In December 2013, Facebook decided to change up its algorithm for organic reach by decreasing the content that includes call to action for engagement and increasing higher quality content in the form of informational links, status updates, etc.
So brands that usually reached about around 25% of their audience organically were seeing a mere 5% organic reach after the algorithmic change.
Many theories can be drawn as to why the algorithm change has occurred and why it has been such a drastic change when all of the changes that Facebook has made in the past has usually made engagement rates fairly equal.
So now that we understand what changes have been made to Facebook’s algorithm, what changes can we make to our social media strategies and behaviors to ensure that we are organically reaching as many of our audience members that we possibly can?
- Quit Using Memes – Facebook is now excluding posts that are including memes, photos, and videos. The posts that are valued as “high quality content” are the status updates that do not require a call to action. According to Facebook, status updates that do not include a link or a photo with a link embedded is the top performing content type for organic reach.
- Include Multiple Photos in Your Posts – If you are going to post a photo for engagement instead of a regular status update for your brand, be sure to include multiple photos. Ignite Social Media published a study testing Facebook’s new algorithm and if you are adding multiple photos to a post, your content will reach more of your audience organically than it would have before the changes were made.
- Check the Numbers – Check your brand or your clients’ analytical data before switching up your social media strategy. The changes Facebook made has affected most of the brands, but not all. See if your organic reach has decreased or increased since December (when the algorithm changed) and why. Study the different types of content that your brand has posted before you just throw out everything you know about social and Facebook, and analyze the data for your particular brand. Then you can better access the steps you need to take from there.
Be sure to check out both of the great articles. They are great reads!
Google recently made a change to it’s highly complex search ranking algorithm that affected numerous online websites. The latest Google update, coined the “Penguin” update occurred on the April 24, 2012.
The Penguin update was designed to stop spam websites and websites that utilized spam link tactics to achieve high rankings from doing just that in Google’s SERP (search engine results page). Websites that employed SEO companies that utilized these spam linking tactics to acquire link popularity were drastically penalized by the update.
The Google Penguin update has left some SEO companies scrambling to figure out how to react to the update in hopes of regaining the search rankings they previously acquired from the spam linking strategies.
It is never easy to recover from an algorithm change, but there are several things that can be done to get your website back on the right track to achieving the high rankings that were taken away via the Penguin update penalization.
The first step in recovering from the Penguin update is to get rid of unrelated links on your site. It is recommended that you only have links that are related to exactly what you have to offer on your site. Make sure that at least 20% of the links in your site are from related and credible websites.
If your website accepts guest blog posts, insist on backlinks by guest posts on relevant websites or after providing great content: Some of the sites hit by the Google Penguin update had a history of backlink buying. If spam-type sites have links to your site on their websites, chances are that the Google Penguin update has hit your website and your rankings may have plummeted. To recover from the update, contact the Web masters of such websites and ask them to pull your links down. Fight the temptation of buying backlinks in the future.
Don’t over-optimize backlinks to your website. It’s important to fight the temptation of linking only your keywords back to your website. Make sure your backlinks have a good mix of anchor text such as linking your domain name or your company name back to your website.
One of the primary reasons why some sites were hit hard by the latest Penguin update is because they had hundreds of identical optimized anchor text links pointing towards their website. This makes Google think that your links are potentially spammy in nature. If your target keyword is ‘organic SEO services’, use several anchor text variations like ‘SEO service provider’ and ‘SEO service U.S.’
Limit the number of your ads and focus on navigation: One thing that is identical in all spam websites is lack of focus on navigation. Most spam sites are also characterized by having many ads.
If your website is focused on search engines, you could recover from the Google Penguin update by focusing on users. It is suggested that you cut back on the ads and make the pages easy to navigate through the use of such tactics as internal linking and sitemaps.
Use contextual links only: You could recover from Google Penguin update by removing any non-related sponsored links that are stuffed in a sidebar and in your footers. Replace these with links in the body of the content (contextual links).
In sum, if you’re scrambling to recover from plummeting search rankings because of the Google Penguin update, it’s important to avoid over optimization and insist that your search marketing company uses White Hat SEO techniques only if you want your website optimization to have a chance at recovery.