Tech Tidbits

Is the Facebook News Feed Really Going Away?

In January of last year, Mark Zuckerberg noted, “Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands, and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” For nearly a decade, the News Feed has been the jewel in Facebook’s crown. However, over the past couple of years, Facebook has been locked into a battle with misinformation, troubled by privacy issues, and found itself trying to counter a decline in original content (photos, videos, status updates) shared by users. As a result, you may have heard the rumors that the regular Facebook Feed as we know them will be ‘going away.’ The same may be true for Instagram. It seems that day is getting closer.

Mari Smith recently stated, “What we might see is a combination of both regular feed posts in their original format, interspersed with vertical Stories. (And, possibly unskippable ads.) Navigation will be horizontal, tap and swipe. Nothing would be vertical any more.”

Certainly, Facebook seems to be pushing stories and the horizontal scrolling recently. Which is amusing to me, because horizontal scrolling is much less intuitive and vertical scrolling, especially with the layout of mouse wheels to enable easy vertical scrolling.

Another option that Facebook seems to be experimenting with is a “Grid View” instead of the traditional vertical view, as shown here:

The problems with the news feed are much bigger than just shifting to stories and the horizontal scrolling format. All businesses go in cycles, and it may be that the public is simply over sharing personal data with big businesses. Perhaps social media has reach it’s apex and is in a decline? Let me know your thoughts in the comments at the end of this article.

Page Rank is Still Important

PageRank is a system for ranking webpages developed by Google and named for founder Larry Page. It’s used to give each page a relative score of importance and authority by evaluating the quality and quantity of links pointing to a web page. Yes, you read that correctly, Google ranks pages, not websites, so it is to your advantage to get every page of your website indexed by Google, not just your homepage. Here’s how it works: each link from one page to another casts a vote, the weight of which depends on the weight of the pages that link to it. It’s believed that Google recalculates Page Rank scores after each crawl of the Web.

Due to SEO companies trying to spam the system, Page Rank is no longer displayed. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or that it isn’t used in search results – quite the contrary. Page Rank remains Google’s secret sauce ingredient. SEO PowerLink recently conducted an independent study on the various factors that affect search engine placement. You can view the results of that study here.

Similar to Page Rank is your site’s Alexa ranking. Your Alexa ranking is based on a combined measure of Unique Visitors and Pageviews. It is a good practice to see how your site stacks up compared to other sites. For example, here is WebStores Ltd Alexa rank as of this writing:

As of December 2018, there are approximately 1.94 billion websites in the world. That puts WebStoresLtd.com in the top 0.06% of all websites in the world! The lower the number the better. The top 3 sites are 1.) Google, 2.) YouTube, and 3.) Facebook. Wikipedia is #5, Yahoo is #9 and Amazon comes in at #10. Most websites don’t even have an Alexa rank, as they don’t get enough traffic for them to be measured (they stop measure at about 20 million). Since your Alexa rank is based on unique visitors and page views, getting other sites to link to your pages helps to improve your rank, and the best way to get people to link to your site is to provide quality content that others find it worth linking to. Find your Alexa score here.

You will also notice that YouTube is the second most visited website in the world. It happens to be owned by Google. Imagine having high-quality links from YouTube pointing back to your website. that might do wonders for your Page Rank and search engine placement – just saying. (Hint: create video content about your website and link your videos back to the page on your website talking about what you discuss in your video!)

Speaking of Videos…

When it comes to getting more views for your videos, the most important thing you can do is create enticing thumbnails. YouTube allows you to create custom thumbnails, which has proven to be the most important factor in getting people to click on your videos. Angled text, intriguing offers, and arrows alll make your thumbnail stand out. For example:

Start Up Week

Voting for who gets to present at this year’s Denver Start Up Week has officially begun! I’d love the opportunity to present this year, so I’d really appreciate your vote: https://www.denverstartupweek.org/panel-picker/5154-the-proper-care-feeding-of-websites

Note: anyone can vote (even if you don’t live in Colorado, so go ahead and make your voice heard!

Finally, Let’s Talk Sales Funnels

I was recently re-reading the book, Salesman of the Century by Ron Popeil. As you may recall, Ron Popeil was the king of the infomercial, having invented the Ronco electric food dehydrator, Veg-o-matic, GLH formula #9, the Pocket Fisherman, the automatic Pasta Maker and countless other multi-million dollar products. Now Ronco was before the internet, it was a telemarketing company, but when you called in, you would be offered a free gift 9and free shipping), if you converted to a one time payment instead of 4 easy payments of $39.95. This was his first step in the sales funnel when you called in.

Next, the person on the phone would try to convince you to buy some other add-on. This was part of the sales process. Today, we automate much of this as we move people through our checkout process, but sales funnels were not created by internet marketers. The question is, what strategies do you use to move people through your sales process?

To see the book on Amazon, click on the image:

Did you find this article useful or learn anything? If so, I’d love some feedback about what you thought.

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