What Marketers Need to Know About Google and Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Updates

Google and Facebook made changes to their algorithms that alter how content is prioritized. In 2016, Google made big changes to AdWords and local search. Meanwhile, Facebook recently updated the way it ranks videos in the news feed algorithm.



Google: AdWords and Local Search

Marketers should have taken note of several updates that Google made to its algorithm in 2016. The good news is the impact of those changes have become somewhat less significant in recent months. Nonetheless, marketers should still be aware of what happened and why.

According to Marketing Profs, one of the most important changes was an update to AdWords. Right-column ads were no longer shown on the search engine results page and the spaces for ads at the top of the page increased to four. As a result, organic results were pushed below the fold, even on desktops, and click-thru-rates dropped significantly because of this change.

Google also released the Possum update in an effort to diversify local search results and reduce spam. City limits were increased and businesses using duplicate addresses were filtered out. Additionally, the physical location of a searcher now has a higher influence on search results.

Facebook: Video Optimization

According to Marketing Dive, the latest update to Facebook’s algorithm makes video an even higher priority for the social network, a tactic they have been working on for months. In order to encourage brands and marketers to create more compelling video content, Facebook is now including the “percentage completed” metric, or amount of time the video was viewed by users, as a factor in ranking videos. One of the initial unintended consequences of this change was that it penalized longer videos. Facebook quickly revamped the signal so it weights completion percentage heavier the longer the video, effectively removing the inadvertent penalty.