The Current Climate of Facebook Instant Articles

When Facebook Instant Articles launched in 2015, it was limited to only a few publishers. The invite-only approach had both brands and new media companies excited for the next wave in mobile publishing. Soon, everyone with a Facebook Page could be eligible to publish Instant Articles, and as the years went on, the medium went through its own ups and downs. First, publishers experienced success with Instant Articles. Other times, Pages turned away from the platform citing a lack of tangible ROI.


Then came Facebook's industry-altering friends-and-family algorithm update in 2018, arriving in the aftermath of the platform's data scandal and fake news fallout. Today, Facebook's lurking data vulnerabilities have users and publishers discrediting the platform entirely, with some even spurring a #DeleteFacebook movement.

While it can be easy to de-prioritize the platform in your strategy for any of the aforementioned reasons, it is still a primary driver of traffic. Facebook is the most widely used social media platform by a large margin according to Pew Research. Instant Articles provides a lightning-fast experience that carries a lot of benefits for users on mobile — which is more than half of Facebook readers total. Pew data also shows that the amount of mobile readers has tripled since 2013, with 58% of people reading news on a mobile device.

Data from Pew Research Center shows Facebook still leads for net daily use over other major social platforms.

While the move to content diversification is important for all publishers, there's no reason to not take advantage of the audience that is on Facebook and deliver them the best mobile experience possible. Using the platform will also help your own site's pageviews and audience growth. Facebook Instant Articles can explicitly improve SEO and web traffic in the current digital climate. Here's why.

Default Content Optimization

Facebook Instant Articles forces you to optimize your content, which is particularly beneficial in the current state of search. Earlier in 2018, Google launched its speed update, which finally cemented the search engine's prioritization of fast-loading mobile pages. The speed update was only one drop in a stream of algorithm updates prioritizing user experience, which included page speed and relevant, quality content.

The same reasons Instant Articles were a smart way to optimize content during its launch several years ago are still relevant today.

Detailed Formatting: To publish Instant Articles, your content has to be formatted correctly. This includes proper headers, image captions, author attribution (another priority from Google in 2018), related links, etc. These are all the kinds of details that will not only beef up your article, but improve your relevance to Google. After its own struggle with fake news, Google is looking for articles that are detailed, complete, and relevant to the reader.

Dynamic Content: Facebook Instant Articles make it naturally easy for publishers to experiment with dynamic and media-rich content. Within Instant Articles, it's instinctive to add in interactive elements like GIFs, images, and video, which can keep users engaging with an article longer. The content diversification also allows for more network distribution through outlets like YouTube. If the YouTube video links back to the original media source (your article), that can improve SEO.

This Instant Article from Rebel Love Meow features dynamic content, including video, images, related articles, and ads.

Creating a mobile publishing experience that lends itself to correct formatting and engaging content seemed nice to have when Instant Articles first launched in 2015. Now they're absolutely essential to any search strategy.

Increased Web Traffic

Facebook Instant Articles naturally creates an environment for optimized content, and it also improves the way search engines crawl your site.

Better Code: To be in sync with Instant Articles, publishers have to ensure that their site's template or RSS Feed is cleaned up and working 100% correctly. This doesn't impact search directly, but clean code helps crawlers efficiently index sites, which, in turn, can also improve SEO.

Better Ranking: There is a common concern among publishers that an Instant Article is a duplicate version of a story's original site version. But Instant Articles works similar to Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in that regard, where the article is not hosted by Facebook. Facebook takes a version of your article through RSS and creates its own mobile version, which is how it's able to load content so quickly.

In a Twitter thread during the summer of 2018, Google's Search Liaison Danny Sullivan told users that every broad algorithm update revolves around the same concepts: speed and content. He then referenced their 200-page search quality rating guidelines as a way to succeed in the rankings.

In the eyes of Google, traffic to Facebook Instant Articles is another way users have chosen your content as the right answer to their search queries. By improving your ranking, your website traffic will naturally grow, too. This symbiotic relationship is what creates sustainable growth and organic loyalty. It all starts with quality, detailed, and relevant content. It then continues through mediums like Facebook Instant Articles, which help deliver your premium content to more users with less interruptions.

