Close

Copyright © RebelMouse 2020

Follow Us:

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

New: Add Images to Sections Using Sections Dashboard

Choose a cover photo for each of your site's sections

It's important to make sure that your website structure is organized nicely, and this includes implementing a proper tagging system and section strategy. To make sure that every page on your website stands out, we've added the ability to add a cover photo to each of your sections in our Sections Dashboard. Here's how it works.

Keep reading... Show less

How to Add a Donate Button

Users can give easily with our PayPal integration

At RebelMouse, we recognize that some clients may want to add the ability for users to donate via a platform like PayPal to their site. Luckily, adding a donation module using our Layout & Design Tool is simple. This article is a step-by-step guide.

The first step is to sign into the PayPal account you want to use to receive donations.

Keep reading... Show less

New Post Element Functionality

Understand how the new Post element works in our Layout & Design Tool

At RebelMouse, we are constantly improving our Layout & Design Tool and streamlining its functionalities. Recently, we deprecated the Post Content element which used to allow you to add, for example, a Post Body element. Now, we have simplified the process, and expanded the functionality of the Post element to include contents such as Post Body.

To use the new Post element, select Current Post as your Content Source under the element. Now, in the Element Order selection box, you will find a list of Post Content elements that you can choose to display.

Here is a screencast that shows how it's done:

How to Add Post Content Using the Post Element

  • Add a Post element
  • Under Content Source, choose Current Post
  • Under Element Order, choose the Post Content element(s) to display

As a note, if you want to display Post Body content, be sure to select Hide Image. Otherwise, the lead media will display when you are most likely only looking to display the Post Body by itself.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to support@rebelmouse.com or talk to your account manager today.

Custom YouTube Hashtag and Channel Playlists

Design your own video strategy with custom playlists

At RebelMouse, we have the ability to implement almost any idea thanks to the power of our Layout & Design Tool. One use case is the ability to easily create custom YouTube playlists based on hashtags.

For example, if your company uses the #OurCompany hashtag, you could create a custom YouTube playlist on your website that pulls in content from that stream. You can also customize the playlist so that it only pulls in videos from a certain YouTube channel, or from a single channel without a hashtag:

Keep reading... Show less

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

x

Conquer Your Crawl: Feed the Googlebot With Structured Data

Set up success on search with a detailed web schema

Since search took over Facebook as the top referral of web traffic a few years ago, the growth of Google hasn't let up. It's estimated organic and paid search accounts for 68% of all trackable website traffic, and, perhaps even more noteworthy, 53% of that traffic is fueled by organic search.

The revival of search has brought with it a maturation of what makes for a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. The algorithm is now savvy about robotically written articles designed to win a specific set of keywords. As Google's search engine has gotten smarter, its web crawler software, casually called the "Googlebot," has also evolved in terms of how it indexes data.

Keep reading... Show less

How to Change the Default Language for AMP Pages

Set your default language for AMP pages in Global Settings

For AMP pages, the inLanguage value is set to English by default. This value is hardcoded, but it can be changed manually so sites with different language requirements can also have different values. This can be done using the code view of your site's Global Settings.

To change the default language setting for your AMP pages, you need to manually add a variable in Layout & Design Tool:

Keep reading... Show less
Subscribe to Our Newsletter