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Facebook Report Reveals Most Popular Posts and Pages

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Facebook Report Reveals Most Popular Posts and Pages


Facebook released it’s quarterly Widely Viewed Content Report. The report shows what kinds of content users shared the most, giving an idea of the kind of content that does well in Facebook’s algorithm.

Most Facebook Content Does Not Link Out

Getting traffic from Facebook seems to not be what it used to be. Views from Facebook’s feed tended to stay in Facebook.

Facebook feed views that included a link accounted for only 14.6% of views. The vast majority of Facebook feed views (85.4%) did not include a link.

Additionally, when a post did include a link, that link tended to come from a Facebook page that a Facebook member followed.

When Facebook members viewed a post with a link, only 2.5% of those posts were from friends and followed people, what are generally considered trusted sources.

Of the rest of the posts with links that received views, 1.2% came from groups the member had joined, 7.7% were from pages that members followed and 3% came from posts that were unconnected to the members.

The majority of posts (48.6%) with no links that Facebook surfaced in member feeds were created by friends and followed people. The rest came from groups (18.5%), followed pages (8.4%), unconnected posts (7.7%) and what Facebook terms as “other” (2.3%).

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Facebook Content is Long Tail with No Head

When people’s reading, listening, searching or buying habits are compared there is always a huge concentration of people who read the same books, listen to the same music, search for the same things and buy the same products.

But there are also books, music, searches and purchases that are very uncommon.

When these reading, watching, listening and buying habits are organized into a graph, the graph has a huge group on the left side and then a long declining line moving to the right that represents the millions and millions of individuals with unique and uncommon watching, buying and listening habits.

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The group that tend to do the same thing is called the head. The huge group of individuals with uncommon tastes are called the long tail.

When it comes to Google, 15% of search queries are uncommon. But when it comes to links that people see in their Facebook feeds, only 0.1% of the top Feed content views came from the top 20 sites outside of Facebook.

What that means is that most people don’t see the same thing on Facebook.

When it comes to what people watch on television, huge audience percentages watch the same thing, which means that they are consuming head content.

But for the Facebook ecosystem, people see different things to the extent that no external website was able to achieve massive popularity the way movies, music and television shows do.

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An interesting fact shared in the report is that all Facebook members are exposed to content that is unique to them.

There was no content that was able to reach all members and achieve a dominant level of popularity.

Facebook explains:

“…even though our most viewed content might have a very large number of content viewers, as measured as a percentage of all of Facebook content viewers, they represent only a small fraction of total views in Feed in the US that quarter. In short, it is uncommon for different people to see the same content in their Feed.”

Facebook noted:

“…even though our most viewed content might have a very large number of content viewers, as measured as a percentage of all of Facebook content viewers, they represent only a small fraction of total views in Feed in the US that quarter.

In short, it is uncommon for different people to see the same content in their Feed.”

Of the top 20 most popular links on Facebook, only three went to news sites and one link (#16) no longer existed because Facebook removed the link for violating community standards (after being viewed nearly 28 million times).

Most Widely Viewed Facebook Pages

Unlike how things work in the real world, in Facebook world, no one Facebook page managed to gain a massive following in the USA.

The top 20 Facebook pages in the fourth quarter of 2021 only represented 1.1% of all Facebook pages.

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Of the top 20 most popular Facebook pages, the number one Facebook page was removed for violating community standards. That violation page received over 121.8 million views before being removed from Facebook.

The majority of the top 20 Facebook pages were about recipes, cute animals, television nostalgia, and other mostly trivial pages that seem to indicate that people on Facebook want to be entertained or amused by articles with titles like, Woman can’t stand every time boyfriend’s daughter visits because “she needs constant attention” and web pages featuring videos of pugs being bathed and images of a pair of French bulldogs mouth to mouth as if kissing.

The list of top 20 Facebook pages paints a portrait of Americans who are hooked on Facebook for a quick shot of endorphins from pages offering a “Daily Dose Of Woof Woof.”

