Trending March 2024 # Majority Of Publishers See Much Lower Facebook Traffic Now Vs. Last Year # Suggested April 2024 # Top 9 Popular

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Facebook organic reach is dying.

Facebook organic reach is dead.

If you want any traffic from Facebook, you have to pay for it.

We’ve been hearing variations on the above themes for a while now from marketers, brands, and publishers who have watched a flood of organic traffic become a trickle over the years.

This has been due, in part, to:

Higher competition (more brands/publishers are posting more content).

Algorithm changes meant to show less of the above and more from friends and family.

Facebook puts a premium on connecting people with their friends and family. This element is a major part of Facebook’s News Feed Values.

The social media platform also recognizes that people expect their feeds to deliver informative and entertaining stories.

In 2024 and 2024, Facebook made several algorithm updates aimed to show posts shared by friends and family higher up in the news feed – over those from publishers, brands, and other pages.

Back then, Facebook had warned that the update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some pages and encouraged publishers to post things that their audience are likely to share with their friends.

But it turns out, these tweaks were not the last of its kind.

Earlier this year, Facebook rolled out another major news feed algorithm update that focuses on helping users have more meaningful social interactions.

This meant showing:

More stories from friends, family, and groups.

Less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.

Facebook is basically saying that Pages simply producing entertaining and informative articles won’t cut it anymore. Public content from Pages must likewise encourage meaningful interactions between people.

This recent change in Facebook’s news feed algorithm left plenty of publishers and businesses reeling from notable drops in organic reach and engagement.

And Search Engine Journal is no exception.

Search Engine Journal’s Facebook Traffic Decline

At Search Engine Journal, when the “friends and family” algorithm was launched, we braced for the worst. We expected to lose a good chunk of our organic traffic.

For the first time in a long time, our Facebook traffic was down year on year (January 2023 vs. January 2023). But only by 2 percent. Not too bad.

But in February, traffic from Facebook was down 24 percent year over year.

We started to get worried, but things seemed to return to normal through June, where we either up slightly or about even from the prior year.

Then came July. Down 45 percent.

August was more of the same. Down 42 percent from last year.

September was better, we were only down 20 percent.

In October? Facebook traffic was down 52 percent!

Yikes!

We were able to make up some of this traffic with solid gains on Twitter and LinkedIn – but not all of it.

What the heck is going on?

Were we alone in seeing this trend?

To find out, we asked the SEJ community on Twitter.

How Do You Describe Your Current Traffic from Facebook Compared to This Time Last Year?

Here are the results from this #SEJSurveySays poll question.

According to SEJ’s Twitter audience:

37 percent stated that their traffic from Facebook is much lower now compared to this time last year.

27 percent responded that it is somewhat lower.

25 percent answered that their Facebook traffic is about the same as opposed to this time last year’s traffic.

Eleven percent of the respondents said they actually have higher Facebook traffic this year.

The Long, Steady Decline of Facebook Traffic

This problem isn’t unique to SEJ, obviously.

Other well-known publishers like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Mashable have all seen significant website traffic declines over the past two years, as noted by Ethan Chernofsky, Director of Corporate Marketing at SimilarWeb.

Chernofsky further highlights:

“While there are many factors behind these declines, these sites share a key trait: a heavy reliance on social traffic.”

Several third-party data show that BuzzFeed is losing overall website traffic.

According to stats shared by Recode via SimilarWeb, over 40 percent of BuzzFeed’s traffic comes from social – making it the site’s biggest traffic driver – as opposed to 22 percent of traffic from search.

That percentage is still a far cry from BuzzFeed’s heyday around four years ago, when they were getting 75 percent of their 150 million unique visitors per month through social media and Facebook was sending nearly four times the traffic as Google search.

At the time, BuzzFeed’s Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti shared that they don’t really think about SEO anymore and they have decided to optimize for social instead.

A lot has changed since then.

Now, BuzzFeed is trying to lessen its dependency on Facebook by trying to get readers to download their own mobile app and build a direct relationship with their audience.

