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Google AdSense Forum

Does Google Penalize You For Using ShareThis, AddThis?

 4:44 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

As everyone knows, you now get a score from Google in the AdSense control panel on how well you've adopted the +1 button on your site(s).

On my site, I use the code for the +1 button that comes directly from Google, but I'm considering replacing it with either ShareThis or AddThis, which offer a greater number of sharing service buttons.

Has anyone done this, and if so, does Google give you credit for using the ShareThis/AddThis +1 button?

Interested to hear your 2 cents.



 5:01 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

My site's theme has a built in social media share widget, which includes a listing of social media platforms such as Google+.

Adsense used to be ok with that, though this week my Google+ score went down from 5 stars to 3 stars with the recommendation to get the +1 button. I already have the +1 included there linked to the Google+ page of my site so I'm not going to change it for them


 5:07 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't pay too much attention to the Health Score tool at this point; they know it's buggy and are working on it.

They probably will know if your Google+ button is there whether you roll your own (code) or use a service like ShareThis or AddThis.

HOWEVER, that said -

I stopped using those services myself because they use proprietary databases for the shares. Meaning that if for some reason they go away or you want to stop using them, you'll lose all your share count for that page. At least that's the way it was the last time I checked. If that matters to you, then take it into consideration (and check on the current status) before you go that way.


 9:03 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Great point, netmeg. Hadn't considered what might happen if one of those services goes out of business. Definitely food for thought.

they know it's buggy and are working on it.

I can attest to that. I have a very low Google+ score, even though I have +1 buttons installed on every single page on my site. No idea why I'm getting the score I'm getting, but so it is.

addthis paul

 9:55 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi there! I run support at AddThis and wanted to clear up one thing that netmeg said. (Otherwise, great post!)

If you're using third-party buttons like the Tweet, Facebook Like, Google +1 button - full list available here: [support.addthis.com...] - the counts are stored at their respective services, so even if we go out of business those counts will be preserved.

Thanks for using AddThis!


 10:05 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

These services slow down your page load time by 1-3 seconds. I would not recommend them. Your site health score will drop if you use them.


 10:06 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ok, good to know addthis paul - I admit that when I was doing my research, it was with ShareThis. Maybe I'll take another look at you guys then.


 10:14 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

In my experience the only penalty for using those sharing services is the slowdown of loading your web pages. No AdSense penalty. I just did a redesign on one of my sites and the dev recommends using share42 (google it). So now I'm using that. There are no analytics but the buttons and code are minimal, simple. And there aren't all those 3rd party calls for stuff.


 12:44 am on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

welcome to WebmasterWorld, addthis paul!

thanks for the clarification.

are you doing everything possible to support browser caching for the static resources provided by addthis?


 12:58 am on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am with Seopti. I ripped all of those useless buttons off my site. My pages load super-fast now, and my health score (for whatever it is worth) is the highest.

I also tested my pages in various page load speed test sites, and they get great scores. I would NEVER put another social media button on my sites. EVER.

All they do is clutter up the interface, distract from the ads and content, and slow down your page loads. Eliminate them all ASAP and you will go a long way toward improving your user experience, and possibly having better SEO if page load speed becomes more important to Google's search rankings.


 2:05 am on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Why use these services when you can get all the asynchronous code from FB, Twitter ... ?

Those services are for noobs and a waste of time. But if you don't care about page load time go ahead and use them, Panda will hit you one day (bad user experience because of horrible page load times).


 3:29 am on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well for one thing, a lot of people can't go in and easily add them, say, to a WordPress site where they have to write function.

And for another thing, some of them offer features that are not easy for the average Joe or Jane to code - like email, format for print, or rendering the page in a PDF.

Finally, if your pages are heavily shared (as many of mine are) you are willing to make tradeoffs as far as performance.


 3:34 am on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Swanny007, thank you for your mention of share42. I did go google it, and WoW! This is the first code of this nature that I've tried that I will very likely keep. It has no speed impact whatsoever detected by either page speed (Firefox) or page speed insights (link from a section in the adsense scorecard).


 5:14 am on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

if your pages are heavily shared (as many of mine are) you are willing to make tradeoffs as far as performance.

And what was you final tradeoffs?
Coding? Coding and social shares?


 5:43 am on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

And what was you final tradeoffs?

Well, clearly the tradeoffs are a minor slowdown in page download speed in exchange for the benefit of having site visitors refer more visitors as well as shares that sometimes turn into links.


 6:02 am on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Outside of the above comments, I didn't notice any real traffic bump from using these vs sharing myself on facebook or twitter. Users on my site generally know how to copy/paste URLs, and adding addthis slowed down page load times regardless of adsense. Removing addthis caused my traffic to jump more than 20% within a month or so. I know that everyone will have different results, but those are mine...then again, adsense swears my revenue optimization is the worst, even though my average CPC is north of a dollar and my average CTR is 1.9%. When i followed their guidlines? My CTR was south of 0.75% and CPC was lower than 10 cents. Go figure.


 1:58 pm on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Those services are for noobs and a waste of time.

Good point, but Pinterest doesn't provide a button that automatically determines what the page is to share, like Facebook and Twitter do. You have to enter each URL separately and then paste the button code into your site. I just don't see myself doing that for thousands and thousands of URLs.

I guess they provide a different button to premium publishers, but not sure how to make that happen for my site.

addthis paul

 9:28 pm on Dec 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey guys,

Just a follow up on some stuff mentioned in this thread.

First, we've supported asynchronous loading in our client API for a while, but we haven't added it to our various plugins. Here's a page showing the most basic asynchronous loading with our tools, just a call to addthis.init() in the window.onload function: [addthisexamples.com...]

Here's our documentation on asynchronous loading: [support.addthis.com...]

WRT caching: Because we serve over 1.3 billion domains and over a billion unique users a month we have a great incentive to make sure we're utilizing our bandwidth as efficiently as possible, both through optimizing our resources and caching. Even a small improvement in the amount of data would mean huge savings.

I'm happy to answer any other questions you guys have.


 10:04 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yeah I don't notice the slow down using fios, but I too ripped the addthis icons from my website. I don't need these sites tracking all my users content without my permission.


 10:13 pm on Mar 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

I don't need these sites tracking all my users content without my permission.

You cannot use the service without giving your permission. As far as tracking, it's anonymous tracking, not tied to the person. Less invasive than what you are doing to your site visitors if you're using any kind of analytics. See TOS. [addthis.com]

In consideration for the Services, you agree that we may collect data related to an End User's use of the Services including an End User's sharing of Publisher Content (collectively, the "Data"). Our data collection, use and disclosure practices are described more fully in our Privacy Policy and include the use of log information and cookies that record anonymous (i.e., non-personal) information about End Users.


 1:27 am on Mar 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

I stopped using addthis because i belatedly realised that load times on a wordpress site had gone up a lot. I disabled every plugin one by one, and to my chagrin, addthis was it.

I liked it look and functionality, ah well


 7:12 pm on Mar 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

I use addthis and it doesn't slow my site much. I also get a done of sharing and following. Otherwise ppl don't share your pages if you don't make it easy for them. You can't ignore social media. It's very powerful.

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