Thriving on Facebook After the "Doomsday" Algorithm Change

RebelMouse clients still see tremendous growth on Facebook.

Algorithm Shift Aftermath: How We Got Here

It's been nine months since Facebook's bombshell and so-called "friends and family" algorithm update rocked the digital publishing ecosystem at the beginning of 2018. In January, the massive social platform announced that it would begin to prioritize posts from users' actual Facebook friends in its News Feed over updates from publishers. It was a major move for Facebook to get back to its roots after undergoing intense scrutiny following both the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the fake news fallout that surfaced in the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


The announcement had publishers scrambling for new ways to diversify their main distribution strategy in hopes of retaining some sort of social ROI. After all, how are users supposed to find their content if not through the biggest social platform available? Advertisers were quick to declare that organic reach was officially "dead" thanks to the sweeping change. By February, Facebook-dependent new media company LittleThings shut down its operation, citing the dip in reach from the algorithm shift. Though they were able to quickly relaunch after joining RockYou Media.

Seven months after the algorithm change, data from social management platform Buffer found that Facebook Pages had in fact experienced a 50% drop in engagement over the past 18 months.

Source: Buffer

Given the data, publishers have been correct in keeping content diversification top of mind since Facebook's change took effect. Relying solely on a third-party platform for survival is a strategy bound to fail. The silver lining here is that the scramble to distribute content across multiple vehicles has brought about new opportunities for publishers to survive. For example, Instagram has blossomed into a major platform with enough revenue and engagement to go around, and Google has regained its edge on referral traffic over Facebook, bringing in a new age of search.

But what publishers shouldn't do is double down on developers to build a site experience that stands out among their content competition — this can be done without expensive UX/UI teams. It's time for publishers to double down on the opposite to reach their goals. 2018 has proven that it's vital to consolidate tech architecture so more resources can be devoted to content creation and distribution instead.

At RebelMouse, we were born in the age of social. And this means we've been preparing for a shift like Facebook's for years. In turn, we're always braced for the digital space's unpredictable pendulum swings. We're a next-generation enterprise CMS, and a creative agency offering content strategy services from leading traffic experts across the industry. On our platform, your content creators can create dev-like designs that'll set your site apart in just a few clicks. Our proprietary tools help you easily find social influencers to amplify your content with every publish. By making the switch to a full-stack platform that blends product and strategy together, your content is prepared — and even immune to — dramatic algorithm changes and industry shifts.

The Data Doesn't Lie: Our Clients See Explosive Growth on Facebook

Our lean tech solution is the reason our clients are doing more than just surviving on Facebook — they're thriving. By publishing to a nimble, scalable platform that was designed around social distribution, our Rebels find new audiences on Facebook all the time. Part of the reason for this is because they take full advantage of our platform's tools, which makes creating social growth more intuitive. But just as important, they now have the time and resources to refine their content for audience building. But don't only take our word for it. Look at the numbers for yourself.

Grow Your Facebook Audience Before the New Year

Growth and monetization success on Facebook is still possible. If you want to experience stats similar to our clients, request a proposal and let's start working together. In the meantime, you can count on us to not only track every algorithm change on Facebook and Google as they get pushed live, but adapt our platform to flourish alongside every change.

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Leverage Our Platform to Sell Digital Ads That Overperform

For years now, digital publishers have experienced a collective push to diversify their revenue streams. As online readership becomes more complex, publishers cannot rely on a one-trick monetization method to secure success.

The COVID-19 crisis in 2020 was an even bigger wake-up call for publishers to create a dynamic revenue plan. The timing of the pandemic aligned with the new reality of a cookie-less world, which has completely reprioritized user experience and what it means to build audience loyalty. This means in 2021, publishers need a solid first-party data strategy and a modern revenue plan that can withstand more months of uncertainty to come.

Let's find the right revenue plan for your site. Here are just a handful of ways our next-generation publishing platform supports multiple monetization methods at once.

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How Site Performance Shifted in 2020: RebelMouse Page Speed Updates

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At RebelMouse, we examined the impact of COVID-19 on marketing strategies. You can read more about our findings here. However, as we round out a turbulent year, some publishers think 2020 will be a positive turning point for the industry overall. More people at home and being online has increased the need for quality content more than ever. Audiences are paying attention to where and how they consume content, and advertisers are taking notice of this pattern change, too.

Because of this, content deliverability is what will define what makes a successful publisher in 2020 and beyond. Audiences will only tolerate quality content, and they will only consume it on a site that provides a next-level site experience.

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In May 2020, Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals would become the new benchmarks for measuring a site's performance in its search results. Six months later, Google announced that its page experience signals will officially roll out and begin impacting search rankings in May 2021.

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Here's indy100 Conversation's top 20 stories so far. Click here to join the conversation.

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