Facebook Puts the Slam Down on Click-Baiting

You know what click-baiting is? Simply put, it’s just another form of “viral marketing.”

You see, some media companies write posts and articles that offer little information up front. So, you have to click through on the article title to get the full story.

This is an example of click bait:

clickbait

You’ve also seen articles with phrases like, “You won’t believe what happens next!” and, “What this guy does is amazing!”

Why Do Some Companies Do This?

Well, there’s the obvious benefit of more clicks on those posts. But what they’re really after is the high engagement signals those clicks give. The better the engagement rate, the more likely future posts from these companies will display higher up in Facebook user’s feeds.

Thankfully Facebook Sees Click Bait as Gaming the System!

Since the real goal was to get more engagement and more posts higher in user’s feeds, the content behind these articles disappointed users more than anything else. They become so frequent that users were not able to see the content they actually wanted.

Facebook wanted some real data on the issue, so it surveyed its users. And it found 80% wanted link headlines that accurately described the high-quality content on the other side of the link.

No one’s sure if this has actually been implemented into Facebook yet, but it will no doubt be a major part of their algorithm in the coming months.

How Does Facebook Detect Click Bait?

It’s actually not too difficult. Facebook’s going to examine the time users spend away from their site after clicking a link. If that’s several minutes, they found interesting, useful content. If it’s a few seconds, it’s likely the link was click bait.

Another thing Facebook will look at is the ratio of people clicking compared to people sharing the content and discussing it. If there’s lots of shares, it’s probably good stuff. If there’s not, it was probably click bait.

What Should You Do?

Now, you are probably not engaging in any sort of “click bait” type of practice.

But what this Facebook algorithm update does is force you to deliver on the promise of your link. Whatever you have on the other side of that link must be your very best content.

Facebook is doing exactly what Google and the whole rest of the world does: focusing on giving you more value.

Whenever you think of internet marketing, you should focus on providing the greatest value available on the web.

Do that and your marketing takes care of itself, regardless of algorithm changes! Remember, focus on people and building relationships, not pleasing algorithms.

Speak Your Mind

*