It used to be that marketers, website owners, and bloggers only had to worry about staying compliant with Google’s algorithm and its updates but now it seems that they have to stay in tune with Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms as well. That is if they still want to continue to channel traffic from the social media giant to their sites.
After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has been on a rigorous crusade to clean up its image and show its users not only that their data is safe but that they will only be receiving relevant and original content within their News Feed from now on.
News Feed Algorithm
As part of its algorithmic clean-up, this week Facebook has targeted its own News Feed and changed its algorithm to get rid of websites that continuously steal content from other sites without sourcing or adding value to it.
The new changes were spurred on by a recent survey the company did which showed that the platform’s users disliked content that was copied and scraped from other sources. Facebook has stated that most of the sites which do such things are low-quality sites that are riddled with cheap ads, clickbait headlines, and spammy landing pages.
The new algorithm will basically limit any site from showing up on its News Feed that appears to be using duplicate content and ads that are irrelevant to the topic at hand. The algorithm will also target headlines that are not relevant to the topic or appear to be over-exaggerated and untruthful.
Improving Content Web Wide
Facebook has stated that this new change will not only help in producing original and value-added content on their platform but also across the World Wide Web itself as users who currently “steal” content will get less traffic to their site and ultimately realize that they need to come up with either their own story or at the very least add some value to one that has already been produced if they want to continue to receive referral traffic.
Ultimately, this new change is not only good for those who use the site directly and those who produce original and relevant content, but also for Facebook itself, who can now catch any of the scraped data that was stolen during the platform’s recent security breach and stop any URL links pointing to it from appearing on its News Feed.
Less Posts Equal More Quality & Happier End Users
For a long time, Facebook has been criticized for giving free reign to every and all marketers using the News Feed to promote their site, products, and services whether they be legit or not. Platform users have basically become “numb” to any and all forms of advertising appearing on their feed. The new algorithm will automatically limit the number of posts on the News Feed and so give users a fair chance to go through it without being bombarded with deceptive articles, rehashed information, and spammy ads.
While this may seem awful for marketers, those who continue to produce good, quality content and advertise in an ethical and upright way should see more traffic as they no longer have to compete with unscrupulous advertisers.
How The New Algorithm Works
On yet another positive note, Facebook has been completely transparent as to how their new News Feed algorithm works to give all contributors a chance to comply and clean-up their act or get ghosted and possibly banned from using the News Feed.
The algorithm works like this:
1 – Comparison of text with other texts to spot exact matches.
2 – A predictability score is created by AI to ascertain whether the content was stolen or not once a match is found.
3 – Predictability score is matched with the quality of the headline (clickbait or not) and the quality and quantity of ads on the site where users are being directed.
Right alongside its updated News Feed algorithm, Facebook is also changing its Branded Content tagging system on all creator and brand partnerships (influencer marketing partnerships) in order to make it clear to users that the branded content they are viewing is a form of advertising.
Again, this appears to be just another step by the social media platform to provide more transparency in order to clean up its image and to provide better content and higher engagement among its users.