In their ongoing quest to improve the quality of content filling users’ News Feeds, Facebook is implementing some extensive changes to their algorithm to cut out spam and pandering posts that are widely disliked by users.
Facebook was very open about their attempts to target spammy or manipulative users, but this is the largest attack on this type of posting so far. Previously, Facebook has combated pandering and spammy posts by limiting the organic reach of sites found to be too heavy-handed with calls to action.
According to Facebook, they are targeting publishers of Pages “that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would.” As such, they are punishing pages that:
- Like-bait: Begging for users to like, comment, or share a post may seem like an innocent way to encourage activity on your page, but Facebook views it as a shameless attempt to expand post distribution. Facebook users are equally against like-baiting, as studies have shown that posts with similar calls to action receive less engagement and are viewed as being less relevant.
- Frequently circulate content: Facebook says they have received frequent complaints about Pages that regularly re-run photos and videos that have already been popular on the network.
- Post spammy links: The most transparently spammy practice on Facebook is to use inaccurate language or formatting to encourage clicks through to ad farms, low-quality content aggregators, or irrelevant content. Facebook is improving at identifying these types of posts, and they believe punishing misleading publishers will improve trust in the content spread over their site.