On April 21 Facebook announced they are making changes to improve the quality of articles you see in your News Feed based on the amount of time people spend reading those articles.
“We’re learning that the time people choose to spend reading or watching content they clicked on from News Feed is an important signal that the story was interesting to them.”
Facebook says this will have little affect on Facebook Pages, but Jennifer Slegg, in TheSEMPost article Facebook Adds “Time on Page”, Diversity To News Feed Algo, disagrees.
If you are a content publisher that frequently shares articles that might only be a few paragraphs in length, Facebook could take the short amount of time it takes to read that content as a signal that people are leaving the page quickly. They do say that they will use a threshold so longer articles are not treated preferentially, but nothing about shorter articles being treated similarly.”
In addition to updating the algorithm to reflect time spent on an article they are also making changes “to reduce how often people see several posts in a row from the same source in their News Feed.”
Kangadillo makes the following recommendations to help minimize these changes to your business:
- Title of the article matches content of the article
- Article is long enough to ensure it takes more than a few seconds to read
- Article is comprehensive enough to engage your reader
- Include internal links which may potentially lead readers to other pages on your site
- Use the Facebook Open Graph Debugger tool to ensure Facebook (and some other social tools) understand your content
Finally, don’t depend solely on Facebook, or any other social media platform, for referral traffic to your site. You must have diversity of traffic to build a sustainable business over time.
Facebook HQ by Isriya Paireepairit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.