There are many other news publishers bearing the brunt caused by the dip in Facebook traffic.

Online magazine Slate was among those strongly affected. The website’s Facebook traffic dramatically dropped by 87 percent since 2023 and it’s down more than 55 percent in 2023 alone.

Facebook’s Tightened Grip on Pages’ Organic Reach

In the early 2010s, while BuzzFeed was enjoying massive traffic from Facebook, other Page owners from the network were already suffering from a drop in organic reach.

As early as 2012, Facebook Page owners have noticed a plunge in organic reach of up to 40-50 percent (or more) due to a key algorithm update implemented in September of that year.

Several other marketers documented similar experiences and some theorized that the social network’s actions where intended to grow their Facebook Ads platform.

A 2014 report from social@Ogilvy forecast a scenario where “organic reach of the content brands publish in Facebook is destined to hit zero.”

In the years that followed, Facebook continued to roll out more tweaks in its News Feed and, consequently, identical anecdotes from frustrated Facebook marketers became commonplace.

Here are just a few:

Approaching Facebook’s Organic Reach Tweaks to Traffic

Facebook organic reach is not dead yet, but it continues to dwindle to this day. The downward trend is among the contributors to the steady decline of website traffic from the social network.

Not everyone in the industry view Facebook’s News Feed updates negatively, though.

Indeed, marketers are left with no choice but to move on and find ways to reclaim lost website traffic.

Here are a few tips to overcome these challenges:

Prioritize Engagement

Facebook’s recent algorithm updates underscore the need for publishers, brands and businesses to focus on making content that encourages meaningful interactions between people.

These articles can help you understand the importance of engaging your social audience and how to do it right.

Keep Yourself Updated

Familiarize yourself with how Facebook’s News Feed algorithm really works so you can better understand when changes like this happen:

Also, make sure to follow the latest Facebook news and updates from Search Engine Journal.

Rethink Your Overall Strategy

It’s about time to rethink how you do your marketing initiatives. SEJ contributor Katy Katz offers an alternative approach to your overall strategy:

“Instead of categorizing your marketing efforts by how you acquire the traffic, think instead about who owns that property. Categorizing your efforts into owned, earned, and paid is about identifying how your content achieves a seat at the audience table.”

Katz further asserts that a healthy marketing strategy factors in each of these types of digital media distribution opportunities.

Don’t Forget SEO

Publishers who relied heavily in social media, particularly Facebook, ought to learn their lesson. Do not overlook SEO completely.

With Google sending more traffic than Facebook to websites again, hopefully publishers and brands will realize that search still matters.

Have Your Say

How do you describe your current traffic from Facebook compared to this time last year? Tag us on social media to let us know.

Be sure to have your say in the next survey – check out the #SEJSurveySays hashtag on Twitter for future polls and data.

More Resources

Image Credit

Chart created by Shayne Zalameda

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Spam’s Cost To Corporate America: $9 Billion Last Year

Rebutting a recent finding that spam is not a drain on worker productivity, San Francisco-based market research company Ferris Research has estimated that unwanted commercial e-mail cost U.S. corporations $8.9 billion in 2002.

Ferris computed the cost of spam by calculating its costly effects in three areas: loss of worker productivity; consumption of bandwidth and other tech resources; and use of technical support time. The researcher found that productivity loss accounted for 40 percent of the drain.

“In the grand scheme of things, it’s a big drag,” said Marten Nelson, a research analyst at Ferris. “It’s about $10 per user per month. That’s a considerable cost.”

The finding stands in stark contrast to the conclusion of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which found Internet users mostly unbothered by spam in the workplace . In a telephone poll of 2,500 adults, 71 percent said “little” of their work e-mail was spam. The survey’s authors said most of the alarmist talk about spam was generated by what it called “power e-mailers,” who make up a small percentage of the population. Pew concluded that the spam problem was mostly confined to personal e-mail accounts with the major free providers, like MSN’s Hotmail and Yahoo!.

