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Facebook Click Baiting Is No More

Facebook has announced two major improvements to the news feed. While these improvements are aimed at customers, it is beneficial for companies in the long run. They are taking a stand against click-baiting and a move toward video sharing in this update to their algorithm.

Click-baiting Headlines

It has become a trend to use seductive headlines that don't say anything about the actual article the link is leading to. This entices the reader and makes them click through just to see what the headline is about. Unfortunately, more often than not, the article has nothing to do with what's in the headline. This brings a lot of traffic to the website, but very little relevant traffic.

Facebook ran a survey and discovered (as you would assume) that "80% of the time people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through."

There are two ways that Facebook are going to be tracking which posts are link-baiting in order to show them less in the news feed:
  1. Tracking the click back process - Facebook can tell when you click through to a link, and after a few seconds click straight back to Facebook. If a person spends a very short time on a page, their obviously isn't much relevance for them on the page. If this happens often, chances are high that the post is using click-baiting.
  2. Watching the interaction vs. the click through - If a link is truly interesting then many of the people who click through to it will also share it or at least comment or like the original post. So if a link is getting a high number of clicks, but low engagement on Facebook, it will start to get shown less and less. 

Sharing Links in Posts

There are two options to share links on Facebook. You could share it as a link and show the link preview (as seen below) or you could post an image and include the link in the caption above the image. 

Facebook says that from their survey, they have understood that more people prefer clicking on a link preview than an image with the link in the description. This format also makes it easier to click through on their mobile format. So, the new algorithm will give preference to links shared in the regular format, and show less links in status updates.

As for this affecting your page, Facebook says "A small set of publishers who are frequently posting links with click-bait headlines that many people don’t spend time reading after they click through may see their distribution decrease in the next few months. We’re making these changes to ensure that click-bait content does not drown out the things that people really want to see on Facebook."

What type of posts do you normally share?
About The Author
Shiri brings her knowledge in online marketing and social media, among other things to the Rank Ranger team. She's excited to be a Ranger and looks forward to wearing the ranger hat and getting her sheriff's badge in the SEO force.

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