No More Click Bait! Part 1 of 2

Around 4 months back Facebook announced changes to their algorithm. I know, you must be thinking “Not again”. But why I am bringing this up right now? Idea is to see if we have taken right steps and to check if we have not missed on any important details.

So what are the questions you should ask – Did my brand get impacted on traffic front? Has there been any significant improvement in my referral traffic? Have you been sharing links which were prescribed by Facebook before they implemented this change across?

Food for thought, I would say.

What is Click Bait?

Well, you may have seen on certain occasions that a post has an interesting headline which will compel you to click the link given in the post. The post might not be conveying the same thing which is there in the article. An example below:

Example 1

These are really catchy posts which became really successful as the fan had to click them to find out what is there in the article.

But Facebook algorithm didn’t find this really fair. The algorithm needed to understand the engagement triggers. Click bait articles just made it difficult for algorithm to gauge what content is doing well.

Many users who were clicking these stories were unsatisfied as the content in the post and actual article was drastically different. Unsatisfied fan = less engagement = less time spent on FB = less revenue for FB.

They had to take concrete steps to stop it.

Facebook came up with an update that stated that posting this kind of content will be given negative weightage.

How Facebook is detecting these kind of stories

Delivering what you are promising is the key. If you have to know from the horse’s mouth then here is how Facebook puts it:

“One way is to look at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook. If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable. If they click through to a link and then come straight back to Facebook, it suggests that they didn’t find something that they wanted. With this update we will start taking into account whether people tend to spend time away from Facebook after clicking a link, or whether they tend to come straight back to News Feed when we rank stories with links in them.

Another factor we will use to try and show fewer of these types of stories is to look at the ratio of people clicking on the content compared to people discussing and sharing it with their friends. If a lot of people click on the link, but relatively few people click Like, or comment on the story when they return to Facebook, this also suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them.”

FB is focusing on quality articles which people read and come back to their timeline to share it with friends. These would be indications for algorithm to rate the content as relevant and show it to more friends.

But if the article has high no. of clicks but few shares amongst friends then this kind of content will be given less weightage in the timeline and few people will see it.

In the next part of this series we will see how the links should be shared and how does this impact you as a Brand Manager. Till then ciao and wish you all a very happy and prosperous year ahead.

(Images and content courtesy www.jonloomer.com)

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