ShareThis, the company behind the ubiquitous sharing widgets of the same name, is rolling out a new way for publishers to see how their social sharing strategy stacks up — and it’s sharing a list of the top publishers in two categories.
ShareThis first announced its Social Quality Index back in November, and it’s going live for publishers next month. The SQI assigns each publisher a score between 1 and 10 based on how much their content is shared on social networks. Scores are assigned in 27 different categories, and multi-category publishers receive multiple scores. ShareThis looks at all the sharing data on any page with its widget, which means that sharing through things like the Facebook Share button are included too.
CEO Kurt Abrahamson says the score has real business value, because sites with socially engaging content also draw an audience that’s likely to engage with advertising. In fact, he says early tests show that ads running on sites with a high SQI have a clickthrough rate that’s 40 percent higher than average. That’s especially significant for some of the smaller sites that ShareThis works with — they should be able to tell advertisers that their audience may not be very big, but it’s valuable.
To offer a taste of the data that the SQI has uncovered, ShareThis is releasing this (unranked) list of the most social sites in travel and sports. It’s a mix of some predictable big names with some “huh?” moments — and it sounds like that’s exactly what ShareThis wants.