Facebook announced on Wednesday last week that it planned to make a series of changes to its news feed algorithm so that it will more favorably promote content posted by friends and family rather than publishers. The company said that content posted by publishers will show up less prominently in news feeds, resulting in ‘significantly less traffic’ to these publishers. This will be a concern for publishers and content marketers.

We decided to have a look at the Facebook share data and trends over the last year. This will establish a baseline to review future numbers and trends following the upcoming changes. We reviewed 25m Facebook posts published by the top 10,000 publishers over the last year. Note: all charts below are based on this data.

What we found might surprise you and make you rethink your strategy. 

Average Total Shares

Over the last year there has been small increase

To paraphrase Guy Kawasaki there are two types of website managers: those that want more backlinks and those that are liars.

Backlinks matter, a lot, but gaining backlinks is difficult. A good backlink requires someone to write a relevant article mentioning you and to link to your site. This is far harder than getting someone to share your content.

The single best opportunity to gain new backlinks is to find articles that mention you but that do not link to you, and to request a link.

We have to thank Syed Balkhi of WP Beginner for this simple but powerful insight on how he used BuzzSumo to gain over 100 new organic backlinks each month. We tried it and gained over 200 new organic backlinks in the first month. We liked it so much we have built a new feature so you can quickly apply his technique and start gaining

Content that answers questions is one of the most effective forms of content marketing. In preparation for our upcoming webinar with Lee Odden on ‘How To Be The Best Answer’ we analysed over 600,000 answer posts. We set out below our findings including:

  • the benefits of being the best answer, including authority, longevity and links
  • the 10 key elements of a ‘best answer’ post

If you’re curious about questions your customer are asking, check out the BuzzSumo Question Analyzer. 

The Benefits of being the Best Answer

a) Achieving links

When people find a good answer they like to share it but more importantly they like to bookmark or link to it for reference later. Take as an example the question “what is content marketing?”

The Content Marketing Institute have written a comprehensive answer to this question on their site.


This CMI post has been shared less than 5,000 times, which …

Our webinar on outreach and influencer marketing with Paul May, CEO of BuzzStream, created a lot of discussion this week. There were many questions about the right and wrong ways to approach influencer marketing. We have summarised below the key takeaways from the webinar and shared Paul’s practical advice on how you can use BuzzStream and BuzzSumo to maximise the success of your influencer marketing.…

This week we were privileged to partner with Scoop.it on a webinar to discuss content marketing return on investment (ROI). Their CEO Guillaume Decugis shared his views and tips for maximizing the returns on your content investment. His advice has made us rethink our own content strategy. This is what we took away, along with our own thoughts on content marketing ROI.…

I have always admired the transparency of companies like Buffer and Moz. They openly share data on the development of their business, including their revenue data and salary data. I also greatly appreciate the open approach of Tomasz Tunguz in sharing data about what works for SaaS businesses and the guys at Startups for the rest of us for practical, honest advice. We have learnt a lot from these sites, and we wanted to reciprocate by sharing lessons from our own experience.

A bit of history

I first met James & Henley in December 2013, just as the snowflakes started to fall in New York. We agreed to turn the early version of BuzzSumo, which they were developing in their spare time, into a business. We formed the company in March 2014, and during the year we all left our previous jobs to focus on BuzzSumo. We have no …

At BuzzSumo we love research and data. 2015 was a bumper year for people like us with the publication of over 20 new content marketing research reports. We ourselves conducted 5 major content marketing research studies ranging from analyzing 500m Facebook posts to analyzing the shares and links of 1m posts to a study of the most viral web articles.

Research is important as it can provide insights into content trends and how we can improve our content to generate better results. We all have suspicions and instincts but it is much better to have data. We have been looking back at some of the main research findings this year and what this tells us about successful content marketing.…