Not that there was ever really any way to optimize a Facebook page for higher rankings as you would a website on search engines like Google, Bing, etc yet its now official – Facebook has killed their version of content optimization. Thank goodness, now clients can stop pretending Facebook matters when this social channel never did drive any meaningful referral traffic to their websites. And if you don’t believe me, look inside your Google Analytics > Acquisitions > Referral > Channel > Social and see how little users as a percentage of overall traffic social media drives!
Facebook kills SEO
Social networks have always baffled me. I have 4 accounts on Facebook. One I have 300 friends I’ve never met. Facebook is real but the vertical ones, particularly those which are private social networks, are an oxymoron? I chuckled to myself at this bag cover on my flight to Los Angeles this morning. I know a tonne of lawyers and they don’t like to hang out with each other generally.
Oh, I’m in LA today as I was invited down to present to a room of lawyers at a lawfirm !!
Social Network Oxymoron
SSL Updates by Google are not about SEO. I believe Google are pushing for sites to implement a Secure Socket Layer Certification from a security perspective to protect hackers who use their browsers (Chrome) to hack sites.
The recent SSL announcement is a long bow drawn by SEO agencies to suggest their is another algorithm change. It really isn’t. We have worked with top clients like Skybox Security, ThreatMetrix, ZScaler to name a few. We’re all aware of the massive rise in identity theft and efforts to protect online consumers. With Google Wallet, Google Apps, etc, – Google want a more secure web period and their motivations are not about giving sites more traffic if they include an SSL, rather it’s to protect users data from being hacked.
Was at a BBQ last night here in Palo Alto and a few FB folks were there – we got to discussing the major issue swirling marketers globally that FB has dramatically changed their EdgeRank algorithm to the News Feed, which has seen organic reach of brands’ page post decline to 2% or less.
One of the FB guys referred me to this official blog post. https://www.facebook.com/business/news/Organic-Reach-on-Facebook-UK
The reality is FB are just moving to a paid platform model. FB should not be likened to Google but rather a TV network like CBS, CNN or Fox. They are all about advertising and not organic.
Basically, FB are saying investing in creating page posts for your brand is meaningless unless ad dollars are spent on FB promoting it. They want you to think about diverting money spent on content production for FB to using the Click to Website Ads in the RHS Rail of Facebook
I’ve been consoling our clients saying not to worry too much for their under-performing Facebook Content Strategy. It was arguably people aren’t reading Facebook posts they were sharing. I’ve always been a sceptic of Facebook as an organic content platform and thanks to Facebook for confirming my long held suspicion!
I regularly inform clients part of the optimization of websites requires design changes from adding new colors to home pages, level 1 & 2 sections within the site, changing buttons or extending pages with content. We change design components linked to content on our clients sites no less than once a month. We like to use real life examples. Several weeks ago in New York the Empire State Building had it’s Easter colors lit up. Completed in 1931, it’s using the color technique to stand out in the crowd. Simple but effective.
I clocked the Google self driving car at 75 miles per hour earlier today on the US 101 heading South around Redwood City. The speed limit is 65 miles per hour. Please slow down! It’s not a good look and very dangerous. Ironically, earlier today, I read of the $1.2B settlement between the Justice Department and Toyota which includes an admission by Toyota that it misled American consumers about two different problems that caused cars to accelerate even as drivers tried to slow them down.
With Apple CarPlay, and a host of other vehicle IP enabled technology (think Tesla), the automotive is now a driving computer. Let’s just not forget there are humans driving on the same roads particularly when the Google self driving car speeding today was a Lexus and that if you didn’t know is a Toyota brand of car! The Lexus ES350 model was one of the cars reported as having “unintended acceleration” issues that resulted in crashes!
Twitter remains very interesting to website publishers from a content optimization perspective. It’s not widely known that Twitter has a search crawler. Like traditional meta tags, web publishers can now place Twitter Meta Tags on their websites. Once you have loaded the tags onto your website, you can validate them at https://dev.twitter.com/docs/cards/validation/validator
At a basic level, website optimization is about including keywords across meta tags, body copy and links on a website to rank highly in search engine results pages. Yet social media doesn’t work this way, rather the more ‘shared’ or ‘liked’ a piece of content, video or image becomes, the greater the effect of social media optimization.
I love this image below from Upworthy.com which shows their new metric called “attention minutes”. Their study found users with 25% of the average attention minutes on an article actually shared it more than those who spent 100% of the average attention minutes on the article.
The point is that people share an article more if they engage with it less. They read headlines, think it’s going to make them popular and then repost, retweet, like and share it – without even reading the entire information. Are you one of those people?
The winds of change are blowing through Silicon Valley. Clients are compelled to understand how to integrate Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+/Google Authorship and extend Search Engine Optimization by harnessing Social Media Optimization. It’s pretty simple. You have to a) set up accounts for your corporate digital assets at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and b) inter-link content, pictures, tweet, posts between each social media property and c) add new content and links atleast weekly.
Like any assets, the running costs of maintaining social media optimized websites is largely the variable cost of content production. Most clients find it hard to create original content faster for social media than a corporate website. So the economics are not only monetary but intellectual – that is, can you or your content contributor think of a good idea for an article, post, pin, tweet, picture, etc. That is one of the reasons clients work with us as SearchForecast provides ideas around new keyword discovery and help clients with a word analytics solution to measure word appearances, frequency and rank of words on websites.
I had the pleasure of being invited to The Chief Digital Officer Global Forum at the Rosewood Hotel on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park last week to hear Adam Bain, Chief Revenue Officer of Twitter. It was a fantastic presentation and really showed how Twitter is moving the needle for television broadcasters and advertisers.
Adam explained how a piece of content like a TV show has greater impact when coupled with Tweets from users watching the show and simultaneously using Twitter. Put simply, Twitter is borrowing from Newton law of Force where Mass = Force X Acceleration.
It makes a ton of sense too as the further the time goes out from a piece of content (TV show) the less impact of the Force as the mass of tweets and the Acceleration decreases as less people share it. Yet, the impact of Tweets on Mass (thinking branding awareness and recall impact) is unquestionable and advertisers should be very excited and embrance Twitter for television campaigns.