August 28, 2014

Facebook makes some big changes to (hopefully) improve the content in your newsfeed

example of a click bait post

Click to enlarge

This week, the folks at Facebook have released some major updates to their algorithm that will affect us as marketers.

Click-baiting

First, they’re targeting click-bait posts. As defined in their official release, “Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.

These types of posts are bad because they clog newsfeeds with junk and lead people to mistrust linked content. An important note for marketers is that Facebook will be using “time spent away from site” as an indicator of the quality of the linked content. So make sure you link to something useful. If you don’t, Facebook will notice and your posts will get less exposure.

Sharing links

Their second update affects how your links will be ranked. Facebook will give priority status to link format (when you paste a link while drafting a post) as opposed to posting an image and adding a link to the caption.

I know it’s tempting to create a custom graphic about the content of the link so you’ll have more control over the way a post appears in the viewer’s news feed. But Facebook has decided to give that approach a lower score while favoring its standard linking format. This will use an image from the destination page. If you control that page, you can control the preview image using the open graph tags. This is a good practice to get into if you’re hoping people will share your content. Using open graph will give you more control over how your pages appear in the newsfeed.

Share Button