Ferris agreed that spam is a greater problem for general e-mail accounts, but said that it remains a serious problem for corporate accounts too. The researcher figured spam accounts for 30 percent of all e-mail sent to U.S. Internet service providers. For corporate accounts, the researcher estimates spam makes up 15 to 20 percent of all e-mail.

The figures generally follow the recent findings of others in the industry. Brightmail, an anti-spam software maker, reported that spam will account for 40 percent of e-mail traffic in 2003.

Nelson said the average corporate e-mail user receives between three and four spam messages a day, wasting an average of 4.5 seconds on each message. Over time, he said these figures add up to considerable lost productivity, particularly when accidentally deleted e-mails are taken into account.

Meanwhile, user frustration is also on the rise. Last week, a Harris Poll found an overwhelming majority of respondents favoring a legal remedy to spam’s proliferation.

While spam is not unique to the U.S., Ferris found that it is more of a problem here than elsewhere. In Europe, Ferris pegged the cost of spam at $2.5 billion, while a bigger problem is the growing use of mobile messaging for unwanted commercial messages.

In fighting spam, Ferris points to four approaches: educating users; industry standards; legislation; and technological fixes. Of the four, the researcher concludes that technology, at this point, offers corporations the best defense.

Nelson said spam was quickly moving up the corporate chain from an IT problem to a productivity problem, mostly because of the nature of spam. Since top executives fit the profile of heavy e-mail users most likely to be affected by a large amount of spam, their attention is often focused on the problem.

“One of the challenges for most organizations is to find out what is really affected by spam,” he said.

What To Do If You See Fake News On Facebook

Screenshot of posts, via Facebook, associated with the Iranian network. Facebook

Facebook and the intelligence division of a cybersecurity company called FireEye have pointed their fingers at a new global actor involved in the spread of what they’re calling “inauthentic” behavior or news: Iran.

In fact, Facebook announced this week that they have shuttered more than 600 accounts, pages, and groups that the social network says are tied to Iran, meaning that the Middle Eastern country joins Russia as implicated in the spread of false news and manipulation via American social media. It’s an issue that will only gain in importance the closer the midterm elections become, and while it seems like an uphill battle, there are still steps you can take.

This is what to do if you come across posts or accounts you think may not be what they seem to be, as well as what to know about the latest report.

What can you do?

Lee Foster, a manager in the information operations analysis division at FireEye, which investigated the Iran issue, suggests that the first step is actually simply awareness. “It’s important for people to acknowledge that there are actors out there that do seek to either manipulate them or influence them or shape their attitudes,” he says. “They have to understand that they may be a target audience for this kind of activity.”

And Shuman Ghosemajumder, the CTO of Shape Security, suggests taking an almost detective-like approach to the issue. “If you see a link on Facebook from an account you’ve never heard of before, linking to a news site you’ve never heard of before, those are all telltale signs that maybe you shouldn’t trust this content,” compared to a link from a mainstream news site shared by a friend, he says.

“Of course, the problem is, who has time to do all that?” he adds.

What happened in this case

According to FireEye, the problem involves sites or accounts tied to Iran; they say they have “moderate confidence” in that conclusion. (This is the full report.)

“What we found in this specific context, was a network of inauthentic news sites—and by inauthentic, we mean sites that mask their true origins and affiliations—as well as various clusters of affiliated social media accounts that appear to have been used to promote material from these news sites,” Foster says.

A screenshot of the “About” page on the Liberty Front Press website. Liberty Front Press

The goal of this kind of online activity was, generally speaking, “to promote themes and attitudes inline with Iranian political interests,” Foster says, adding that the angles behind the activity in general was pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel and anti-Saudi Arabia.

Additionally, there were fake social media accounts masquerading as individuals in the form of “rudimentary personas,” he says. These were accounts with a profile photo, a job occupation like “journalist” or “lawyer,” Foster says, who were “posing, quite often, as left-leaning Americans.” Accounts like these were created for “promoting Liberty Front Press content.”

