Charlie Warzel, reporting for BuzzFeed:
This morning, Facebook VP of product management Adam Mosseri announced that the social network is tweaking its News Feed algorithm to show more stories from friends and family members — a move that indicates Facebook is worried professional publishers are crowding out the normal people in your life you care about. The decision, according to the post, is based on “research,” which is a way to say that Facebook has been listening to the myriad signals of the real people who use its platform each day.
This reminds me of the the advice I used to see in “weblogs about weblogging” in the mid 2000s — don’t entirely rely on Google for your traffic. It’s dangerous to build a publishing business under the assumption that Google will always be a source for new readers. What happens if you see a sudden and unexpected drop in page rank and lose the majority of those visitors? The results could be devastating.
It’s funny how we’re seeing the same narratives play out a decade later. Granted, Facebook and Google are two entirely different companies — social networking rather than search — but the advice is still important to remember. You have to worry about sustainability if you can’t survive without your primary source of traffic. That is, unless your primary source of traffic is people typing your URL into their browser’s address bar.