Facebook was in the headlines again recently after an executive at the company said CEO Mark Zuckerberg "doesn't care about publishers." A story that Facebook has since denied. But since January's sweeping friends-and-family algorithm update, publishers have seen a dramatic decline on the platform. A recent report by Buffer found that Page engagement has decreased by 50%. The shift has publishers returning to search-optimized content over social-forward posts to gain followers and grow revenue.
The "Delete Facebook" mantra has also been popular among publishers and influencers, too, following Facebook's data misuse and accompanying Cambridge Analytica scandal. At RebelMouse, we think these concerns are valid. But we also think it's important to realize Facebook isn't going anywhere. On a traffic level, a lot of the resistance against Facebook is just noise. We have clients growing on Facebook every day, often seeing their reach increase — not decrease — by 50%.
Still, it's exciting to be in a space where Google can grow traffic again. The search engine has made a lot of changes to prioritize quality content this year. Previously, playing the "writing for SEO" game meant using a keyword-stuffing, robotic-esque writing style that often didn't serve the reader. With Google's recent updates, content can be optimized for SEO that's purposeful, relevant, and personalized for the right audience.
Facebook knows Google is gaining a competitive edge, and is trying to catch up. The platform recently announced several local-centric changes coming to Pages, including a "call to make an appointment/reservation" option for salons and restaurants, among other user-focused updates. Facebook's pivot toward helping Pages deliver what readers — not publishers — are looking for indicates that the duopoly is now in a battle to win back users and not marketers.
Luckily, we have always had a focus on both personalization and an optimized experience for the reader. If anything, Google's latest quality updates have given overdue credit to the content RebelMouse clients already regularly produce. We power the media property Motherly, which is currently winning the top spot for "baby names 2018." Our client GearBrain is ranking number one on Google for "cars with Alexa." Both are really tough phrases to win, but they were able to do so thanks to an SEO strategy that's engineered for the long game while backed by our deep technology.
Your content doesn't have to be chained to industry shifts and algorithm changes. At RebelMouse, we iterate alongside the industry's tide so you can focus on creating content that's engaging and profitable.
This article from NYMag does a really good job of summing up the shift to search. Give it a read and let us know how we can help you refine your strategy to optimize every post for site, search, and social.