What happened to the Facebook Algorithm?

In May 2015 Facebook made a change to their newsfeed algorithm to ‘balance content from friends and pages’. Nobody was to know at the time, but this was the start of a new age of social media and content engagement.

In 2015 Facebook was driving increasingly higher engagement and traffic for publishers, brands, marketers and news outlets. The May 2015 newsfeed adjustment and the many subsequent changes to the Facebook Algorithm, listed below, put this trend into reverse. The chart below from Shareaholic demonstrates very clearly the rise and fall of Facebook as a traffic source for publishers.

Shareaholic_social_network_share_of_visit_graph_2016_2017

This is the story of Facebook’s algorithm changes and the consequences for content marketers.

It’s a story that continues to unfold. The most recent newsfeed changes in 2018, particularly promoting stories from ‘trustworthy’ sources, are changing the dynamics of Facebook reach and engagement again. This report …

The earliest recorded examples of Fake News go back to the ancient Egyptians in the 13th century (probably something about how they didn’t know who built the pyramids either). The recent interest in Fake News was sparked by the election of Donald Trump in November 2016. Prior to the election there were relatively few articles about Fake News, afterwards, as evidenced by the number of Google searches and social engagement, there was an explosion in articles and in public interest in Fake News.

In this post, we take a look at the articles discussing Fake News, examine whether we could have predicted there would be such overwhelming interest, and set out some key takeaways to consider when looking at content trends.

Background

Immediately after the 2016 US presidential election, Buzzfeed researchers discovered that the top 20 Fake News stories about the election received more social engagement on Facebook than the

Why Reddit data matters

Over 250 million users visit Reddit each month. Often called “the front page of the internet,” the site has 7 billion page views a month. It is where many users share and discuss items from politics to marketing. Importantly Reddit users are active sharers of content. A Pew Research study found that 62% of Reddit posts linked to another website. Reddit data that clearly indicates the content that engages it’s audience should be a key piece of every content marketers toolkit. 

Reddit is a treasure trove for understanding successful content. To help you quickly and efficiently discover what grabs Redditors attention for your content topics,  BuzzSumo now includes Reddit data throughout the platform.

Find Reddit Engagement

Reddit Demographic Profile

We always have to be conscious when looking at social network data of the demographic profile of the users of that network.

The user profile and demographics

If you have searched for SEO on BuzzSumo, you may have  come across Park Hang Seo, currently the head coach of the Vietnam national football team. Articles about him frequently gather over 100,000 shares. However, if you are not an avid follower of the Vietnam football team and want to understand more about search engine optimisation, then our new B2B content filter is for you.

A common challenge facing content marketers is finding relevant business content when a word has multiple meanings or an acronym such as SEO is the same as someone’s name. When using BuzzSumo, this challenge is made more complicated because consumer content tends to gain far more shares and likes than business to business content. Hence, this content appears higher in a Most Shared search.

In order to address this challenge, we have introduced a new B2B filter. You can find it in the left hand …

If you’re sticking with your content approach from three years ago, it’s now 50% less effective. Our review of 100 million articles published in 2017 found that social sharing has halved since 2015. Independent studies have also found a reduction in referrals from Facebook following various newsfeed changes. However, while some sites have lost two thirds of their social referrals, others have dramatically increased social engagement with their content.

Our 2018 Content Trends Report reveals what has happened, and what you can do about it.

You can download the full report here (PDF 3.9Mb).

Below is a summary of the key findings.

The key content trends are as follows:

  • Based on a sample of 100 million posts published in 2017, social sharing of content has been cut in half since 2015.
  • Social traffic referrals have declined sharply, with Google sites now driving twice as many referrals to publishers.
  • Average

Evergreen content is a key part of any content strategy. It is the content that consistently drives traffic, shares and links to your site.

In this post we look at:

  • What is evergreen content
  • The benefits of evergreen content
  • How to find good examples of evergreen content
  • Tips on creating evergreen content

What Is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content has been defined as content that stays relevant long past its publication date. It takes its name from the evergreen tree because they retain their leaves throughout the seasons. Most content is relevant for a short period of time and while it may gain significant attention, the interest in the article declines quite quickly. By contrast evergreen content tends to read and shared consistently over time.

Content that stays relevant over time tends to include formats such as:

Business to business content (B2B) is often overshadowed by consumer content that gets millions of views and shares. We felt it was time to bring it out of the shadows, to celebrate the best B2B content of 2017 and to learn about engaging business audiences.

Creating business content is complex. It has to satisfy various needs such as raising awareness, driving traffic, generating leads and ultimately converting customers. Content is often aimed at specific niche audiences of buyers and hence it doesn’t get widely shared. However, there are some types of content that engage large business audiences. We have reviewed the most engaging business content published this year and identified 10 key content types that work well to drive B2B engagement.

The too long, didn’t read summary of the top 10 most engaging forms of B2B content:

  1. Technology developments. Industries can be destroyed and created by technological change, and quickly.

What content do Facebook audiences love to share, like and comment on?

To answer this question we reviewed two billion articles and Facebook posts that were published this year. We set out our findings below, including:

  1. The content (articles, videos and blog posts) that were most shared on Facebook 
  2. The viral Facebook posts that gained the most engagement
  3. Expert reflections on the findings and the lessons for content marketers

Reality check for the rest of us: These top articles and posts were exceptional outliers and we cannot expect to replicate their success. However, we can learn from them to gain deeper insights into the kinds of content that engages Facebook audiences. In this post we discuss the implications for content creators with commentary from marketing and publishing experts.

The two tables below show the most shared content on Facebook and the top viral Facebook posts this year. The links to …

Content marketing is hard work. It can feel like pushing a rock uphill some days. You have to consistently publish quality content and there is a danger that if you stop or change, you may lose the gains you have already made and roll back down. And everyone’s racing their own rocks up the same hill.

How to win? Your content strategy will be more effective if you understand the content trends in your industry and act faster than your competitors. And there may be shortcuts to the top: For example, identifying the new opportunities and avoiding very saturated and competitive content areas. In shaping your content strategy you will want to answer questions such as:

  • Is this topic area saturated with content? How many articles are being published each week? How can we stand out?
  • What are the emerging topics or content areas where engagement is growing?
  • What post

The theme this year at Content Marketing World was stories. My personal CMW story started when I arrived in Cleveland only to find my suitcase was still in Chicago. It arrived at my hotel at 5am on the morning of the first day. Like me it was a latecomer to this event. I know, great story. This was my first visit to the glowing orange citadel that draws over 3,000 marketers from 50 countries each year.

I scribbled away furiously during the event taking notes trying to capture useful and practical insights. However, the most useful tips and stories were to be gained drinking beer in the Butcher and the Brewer. This is what I remember.

Geeks are the future of content marketing

Don’t take my word for it. After all I am slightly on the geek spectrum when it comes to data. But believe Doug Kessler when he says