Facebook Now Ranks Friends Higher Than Businesses

On June 29, 2016 the USA Today reported “Facebook is tweaking its algorithm to show you more of your friends’ posts rather than posts from publishers.” Link: usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/06/29/facebook-limit-posts-pages-news-feed/86512200

First, let’s take a moment to review Facebook’s current algorithm, which looks something like this:

facebook-news-feed-edgerank-algorithm

What this new update suggests is that the “C” part of this equation – the Creator – is now going to receive more positive weight if the Creator is your friend or family member, and more negative weight if the Creator is a business, celebrity, or other non-friend Page.

This has big implications for any business paying to Boost its posts or running a Facebook Ads campaign. The update means a business will have to be more creative, more interesting, more engaging, and participate in more social conversations in order to get noticed. Oh yeah, and it will cost more.

Just how much more is yet to be determined. Facebook Ads have been one of the most affordable and effective options for targeted digital advertising in the last three years. Since we all share so much of our lives with Facebook (age, gender, location, interests, marital status, life events, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), the ability for a business to laser-focus on a specific audience on Facebook’s platform is truly unique. On a cost-per-click basis, Facebook Ads have been a fraction of the cost of a Google Search ad (we’re talking pennies per click vs. dollars per click).

The choice by Facebook to rank your friends’ posts higher than a publisher’s post in your News Feed is an attempt to keep its 1.65 billion users engaged with the content they prefer and to further leverage its advertising platform by forcing advertisers to be more compelling with their messages and more aggressive with their monthly budgets.

Want to read more about the latest on Facebook for business?

Google Goes from Gold to Green

In September of 2013, Google AdWords made a leap toward transparency by including a yellow “Ad” indicator in the search engine results that were paid ads.

Since that time, we have all grown accustomed to this new look on Google as we scroll down past the ads (most times) in our latest search for schools, stools, and shoes.

In April of 2016, Google began testing a modification to this look by changing the Ad indicator to green instead of gold.

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Yesterday, June 15, 2016, it became an official change. Ads are now green, not gold.

As a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land, “We regularly test ways to improve the look and feel of our search results page. We’ve been experimenting with a green search ad label and have decided to roll it out based on positive feedback from users and advertisers. Our goal is to make our results page easy to use, and our labeling clear and prominent.”

WHY DOES THIS MATTER?

Some key words in that quote from Google: test, feedback, easy.

If any business knows how to execute an A/B test, it’s Google. And this is a perfect example of what an A/B test is. Seem trivial? Google doesn’t think so. We’ll never get to see that data, but rest assured Google Ads will get more clicks and advertisers will be getting more results with this enhancement. They vigorously capture and analyze feedback from customers to continue to make their product, Search (which is free), easier to use.

This approach goes in contract to the trend in native advertising, which attempts to conceal an ad by passing it off as written or video content. And it’s even in contrast to Bing and Yahoo! search engine results pages which use gray text to tell the user the results which are ads.

It’s fascinating and inspiring to watch the search engine powerhouse continue to innovate and to defy what all others are doing. They believe in their product and know that customers crave transparency. Case studies on Google will be taught in universities for decades to come.

Side note: Green Bay Packers fans will continue to click at normal click-thru rates after the change from gold to green. It’s all the same to them!

green and gold packers.png

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