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As it often happens in the Google world, companies bought by the search engine giant are often gobbled up and incorporated into an existing Google service. An example of this would be the shuttering of Urchin Software in the beginning of the year. Well, the latest voluntary “casualties” are PostRank and PostRank Analytics, which are being shut down by Google on May 1st, 2012 (today). Here’s what PostRank founder and CTO Ilya Grigorik (who is now a Software Engineering Manager, Google Analytics at Google) had to say on the PostRank blog.

“It is bittersweet news that we remind our users that PostRank will be sunset on May 1, 2012. The sweet part is that Google Analytics now allows you to conduct much of the same measurement and analytics that you’ve enjoyed through PostRank. We invite you to access the new Social reports within Google Analytics. Learn more about the new Social reports in our blog post. As of May 1st,, PostRank Analytics, Top Posts widgets, and Google Reader plugin, will be taken offline.” (Note: he never mentions the “bitter” part, though maybe it’s obvious.) If you never used it, PostRank had developed a number of free tools to help make sense of social engagement data on the Web. This included plugins (the now defunct Google Reader plugin among them) and RSS feeds that would score and rank posts based on their discussion, linking patterns and social interaction. It was, basically, an easy way to find popular posts. Google’s new social reports will be taking its place. The reports will allow users to analyze a number of different factos to see how Social impacts your company, or in this case your college or university. These social reports include:

    • Sources: As your content is shared and people come to your site, it’s important to understand how visitors from different social sources engage with your site.
    • Conversions: Shared content URLs become the entry points into your site, driving traffic from social sources. Measuring the conversion and monetary value of this traffic will help you understand the impact of Social on your business.
    • Pages: People increasingly engage with, share, and discuss content on social networks. It’s important to know which pages and content are being shared, where they’re being shared, and how.
    • Social Plugins: Adding Social Plugin buttons to your site (for example, Google “+1” buttons) allows your users share content to social networks directly from your site. Your social plugin data shows you which content is being shared, and on which networks.

What do you think about this?