It's been almost exactly a year since our last post on Klout, so we thought it was time for us to return to this subject.
This year, Google released Panda and Penguin into the world.
We associate these words with adorable animals, but Google's versions of these critters have left some businesses concerned and anxious as to whether their site will be penalised next for 'over-optimisation'.
(If you've never heard of Google Panda or Penguin before, you may find this link useful).
In a nutshell, Panda and Penguin refer to a series of algorithm changes that Google has implemented over the last year.
These changes have been, in all, the result of common sense.
Google is trying to take into account the growing tide of social media by giving more importance to natural 'sharing' online, and less importance to links from sites that no online user would be likely to refer to.
With this new focus on social media and genuinely popular content, it's become even more important to know and understand your company's online presence and influence. Klout gives you a few ways to do this.
What is it?
Klout is a social media analytics tool used to measure an online user's influence across their social networks.
It pulls information and data from sites such as Twitter and Facebook to provide information on how people are interacting with your online social activity.
Users are given a 'klout score' out of 100 for their ability to engage.
Last month, users of Klout may have seen their Klout scores change as the company rolled out new scores across the board and introduced a new interface.
For example, log in now and you'll be able to see scores for individual posts that you've made.
Even though Klout provides numerical data, it attempts to base its results on quality rather than the sole weight of numbers.
This means it factors in the online importance of those you are interacting with more than the simple total of 'likes' or 'retweets' you've received.
Following this logic, getting a retweet from Stephen Fry or the US President is worth more than retweets from other less influential accounts.
This is also comparable to the measure of importance accorded to websites by Google through the concept of 'Domain Authority' (DA) - a highly influential and well known website will usually have a higher Domain Authority than less well-known sites.
Did We Just Have a Klout 'Moment'?
'Klout Moments' shows your most recently posted content alongside information about who you engaged by sharing that piece of information.
It's a new and extremely useful feature in the way it gives users the chance to see which content resonated well across their social networks.
You can also refer back for an overview of your most influential content from the past 90 days.
Once upon a time, while Klout had some excellent statistics and graphs, it sometimes felt disconnected from real social interaction and communication.
Now, users can immediately start to assess the reasons behind why they are or aren't influential, by examining the effects of what they say.
You Should Know This...
Klout is a useful tool but it hasn't arrived without some criticisms.
People have complained about the fact that it's not an 'opt in' service.
Unless users manually 'opt out', Klout will continue to collect profile information and assign a score, which is visible to others.
If you are a business or a professional with online social accounts, registering with Klout will help to ensure that it takes into account all of your social networks and attributes when providing you with your Klout score.