This week’s installment of “Last Week in Content Marketing” includes three stories from industry giants Facebook and Google.
Facebook’s News Feed update
Last week, Facebook announced that it’s updating how it ranks the stories that appear in your news feed. The goal of the update is to provide users with more “personally informative stories.”
Facebook shared that tens of thousands of users are surveyed every day as part of their Feed Quality Program. Included in these surveys are questions about which stories users find the most informative — rating the story on a five-point scale — and then asking more specific questions around why they rated the story the way they did.
Although this isn’t a drastic change to Facebook’s published News Feed Values, it is confirmation that truly informative and relevant content takes precedence over click-bait fluff. The impact to social media marketers and their brand pages may not be immediately noticeable, as Facebook suggests in their release, but it reiterates the need for marketers to thoughtfully define their audience and make sure they are creating and sharing interesting and informative content.
It also reinforces the trend we’ve seen the last couple of years that organic social marketing cannot be a brand’s only tactic in the social media world. In social, you must take advantage of paid promotion if you want your content to be seen.
Limited data in Google Adwords Keyword Planner
In a forum post on Friday, Google announced that detailed search volume data in the Adwords Keyword Planner is for paying customers only. Although Google currently only requires that you have an Adwords account to access Keyword Planner, if you are an advertiser “with lower monthly spend” (yet to be defined) you’ll only be able to view limited data.
Google also mentions that the limited data view could be triggered by advertisers that exceed an undisclosed limit on the number of searches for search volume data. They specifically mention requests to their API.
If you’re already spending a fair chunk of change with Adwords, you probably won’t see a change at all. However, if you’re just getting started with Adwords or have a pretty modest budget, the search volume data you get probably won’t be as useful as it has been in the past.
Google rolling out AMP in SERPs
In other Google-related news, Google announced August 2 that they will be including AMP (accelerated mobile pages) throughout the entire search results page, not just the “Top Stories” widget.
Similar to the “Mobile-friendly” tag, the AMP tag will appear just ahead of the meta description, with the thought being that users will prefer an AMP site as it will be easy to read on mobile, most likely have fewer ads and will take less time to load than a standard or even mobile-optimized page. Feel free to test drive the AMP-included SERPs for yourself on your mobile device at g.co/ampdemo.
As with all updates from Google, the concern is, “How will this affect my rankings?” Google was very clear that this isn’t going to be a ranking change for sites, and non-AMP sites won’t be penalized – at least not right now. As long as your site is already mobile-friendly, switching everything to AMP will not give you an additional boost in the SERPs — so it probably doesn’t make sense to start over just yet.
There are a lot of important details surrounding this news; to read a more in-depth analysis of how this could impact your business, check out Jennifer Slegg’s write-up on the Moz blog.