Here is the list of the top 20 Facebook pages:

  1. This Page was removed by Facebook for violating Community Standards.
  2. Thinkarete
  3. WomenWorking.com
  4. Do You Remember When
  5. Newsner
  6. LADBible Australia
  7. The Dodo
  8. 3AM Thoughts
  9. 97.1 QMG
  10. Eric Alper
  11. Woof Woof
  12. Sarcastic Honey
  13. Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons
  14. STUDENTbible
  15. UNILAD
  16. BithiriSathi Fans
  17. Tyla
  18. Daily Mail Video
  19. Lessons Learned In Life Inc.
  20. Selindy Bae GH

Most Widely Viewed Facebook Posts

Similar to the statistics on links and pages, there was no single Facebook post that was able to go viral and be seen by a majority of Facebook members.

The top 20 Facebook posts made up only 0.1% of all Facebook content views. Posts that people viewed on their Facebook feeds were highly different for most people.

Much of the top 20 content is trivial,like a 9 second long video of a man using a vacuum-like device to pull and yank at a mole on his neck. This video was the fourth most popular post on Facebook for the fourth quarter of 2021 and was viewed a staggering 57.4 million times.

Screenshot of Fourth Most Popular Facebook Post

The sixth most popular Facebook post for the fourth quarter of 2021 is a six second video of an angry woman splashing a drink into a man’s face.

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This is eerily similar to the movie Idiocracy that depicts a population so dull they go to the movies to watch 90 minutes of a man’s rear end farting.

Widely Viewed Facebook Content

Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that posts that didn’t link out to another site vastly outnumbered posts that featured a link to another site.

The next most interesting takeaway is that there are no universally popular top pages and posts on Facebook. Most people see a unique Facebook news feed.

The last takeaway from Facebook’s report is that Americans seem to be seeking diversions.

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Widely Viewed Content Report: What People See on Facebook

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4 Clues From Google That Tell Us Everything

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4 Clues From Google That Tell Us Everything

When I was a kid, my favorite mysteries were the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

They all had their great quotes, but one of my favorites was from The Hound of the Baskervilles when Holmes tells Watson:

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

I want to think that if Sir Doyle were alive today as a digital marketer in paid search, he might rephrase this quote to say something more like: “Google always leaves a trail of breadcrumbs, straight to the future of PPC, if you just take the time to look.”

I recently decided to look, and the results I found were eye-opening.

I came across more breadcrumbs than I could count, and many of them led to different places.

However, a core group revealed a clear picture of what is to come for the PPC industry.

Clue 1: New Google Ads Scripts Experience

Scripts for Google Ads have been around almost as long as the platform itself.

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However, ask around, and you may be hard-pressed to find a person who has consistently used Scripts in their PPC campaigns or anyone who has ever used any of them.

Google wants that to change.

Version 2 of the Google Ads Scripts experience has officially launched, and it’s a huge step forward by Google to bring this feature to the forefront and support its use with a robust information and training portal.

What it tells us: With Google’s push toward automation, it is imperative to understand that going along for the ride is not an option.

It’s becoming a necessity.

When launching, optimizing, and maintaining campaign performance as you scale budgets, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to stay on top of everything without some help.

With this new offering, Google makes a clear statement for the future of PPC, both near and far.

There will be increased attention to automating your PPC campaign work, and Google Scripts is here for you.

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Clue 2: Acquisition Of Looker

Looker is a Business Intelligence (BI) tool used to chart, graph, and display data so you can recognize and act upon problems and opportunities alike.

This app falls in the same category as Tableau and Power BI by Microsoft.

Three years ago, Google acquired Looker for $2.6 billion.

This acquisition completed the marketing channel UI to data presentation pipeline that Google desperately needed.

Google had already built out Big Query years prior, which allowed them to own the data warehouse portion of the data pipeline, but they were still missing the BI portion.

The acquisition of Looker enabled Google to offer a full suite of data tools, from beginning to end, to their users.

Users no longer needed to venture outside the Google ecosystem to obtain platforms and applications necessary to run a marketing service with end-to-end management.

What it tells us: Dealing with structured data and larger datasets that live outside of the marketing channel UI will be the norm for digital marketers.

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As a PPC manager, you may not have to become a certified data and analytics expert, but you will have to be comfortable updating data sets, managing your campaign, and manipulating data inside your chosen BI application.

Clue 3: Broad Match & Responsive Ad Expansion

Is it just me, or does Google try to push the “Broad Match” bid strategy and the “Responsive” ad setup option every chance they get?

