wrote a post about Facebook Domain Insights and Google Analytics Social Tracking, comparing the features of these two visitor-metrics tools, and noticed this disparity but concluded that it was Facebook that was getting it wrong, perhaps counting all clicks on the Like Button Social Plugin as Likes, because it was a click on the same button.
I’m beginning to think that it’s Google Analytics that is creating the erroneous numbers, although I’m not sure. When I asked a colleague at Google about this, he replied:
Our tracking code is pretty transparent. Any time you call _trackSocial, we’ll increment social interaction numbers. That’s it. If you simply added a call _trackSocial with the parameters “foo” and “bar”, that will show up in your reports.
To get the Facebook like / unlike data, we have to integrate with the APIs Facebook provides. Following their docs, we implemented a little wrapper to call _trackSocial when you like or unlike something.
So it could either be that the way this little wrapper is integrated to your site has a bug, or that the unlike event in the Facebook API is incorrectly firing for some weird reason.
So perhaps it’s just that I didn’t realize how much people “unlike” content. I never do. What about you?
Are you using Google Analytics Social Tracking? Let me know in the comments what you’re seeing.