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When large industry (i.e. Google and Facebook) changes happen it always sparks a great debate. Last week’s Facebook update announcement has definitely provided some great conversions regarding the future for Facebook and brand publishers:

Putting your users first is nothing new, Google has been preaching this for years. Facebook is now just finally catching up. If you want to maintain a dominant player and not lose market share you must put them first.

Costs Are Going to Go Up

There is no denying the fact, that more than likely costs are going to go up. Quality, relevant and timely content behind your media investments, are going to be more important than ever. Which, also will continue to demand a higher investment from brands and publishers. But this update did not mention anything about advertising reach specifically, and with a higher demand, we can definitely anticipate a rise in costs. This will be problematic for smaller brands and lower budget publishers, essentially increasing the barrier of entry.

Relevancy, Engagement & Quality Are Non-Negotiable

Publishers who are using “clickbait” or spamming tactics will most certainly be the most impacted. Again, this another page from the Google book, where they are really focusing in on meaningful content to the user. Brands and publishers who are posting a high quantity of content with lower quality, will also certainly be impacted. Our advise on Facebook has not changed much, but will be more important to pay attention to than ever: know your audiences, understand your niche segments, give them something valuable with purpose, and be creative.

Legitimate Publishers May Pay the Ultimate Price

There will be some grey area between what is legitimate news materials that people want to see and interact with and the junk that has filled up our news feeds. Innocent bystanders will definitely be negatively impacted. There are estimates of up to 80 percent reduction in page reach, clicks and engagement. Whatever your organic reach was before, you can expect that to decrease up to 500 percent. However, can we also assume that they are estimating we don’t want the latest sports or news updates? I definitely see this as a continuing discussion on how the algorithms will operate. Currently, they are saying we’ll have the option to opt in. So you must ask yourself as a brand or publisher, am I worth opting into?

Positive Impacts Probable

Current advertisers and brands that are delivering quality content, investing in media and caring about their audiences may in fact see an increase in results. Some of these changes will wipe out what was once the competition in the newsfeeds, may actually help those who have been investing in the users experience from the beginning.

In closing, it’s important for brands and publishers to know that these things will always continue to happen and we need to be focused on the user, their intent and the mediums they are interacting with. As long as we stay focused on them, the riptide effects shall pass over, and free might not always be free.  

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Amanda Farley is a partner + operations director at SSDM. She serves as a strategy liaison for clients and provides valuable insights for client business goals. Amanda is a frequent contributor for and has been a recurring speaker for Search Marketing Expo (SMX).

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SSDM is a digital marketing + advertising agency that focuses on the customer journey. Our team of creatives, strategists and marketers have helped businesses manage both their growth goals and digital impact for the past 11 years. SSDM is based in Metro Detroit, MI.