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Facebook Q&A: Page Ranking and Organic Reach



4:05 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Facebook has published a Q&A which tries to address some of the questions being asked since major changes to the news feed have caused an apparent reduction in page visibility.

If you use Facebook at all you ought to read the document.

Whilst it doesn't give away any secrets, it does try and justify why you don't see so much in the news feed.

Here's an example of one of the questions and answers.
Why is organic reach declining?
There are two main reasons.
The first reason involves a simple fact: More and more content is being created and shared every day. Youíve probably felt this change yourself. Just a few years ago, sharing important moments and experiences, articles youíve read, and photos and videos of your loved ones was a relatively labor-intensive process. Today, thanks to devices like smartphones, many people can share this content with just a few swipes of the finger or taps of a button.
There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a personís News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.
As a result, competition in News Feed ó the place on Facebook where people view content from their family and friends, as well as businesses ó is increasing, and itís becoming harder for any story to gain exposure in News Feed. In addition to the growth in content, people are also liking more Pages. Facebookís director of product management for News Feed told TechCrunch this April the total number of Pages liked by the typical Facebook user grew more than 50% last year. With each new Page like, competition in News Feed increases even further.

Read the full article here [facebook.com...]

It doesn't answer my question, which is why something I have genuinely liked just doesn't show up at all.
For the record, I very selectively "like" on FB so that I can see the pages and stories of interest, but they don't show up at all. It really does suggest a push for page promotion (advertising) is on the agenda.
Here's the response
Is organic reach dropping because Facebook is trying to make more money?
No. Our goal is always to provide the best experience for the people that use Facebook. We believe that delivering the best experiences for people also benefits the businesses that use Facebook. If people are more active and engaged with stories that appear in News Feed, they are also more likely to be active and engaged with content from businesses.

I can't agree entirely with that.

What do you think?


4:29 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Personally I think they are buried beneath a barrage of promotional vs. informative vs. fun, friends and family, vs. networking, vs. business relationships that there is no way to sort. I personally think that their promotional efforts have been weak and lame and more apt to drive people away than engage them.

I am far less likely to even give a "Like" to something I appreciate seeing just because if I do, it is immediately followed by their insertion of from 4 to 12+ more totally unrelated things that are sponsored and unwanted. This has to give less weight to the things you really want to see just because of the way they try to leverage any interaction. I used to stop in once a day to see what's new and interesting. Since their changes I may visit once a week. For things I'm specifically interested in, I visit their page and interact there. When I have done that I notice those are pages that will show up in my NewsFeed. I have seen suggestions to actually visit, interact and "Follow" things that are important to you.


9:25 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Facebook, not too unlike Google, will throttle the organics hoping that more people will spend that extra dollar to be seen.


11:10 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The system is flawed, there is just too much content to publish through one newsfeed. When I like something its because I want to see their posts, not because I want to have them on an abitratry list of "likes".

A better option would be to ask users to select their preference when liking a page:

a. Do you want to see all posts
b. only show me the most popular posts
c. don't show me any posts
d. why are you liking if you don't want to see their posts?

But in the end, its all about the money. They had a horrible IPO and for the size and reach of the company their stock price is embarrassing. They need to make some money to keep shareholders happy.

Less organic reach = more paid promotion


11:27 pm on Jun 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The second reason involves how News Feed works. Rather than showing people all possible content, News Feed is designed to show each person on Facebook the content thatís most relevant to them. Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300. To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person.

Seems to me FB is trying to be too much like google.


3:29 am on Jun 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

They've come up with a horrible solution and my personal user experience on facebook has declined a lot over the last year. Missing out on certain important posts people make about their lives isn't a good feeling, for me or them. Having facebook decide what I or anyone should see on any given day isn't why I signed up - and the "Promote" link to pay so more friends will see a status update I post is beyond ridiculous. (I'm talking about my own page/news feed, not a business.)


3:45 pm on Jun 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I've been watching my feed very closely to look for patterns. It's been difficult, but the only pattern I can see is either promoted posts, or my friends that are particularly active and have a lot of friends. I can't see too many "page" likes any longer.

That's very sad as I do actually want to see the news from those pages.

The way to see those "pages" is to have an individual post the story on their personal timeline.

Is anyone else seeing "pages" they've "liked" in their newsfeed?


6:11 pm on Jun 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Only seeing pages I've liked in the newsfeed in two conditions: when I specifically "Follow" them and when I have significant interaction, either comments or "Likes".

Robert Charlton

8:40 am on Jun 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm very often having to visit pages I've "liked" to see their stories.

The exceptions are stories from big media outlets I follow like National Public Radio, which have broad appeal and good enough production, and probably get shared a lot because their content is inherently compelling or controversial. I'm seeing those regularly.

But pages from local businesses and organizations, which I assumed I would see regularly when I "liked" them, have virtually disappeared.

In part, what's happening, I think, is that the Pages that are disappearing are simply sending out occasional announcements, instead of a regular stream of material that's timely, funny, clever, emotional, outrageous, or controversial... ie, material that attracts interaction.

Shared images from successful Pages are tending a lot toward eye-candy, now pushing down Pages even like GoPro, whose videos used to stand out enough that they were sure to attract attention. Visual presentation is critical.

Novelty also has a lot to do with it. If you have a Page, the trick is to sneak your substantial but perhaps mundane content into that kind of feed. You are also competing with baby pictures from your followers' close Friends.

Hard to say what you need to do as a reader simply to follow a Page you value via the news feed.

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