The Gatsby of Great Content
It may just be that I’ve viewed this film too many times in the past two weeks, but I’m starting to feel like great content authors need to be more and more like Gatsby—boats against the current running faster and climbing higher to achieve real and authentic notice online.
Google’s Panda, Penguin, and other cute animal algorithm updates made it less and less possible to game the search system by cheating with keywords or buying low-quality back links. Now sources looking to be deemed authoritative on a topic or issue need fresh, timely, high-quality content with lots of visits and even social shares to climb to the top of a SERP.
In the same vein, Facebook has worked tirelessly of late to significantly improve the functionality of its News Feed—for whom I am not certain, but I think it’s supposed to benefit both page managers and end users. It seems to be annoying both.
For starters, rest in peace EdgeRank. A term we’ve all become familiar with is no longer being used by Facebook to describe the algorithm used for prioritizing strong News Feed content. Maybe Facebook should pick a cute animal name to replace EdgeRank and label algorithm updates just like Google. I will submit dolphin, rabbit, and kitten for consideration, Facebook.
Though we’re no longer to use the name, the principles are still being utilized and tweaked. New features and roll-outs announced recently aim to filter out low-quality content. Posts that aren’t strong on affinity scores, valuable actions, and timeliness will fall to the bottom, while able and creative content producers can see their stories featured more prominently, or pay to be featured.
Meanwhile, to make sure we don’t miss a (popular) moment, Facebook has also unveiled “Story Bumping” where your exciting post (often it seems to be the “x got engaged to y” post) or photo story (great memes, not lousy ones) can be bumped to the top of News Feeds (ignoring time decay) if they see lots of engagement and true interest.
So just like I cautioned against buying likes, I’m going to have to recommend against asking people to like or comment on your Page posts because that ask will now hurt you. With Google and Facebook leading the way in curating our news and information on the web, to be heard you must play by the rules.
And run faster, jump higher, row stronger—our content creating boats working against the current to keep our momentum moving forward through the constant river of change. But I, like Gatsby, have hope.
Elisabeth has over seven years of experience with social media strategy, digital engagement, and project management in non-profits. She successfully translates that experience into better outcomes and products at OmniStudio, where Elisabeth works in many areas within the firm, from content and social media strategy to business development and web project management. She explores new means of ...
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