When adding keywords to a new campaign, you’ll get a stern disclaimer if you don’t designate your keywords as broad match.

Or how about the red text status warning when viewing campaign keywords?

You think something is wrong, but it’s just a “warning” that you could get more conversions if you choose “broad match” keywords for your ad set.

Then you have to deal with display campaigns!

When setting up a new display campaign, Google hides the standard display ad option and forces you to create a responsive display ad.

What it tells us: The ”suggestions” Google recommends (which always gives up more control to Google) have been going on for more than a decade.

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And all I have to do is point to Expanded Text Ads to show you how this all ends.

Google will take more control over our campaigns to the point where Google will do nearly everything from campaign setup to ad copywriting and bid strategy selection.

Clue 4:  Google Glasses Announcement at I/O 2022

The long-awaited return of “Google Glasses” (officially named Proto 29) was announced at the annual Google I/O event with a slick video presentation.

While the video was relatively light on specifics, it certainly got people talking about the potential use cases, namely the ability of the glasses to translate foreign languages.

What it tells us: Things are changing, and they always will be.

If you were hoping to become an expert in all the ad software and marketing tactics and then coast on those skills for the rest of your career, you would be very disappointed.

Once “Google Glasses” are released and become widely adopted, we will need to learn and create campaigns for an entirely new ad platform.

Not only that, but if you think Google just released this video to brag about a niche product that will never catch on at scale, you have another thing coming.

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This was the digital equivalent of Google planting a flag and saying, “This market share is ours, and it’s gonna be big!”

So, you have two options.

You can bury your head in the sand and hope on a shooting star that you will never have to use this groundbreaking technology for your PPC work.

Or, you can look at this as an opportunity, set a Google alert for any news related to Google Glasses, and then start learning whatever you can to become a leader in this new field.

Clue 5: “Automatically Created Assets” Beta Feature

Seamlessly nestled between the “Bidding” and “Start and End Dates” tabs in the campaign menu, you will see the biggest clue for the future of PPC.

Google states that the “Automatically Created Assets” feature:

“…will allow Google to help you generate headlines, descriptions, and other assets using your content from your landing page, domain, and ads. Google will provide you with automated tools to customize your assets based on relevance for your keywords. This may improve ad relevance and performance.”

What it tells us: If you read the statement closely, you will realize this one feature changes everything.

With just one feature, Google can, in theory, find relevant keywords to bid on for your business, create headlines and descriptions for search ads, and point the ads to a relevant landing page.

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If you didn’t notice, those actions make up the lion’s share of what a PPC Manager creates daily and will dramatically alter what they fundamentally do as a marketing professional.

The Future Of PPC

So, what does this all mean, and how will this affect the daily job duties of PPC marketers?

Data Tracking & Analysis

If you haven’t already noticed in your day-to-day work, making sure data is tagged, tracked, sorted, and graphed is a big part of the job.

This will become a more significant part of your day as these elements become more complicated and clean data becomes king.

You may not need to become a full-fledged data scientist, but you will definitely need to learn how to aggregate data and manipulate it in the future.

Managing The Systems That Manage Campaigns

The days of directly “pulling the levers” of a PPC campaign are numbered.

We might be setting up and managing the systems and machines that “pull” the levers for us.

From writing JavaScript code that runs based on thousands of input data points to designing a special app on Google Glasses, the indirect management of campaigns seems likely.

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Automating The Work Will Become The Work

There’s no doubt that automating more tasks we perform now will be vital to the future of PPC.

The new Google Script experience is all about automation, but you know it can be serious work to drive automation if you have ever written a script.

With the “Automatically Created Assets” feature, it seems strikingly clear that playing a larger role in setting up the main website to contain the optimal components for Google to use in an automated fashion will be essential.

It may not be the role you set out to play, but it may just be the role you need to play in the future of PPC.

The End (And The Beginning)

I may be right about all these predictions, some of them or absolutely none.

But if nothing else, and if history is any guide, the PPC manager’s role in 10 years will look different than the role we all play now.

Just keep your eyes open for all the clues that Google provides and you’ll remain ahead of the curve.

More resources:

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Featured Image: New Africa/Shutterstock

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