Will Facebook Instant Articles Affect SEO?

Will Facebook Instant Articles Affect SEO?

The million dollar question! Well, in some ways, we think that optimizing for Facebook Instant Articles could affect the website SEO of every publisher, ultimately for the better. And here is how:

1. The publisher will have to publish more content.

Any publisher, whether it is a media outlet, business or some individual will have to get more serious about publishing more content. The approach for one post every month will no longer fly if you want to get serious about Instant Articles.

So, this is a positive effect on SEO.

2. Publishers will have to get more serious about the content formatting.

Those publishers that were not paying particular attention to the specific formatting elements in the articles they post will start to if they plan on getting into Instant Articles. Facebook will also look for headers (H1 for the title and H2 for the subtitles), image and video, as well as captions, author attribution and some related article links for the Instant Articles.

All of these above mentioned are beneficial for SEO. You just need to make sure to keyword optimize article titles, subtitles, and captions.

By giving proper credit, you will have the ability to potentially gain some organic search traffic when people are searching for those authors by name.

3. Publishers will start experimenting with different media.

Besides the boost in performance, one of the major highlights of Instant Articles is the ability of the publishers to create some rich media experiences with content. Facebook is supporting images, video, animated GIFs, audio annotations, interactive images, maps, and slideshows.

Considerably, this will warm publisher up to the idea that creating more diverse content for their audience. In such way, publishers can expand their reach by distributing different media to networks which are based on the type of the media.

The prime targets could be Imgur, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, iTunes, Soundcloud, and a lot of others, most of which will allow you to go back to the original article as the source of the media. In that way, you will gain additional SEO value.

4. Publishers will also have to clean up their code.

To ensure that Facebook Instant Articles work, either in their template of the website of their RSS feed, additionally, publishers will have to clean a good bit of their coding. Cleaning their code will make it easier for them to search engine crawlers to do their jobs.

Honestly, if HTML coding did not matter to Google, then they wouldn’t have provided a free HTML improvements tool inside their Search Console.

5. Every person will have to improve their mobile performance.

Besides Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP, every website and not just publishers will have to improve their mobile performance. But why? Because, it is simply the nature of humans and it goes like this:

People will start adapting to the mobile-friendly, high-performance of Facebook Instant Articles.

After that, they will expect every website they load on their smartphones to have the same mobile-friendliness and high-performance as well. This will be particularly true for sites which are linked to within Facebook Instant Articles.

But, if they don’t open to a mobile-friendly experience at high-performance, you can be sure that this spoiled audience will leave.

Those websites that optimize for mobile friendliness and high performance will be better in search ranking, as Google wants to search for users who have great experiences on the sites that they click upon in the search results. It is evident that those websites that are mobile friendly will rank a good place in mobile search.

Google usually prefers responsive design, so in the mobile-friendly efforts, you should steer towards that. You can also use the free mobile usability tool of Google in Search Console, to see if the website has some mobile issues which could affect the mobile search rankings.

How does Facebook Instant Article work for publishers?

How does Facebook Instant Article work for publishers?

Before we start diving into the tech specs, we are going to present you a few things which you should know as a publisher:

  • In Instant Articles, you can sell ad space to Facebook advertisers, for monetization purposes. Or sell ad space privately through the networks you have on your own.
  • Facebook is not planning to give the publishers the possibility of using Instant Articles preferential treatment in the news feed.
  • For Instant Articles, Facebook will also give analytics insights into reader engagement. You can share the data with third-party tools such as Google Analytics.
  • Facebook has developed an official plugin that Word Press users can use, to get their sites Instant Article ready.
  • You will not have to create some different content for this program. Facebook can just use your RSS feed and HTML markup, to convert your previously existing content into Instant Articles.

The publishers will also have to create or update their RSS feeds, to meet Facebook Instant Article guidelines.

Once the publisher updates the RSS feed, Facebook will have to approve the publisher, just by checking their latest five articles, to ensure they are ready for Instant Article.

But, in a situation when their articles are not approved, they will have to do the suggested changes, before they submit once again.

How does Facebook Instant Articles work for users?

How does Facebook Instant Articles work for users?

Facebook Instant Articles is something similar to Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). It allows publishers to share their links to their original articles to their website. When the users of the Facebook mobile app click on the link, they are immediately taken at the Instant Article version of the content. And for desktop users, when they click the link, they will be taken to the original article on the website of the publisher.

And, this is the difference. First, you will have a standard click on the Facebook app to an article on a mobile-friendly website. And now, you will have a click on the Facebook app to an Instant Article.

This is a pretty significant difference when it comes to performance. Even when the website is mobile-friendly, as well as fully responsive and has excellent load times, Instant Articles will still win.

Here, we are going to present you a few other things that you should know about the functionality of Instant Articles for users.

  • Those that are desktop users and click on the same post link are taken to the original article on the website of the publisher.
  • When people share the Instant Article from the Facebook app, the link to the original article which is on the website of the publisher will be shared. The users of the mobile app, who click on that link, will be taken to the Instant Article, while the desktop users will be taken to the original article from the website of the publisher.