Facebook said on Tuesday that they were able to connect the Liberty Front Press network to “Iranian state media” and have since closed 70 Facebook accounts and 74 pages, plus 76 Instagram accounts, linked to that network. Facebook says the total number of accounts, pages, and groups they have shuttered connected with Iran is 652.

Foster says the issue is wider than just Facebook. “This is actually something we see on multiple social media platforms,” he says. “This isn’t a problem that’s specific to any one particular platform.”

For example, Google says it has shut down a small number of accounts related Iran. And a search suggests that the Liberty Front Press also had a Twitter handle, @libertyfrontpr.

Google Increases Locations Serving Search Requests By 600% From Last Year

Google has significantly increased the number of sites and ISPs it uses to serve search requests according to a study by researchers at the University of Southern California.

The study reports Google increased the number of locations serving search requests from less than 200 to more than 1,400 between October 2012 and July 2013. In addition, they have also expanded the number of ISPs used from just over 100 to more than 850.

As reported in the study:

Over the past 10 months, Google search has dramatically increased the number of sites around the world from which it serves client queries, repurposing existing infrastructure to change the physical way that Google processes web searches, according to a new study from USC.

Most of this expansion is simply Google using client networks that it already relied on for hosting content like YouTube videos and repurposing them to deliver faster responses to user requests for search queries.

The study’s lead author and USC PhD student Matt Calder explains it by saying:

Google already delivered YouTube videos from within these client networks, but they’ve abruptly expanded the way they use the networks, turning their content-hosting infrastructure into a search infrastructure as well.

Why Is This Important?

While you may be reading this and asking, “Why is this news?” it’s important because it shows that search is still a high priority for Google while it expands in different directions.

Google still values the search experience of its end users, otherwise they wouldn’t be making this kind of investment if search wasn’t still a critical component of their business.

The strategy seems to have benefits for webusers, ISPs and Google, according to the team. Users have a better web browsing experience, ISPs lower their operational costs by keeping more traffic local, and Google is able to deliver its content to webusers quicker.

Rest assured that Google hasn’t forgotten where they came from. Delivering the best search experience to users is still a top priority, as this study indicates.

Facebook Vs Instagram: Which Is Better To Invest Money

Introduction Advertising: Facebook Vs Instagram

When asked why Facebook and Instagram, our minds directly cling to the fact that they are the most used platforms today. According to statistics, Facebook and Instagram have around 2.32 billion and 1 billion users, respectively.

Ads Management on Facebook and Instagram

The ad process on Instagram is pretty straightforward, with simple steps leading to your ad being set up on an existing post or a story. The interface is very easy to use, making the setting up of an ad or a campaign on Instagram via the Facebook Ads Manager a simple task.

As for the audience set on Instagram, it is a little narrower compared to Facebook’s, but most of the audience sets that exist on Facebook can be replicated on Instagram too, so it is not a herculean task at all.

It’s 2023: What Do Instagram and Facebook Offer?

Today, we are all well aware that Facebook is seeing a significant decline in engagement and usage, with the younger generation flocking to social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and more.

Facebook

Given that Facebook is a platform that provides us with great marketing opportunities, what more are there that give brands an upper hand?

1. Facebook Messenger

2. Facebook Live

3. Facebook Events

4. Facebook Shops

5. Facebook Stories

6. Facebook Ads

Instagram

Instagram is where the youth spends most of their time! It is, therefore, a vibrant space for young brands directed at the youth to thrive! If you have a business profile on the platform, you have the right opportunities to grow your own community and even sell and drive store visits, as you can add a call button and your address on your profile itself.

In terms of features, Instagram offers a lot for brands to monetise.

1. Instagram DMs

2. Instagram Live

Source: verified-badge.vedb.me

3. IGTV

4. Instagram Stories

5. Instagram Shops

6. REELS!

Facebook Vs Instagram? Factors To Consider Before Choosing your Platform

Let’s look at some of the factors that need to be kept in mind while narrowing down to a platform:

1. Facebook Vs Instagram: Audience and Demographics

The audience is the most crucial factor to consider as they are ultimately your customers. While weighing the pros and cons of Facebook and Instagram, you must consider the demographics and audience set that exist on both platforms.

