The most valuable real estate in social media is undergoing a significant change. On Monday Facebook announced that “We will rank stories higher in feed which we think people might take action on, and which people might want to see”. The “action” component is comprised of the traditional Likes, comments, clicks and shares. The part about what “people might want to see” is probably new and will be based on the input of a dedicated 1,000+ member “Feed Quality Panel” and surveys presented to a wider group of users asking them to rate feed items.
Social Media Today provided more detail on the change and was one of several blogs that spoke positively of Facebook's efforts. TechCrunch focused on Facebook's implied targeting of clickbait. Digiday provided a useful historical context with a chronological listing of News Feed changes along with their intent and reaction.
The message for marketers is clear and quite familiar -- provide quality and avoid gimmicks. Facebook warned that “Pages should avoid encouraging people to take an action” and directed Page owners to the best practices advice that they offer in their Media section.
Google's determination to increase the semantic and machine learning component of search surfaced again this week when John Giannandrea replaced Amit Singhal as VP of Search. Giannandrea has been responsible for Knowledge Graph and RankBrain. Moz explained the basics of machine learning and its impact on SEO.