Did Facebook make the website cool again? Our changing digital destiny

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Did Facebook make the website cool again? Our changing digital destiny

June 24, 2014

And the pendulum swings. From hot to not and back again is a familiar pattern. Over the last 5 years we have seen the meteoric rise of social media and more specifically Facebook. With this branded websites had become as popular as a red headed step child . I had always said it is important to stake out your digital space (domain and website) but I also strongly recommended putting most marketing energy into social media and SEO. My position has not changed, but the value I placed on the website has increased.

 

Blog Summary:

 

Three changes to digital destiny increasing the relevance of a website.

  • The first is that people have “gotten over” Facebook as the “only” place to be and are exploring new apps and online locations more.

  • The second is that search is used everywhere to navigate. It is no longer just Google, Yahoo, Baidu and YouTube. This concept of “search anywhere” makes websites more relevant.

  • And third Facebook move to an advertising only platform is making it much less attractive to users and those that are interested in advertising are more likely to click to a website.

 

The Blog:

 

As short as one year ago the typical online behaviour pattern was something like:

 

 

  • Google search

  • YouTube search

  • Facebook share

  • Look at friends recommendations (shares)

  • Look at friends recommendations (shares)

  • Look at friends recommendations (shares)

  • Look at friends recommendations (shares)

  • Look at friends recommendations (shares)

  • Look at friends recommendations (shares)

  • Visit a website

  • Leave website immediately

However 3 very important shifts have taken place that dramatically changed online behavior patterns and put websites back in, slightly more, favour.

 

 

  • Proliferation of social media applications

  • SEO (search) moves to social media

  • Facebook  removes “social” from Facebook’s social graph

Social apps spread like Tribbles:

 

Social media apps such as WeChat, Instagram, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Vine and many more along with gaming has fractured the time spent online. We no longer focus on a single app, Facebook, but divide our time across many more focused apps. With this, Fans are now more inclined to venture to new urls as they did years past. No longer staying rigidly within Facebook the lure of new and interesting options give Fans confidence to click to new places.

 

SEO (search) is everywhere:

 

If you don’t show up in search you do not exist; fact! Search used to be limited to Google and Yahoo but no more. Search is just as valuable on social apps, think #tags and navigation by friends shares and other features. This has changed the way we search, but fundamentally it is still search and even more critical.

 

Mr. Facebook removes social from the social graph:

 

Starting on December 13th 2013 Facebook started making significant changes to the algorithm that supports organic reach. Organic reach is what decides how many of our friends and family photos, messages and holiday invitations we get to see. It was set at 16% but after many turns of the screw it is now a very tight 1%. Facebook’s response is that if you want to chat with your friends take out an advertisement. Think of Facebook as a radio station that decided that it would only run ads and skip the music.


Summary:

 

Three changes to digital strategy is increasing the relevance of a website. The first is that people have “gotten over” Facebook as the “only” place to be and are exploring new apps and online locations more. The second is that search is used everywhere to navigate. It is no longer just Google, Yahoo, Baidu and YouTube. This concept of “search anywhere” makes websites more relevant. And third Facebook move to an advertising only platform is making it much less attractive to users and those that are interested in advertising are more likely to click to a website.

 

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