The New Facebook Advertising Changes and What they Mean to You

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Facebook has a complex algorithm just like Google.  Did you know that even though it started out as a social network, Facebook is trying to even overtake Google as our world’s search leader?

It’s true, but even though Facebook’s the clear social leader, it’s still far from seriously competing with Google as a search leader.  It’s a publicly traded corporation too, so they’re constantly making new changes to keep their position as the leading social network and continue to increase their profitability.

Facebook’s been up to a lot lately – check out what they’ve been doing to their algorithm:

1.  Removal of spam posts.  Facebook’s users have indicated they want to see more relevant, less “spammy” posts.  In response, the company has removed posts designed intentionally to get large numbers of likes, which are generally not too relevant to Facebook users.  And posts that contain links to spammy websites loaded with ads and no real substantive content are also getting the boot.

2.  Ever heard of the law of unintended consequences?  Or maybe they are intended.  While all these changes have helped improve the Facebook experience for users to some degree, they have hurt the amount of traffic legitimate brands get from the site.  Adweek reports sites like Upworthy, Elite Daily, and Distractify have lost up to 84% of their traffic from Facebook.  Some marketers are in an uproar, and if you have a company page on Facebook, you definitely have to watch the news carefully going forward.

3.  Facebook ads are now more important for businesses.  Take this how you want, but the fact that Facebook makes it harder for company pages to get free content in your newsfeed now forces them to use more paid advertising.  Basically, they’re saying there’s so much free content become available, the best way to get seen at Facebook these days is to pay to have your content shown.

4.  Say goodbye to sponsored stories.  A class-action lawsuit was the straw that broke the camel’s back on this one.  Facebook first got sued for using user’s images in sponsored stories.  Then they got whacked again recently for not doing enough to remedy the situation.  Thank Jo Batman of Corpus Christi for bringing the most recent lawsuit to the forefront.

5.  Smaller changes.  And here’s a list of many of the smaller changes made in recent months:

  • Ability to target audiences with custom audiences in the power editor
  • Larger photos in the newsfeed
  • More autoplay videos
  • High quality news stories in the news feed
  • The same high quality content shown twice, just to make sure you saw it
  • Fewer meme photos

Well, that’s quite a lot.  And if you notice from a big-picture perspective, Facebook is going in the direction of quality content and paid advertising.

To some degree that’s what Google’s doing too.

Now, at least you’re prepared for the future.