Facebook has the most comprehensive demographics and audience sets compared to any other platform out there, while Instagram dominates when it comes to the younger audience persona.

2. Facebook Vs Instagram: Campaign Goals

This concrete definition of goals will help you understand your desired metrics, which will, in turn, help you effectively optimize campaigns.

3. Facebook Vs Instagram: Industry

The industry also plays a vital role as that impacts your target audience majorly. Industries like fashion, food, clothing, and apparel work well on Instagram, while those like real estate perform well on Facebook.

If you have an account on both handles, study the social media analytics, align your observations to your campaign’s goals, and choose the one that is most likely to give you better results.

4. Facebook Vs Instagram: Content

However effective your chosen platform is, it is always content that ultimately sells your brand and products better. And when it comes to content, different types of content work better on different platforms.

Key Takeaways

Your campaign goals, the audience and demographics, the industry your business belongs to, and the content is interrelated with respect to what each medium has to offer. Do a thorough study, choose wisely, and most importantly, be ready to optimise your campaigns promptly!

Last Week In Tech: Bad Smartphone Habits, New Dji Drones, And Facebook Bans

How much time did you spend looking at your smartphone this weekend? Too much, right? You’re not alone. In fact, recent research found that our constant smartphone use is having an effect on our kids. Don’t worry because this roundup of last week’s tech news will get you all caught up with plenty of time left to get outside and enjoy the summer sun. Your children will thank you for reading it. (Disclaimer: they probably won’t).

Download the latest episode of the podcast

This week, we’re talking about the latest round of fake accounts banned from Facebook (and what you can do about them), our increasingly complicated relationship with digital assistants, and whether or not ergonomic gadgets can actually fix the damage from years of sitting and staring at screens.

You can listen in the player above, subscribe via iTunes, follow us on SoundCloud, or add us to your Stitcher.

DJI introduced two new drones

DJI Mavic 2 Drone

It looks more exciting when it’s flying.

The DJI Mavic Pro was already the best consumer drone on the market (at least if you’re willing to shell out more than $1,000) and now the company has updated its line of foldable flying machines. The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are covered in sensors to help them avoid collisions and have seriously upgraded cameras for aerial photography and video. Look for our review in the coming days.

We tried out Nikon’s highly-anticipated new pro-grade mirrorless cameras

Nikon Z7 camera

There are lots of megapixels hiding behind that lens—no mirror, though.

Last week was pretty momentus for camera nerds like me. Nikon introduced its first pro-grade mirrorless camera, a big departure from its decades-long heritage of traditional DSLRs. Our pals at PopPhoto got a chance to shoot with the 45-megapixel Z7 and share some samples and impressions.

Scientists can make it look like you have Bruno Mars dance skills

Deep fake videos are one of the most worrying things on the web right now. They use editing tricks to place surprisingly convincing digital versions of people—usually celebrities—into situations that have nothing to do with reality. This video demonstration from UC Berkeley shows AI applying sick dance moves from Bruno Mars to everyday subjects.

Sony is bringing its Aibo dog robot to the U.S. and you almost certainly shouldn’t buy it

Sony revived its robotic dog companion back at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year after years out of production. It was only for the international markets back then, but now it’s coming stateside and it brings a price tag of $2,899. It requires cloud connectivity and even a data connection. It’s cute and will never pee on your floor! But it’s also crazy expensive.

Xbox now has an all-inclusive subscription that lets you lease a console

For $22 per month, Microsoft will now lease you an Xbox One S console that comes with an Xbox Gold account and access to the company’s game subscription service, Game Pass. The Xbox One S costs $229, while the Game Pass subscription costs $10 per month and Xbox Live Gold costs $5 per month (if you subscribe annually.) It’s a surefire way for Microsoft to get more consoles into the hands of users who can’t swing the up-front cost of a system and the required services.

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