Organic traffic on Facebook has nosedived for more than a third of marketers, according to a new survey by Search Engine Journal, in yet more evidence that new algorithms and news feed updates are making it difficult for brands to reach and engage with audiences on the popular social platform.
The biggest change for content marketers came in the summer when Facebook rolled out an update that prioritised stories from close friends and family and gave less prominence to public articles, videos and blogs from brands, businesses and media. It was just the latest in a long line of algorithm updates that have pushed more personal posts higher up a user’s news feed.
As part of the study, Search Engine Journal also revealed the impact of these changes on its own important metrics. In February this year, traffic had declined 24% compared to the same period a year earlier, but then slumped further to a 52% drop in October.
Marketers elsewhere are seeing a similar pattern. In a Twitter poll, 37% of respondents said that their traffic was “much lower” year-over-year, while a further 27% noted that it was “somewhat lower”. Other well-known publishers including Mashable and BuzzFeed have also seen a long, steady decline.
It means that brands will now get fewer returns from Facebook, even when using strategies that were successful back in 2017. For those that still want to use the platform in 2019, Search Engine Journal recommends prioritising engagement, getting to grips with the finer details of algorithm changes, and not overlooking SEO.