Adapt and Win

Integrating your content and optimizing it for Facebook Instant Articles can be tricky, but in our experience it's worth it. Our clients are currently experiencing explosive growth on the platform while other publishers are suffering from plummeting reach.

We believe content should travel easily across platforms. If you need help publishing Facebook Instant Articles, we can both help you get started and ensure you create a lasting strategy even if you aren't on our platform. If you're looking to publish to a social-forward, lean tech solution, then we're happy to discuss the path forward. Either way, request a proposal today and let's start working together.

You're almost there! Fill out the form below and a Rebel will contact you within one business day.

x

Why RebelMouse Is the Best Content Marketing Platform

RebelMouse is a unique platform and company. The company was founded on the vision that media companies would need an always-modern solution to thrive in the new connected internet, and that brands would have to behave like new media companies and use the same platforms.

Keep reading... Show less

How We’re Making Sites Faster for 2021

A look into some of our latest performance upgrades

Content deliverability is what will define a successful publisher in 2021. After the tumultuous year that has been 2020, audiences will only tolerate quality content, and they will only consume it on a site that provides a next-level experience.

With users in mind, Google continued on its trajectory of prioritizing user experience in 2020. Six months after announcing Core Web Vitals in May, Google said its page experience signals will officially roll out and begin impacting search rankings in May 2021. The page experience signals include Google's Core Web Vitals and existing search signals. Together, these will determine a website's page experience and overall site performance. Click here to learn more.

Keep reading... Show less

Introducing Paid Listings by RebelMouse

At RebelMouse, we're always looking for new ways to increase the value or your digital property. This is why we've introduced a new feature that lets you sell paid listings to your vertical(s) as a feature on your site. This is an opportunity to create direct and recurring credit card revenue through subscriptions from small-to-midsize companies that want to reach your audience.

Keep reading... Show less

How to Monetize Your Site on RebelMouse

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.

Keep reading... Show less

How Site Performance Shifted in 2020: RebelMouse Page Speed Updates

Google updated how it measures page performance during the pandemic. Here's how our product changed, too.

2020 was a year that shook every industry to its core. As workforces and workflows everywhere shifted, the digital publishing space was left to pick up the pieces of what it means to create content in a pandemic-filled world.

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.

Keep reading... Show less

You're almost there! Fill out the form below and a Rebel will contact you within one business day.

x

Google’s Page Experience Signals for Search Rankings Launches in May 2021

Your site's page performance will dictate its search viability

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.

The page experience signals include Google's Core Web Vitals and existing search signals. Together, these will determine a website's page experience and overall site performance.

Keep reading... Show less

Supreme Storytelling: indy100 Conversation's Top 20 Stories so Far

The Independent is prioritizing free thought and wants to amplify the voices that the mainstream media misses. That's why the U.K. media powerhouse launched indy100 Conversations. The new site, powered by RebelMouse, brings together creators from all around the globe to write about what's on their mind. From COVID-19 to racial injustice, the storytelling on indy100 Conversations has been anything but dry.

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

How to Test Content With Articles and Templates

At RebelMouse, we believe creative teams are successful when collaborative ideas can be easily tested and turned into strategic choices quickly. However, content creators are already pinched for time, and deploying a test on a new site approach or design can mean an entirely new set of tasks to contend with.

Our publishing platform streamlines this process by offering multivariate testing at scale, which includes content testing on articles and templates.

Keep reading... Show less

How COVID-19 Has Changed Four Key Components of Marketing

Picking up the pieces and the importance of building trust in a pandemic

As the second half of 2020 begins to pass us by, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on throughout the global community. The longevity of the pandemic has left thousands of industries struggling to find an appropriate position in the marketplace that will allow them to sustain themselves alongside daily tragedy.

The pandemic is far from over, but publishers and marketers are beginning to sift through the aftershocks of what COVID-19 has done to the web. Here's a quick look at the decline in conversion growth during the first few weeks of the pandemic in the United States:

Keep reading... Show less
Subscribe to Our Newsletter