Will Critchlow's Posts



The Real Story in the Decline of Organic Facebook Reach

Recent Facebook announcements about upcoming News Feed changes have been underscored by widespread sharing of the story that publishers are seeing declines of 20-something% in organic Facebook reach already over the last year. Digging into the data a little deeper, I think the story is even worse: I believe publishers are seeing traffic outside the Facebook ecosystem down more like 40%.

The last few years has seen breathless hot-takes, and dramatic over-reactions to the ebbs and flows of organic Facebook reach and traffic.

Off the top of my head, I remember:

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New Report: 59% of E-commerce Sites Not Testing Their Most Important Channel

I enjoyed reading through the new report from Conversion.com and econsultancy based on research they carried out to understand the big trends in e-commerce and specifically focusing on attitudes to testing and experimentation.

One particular part caught my eye and I thought I would repurpose (with permission) some of their research and data to illustrate a point that I found interesting.

The original report contains this chart:

I was immediately struck by the big gap in the organic search line - it is the channel that has by some margin the biggest number of e-commerce companies which simultaneously rely on the channel and do not test to improve and understand their performance in this area.

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A Marketer’s Guide to Models

Clients desperately want forecasts and as a result, we hear these questions all the time - all boiling essentially down to some variant on:

These are scary questions to hear from a client - and they are easy ones to push back on - often with some variant on the common reasons reputable SEO firms don’t promise guaranteed search rankings. Especially early in our careers as consultants, it is incredibly easy to fall into the trap of pushing back on the specific thing the client asked for (because we’ve learned that we need to be a trusted advisor rather than just a paid lackey who’ll say yes to any request). Well, I’m here today to tell you that’s a mistake.

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Proposing Better Ways to Think about Internal Linking

I’ve long thought that there was an opportunity to improve the way we think about internal links, and to make much more effective recommendations. I feel like, as an industry, we have done a decent job of making the case that internal links are important and that the information architecture of big sites, in particular, makes a massive difference to their performance in search (see: 30-minute IA audit and DistilledU IA module).

And yet we’ve struggled to dig deeper than finding particularly poorly-linked pages, and obviously-bad architectures, leading to recommendations that are hard to implement, with weak business cases.

I’m going to propose a methodology that:

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First Click Free is Dead, but is its Replacement Really any Better for Publishers?

The publishing industry has been claiming victory recently in a long-running disagreement with Google over how subscription content (i.e. content that sits behind a paywall or registration wall) should appear in their search results:

There’s a lot of confusion around the new policy which Google has announced, and a lack of clarity in how the media, publishers, and Google itself is reporting and discussing the topic.

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