You’ll never guess what Facebook just announced…

Facebook wants to stop… WAIT FOR IT…

…Clickbait (And you won’t believe how they’re doing it.)

Facebook writes:

We’ve heard from people that they specifically want to see fewer stories with clickbait headlines or link titles.

To address this feedback from our community, we’re making an update to News Feed ranking to further reduce clickbait headlines in the coming weeks. With this update, people will see fewer clickbait stories and more of the stories they want to see higher up in their feeds.

Great news for us. Bad news for sites, like UpWorthy.com

But here’s “the farting elephant in the room,” as Dan Kennedy says, would we have this problem if Facebook hadn’t created a News Feed ranking system that relies on engagement, specifically, clicks?

If I’m company XYZ, and I want my posts to rank high in my fans’ News Feeds, I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get people engaged. Otherwise, Facebook’s algorithm will suppress my posts and nobody will see my great work.

Do you see how messed up this is?

I’m not saying I’m for clickbait titles, not at all — except for these gems.

I’m saying Facebook is blaming you for a problem they amplified.

Google ran in to this problem years ago when Black Hat SEO was what all the cool kids were doing.

By littering your blog posts with keywords, you could game Google’s page ranking. Once Google caught on, they changed their algorithm so that the content that ranks highest on Google is the content people reference the most and has the higest stick rates for specific search terms.

This is one example of how to effectively use metrics, which ETR Editor Craig Ballantyne and myself just finished writing an in-depth article on that you’ll see next Monday.

Here’s a sneak preview of the article as it relates to clickbait content:

Rule #1 — To assess for product-market fit, look at retention

If you want to see if your product or service is truly successful, the best metric to look at is simply how long people continue to use it or pay money for your product or service.

For example, in the first two days after Pokemon Go was launched, the game was downloaded on more than 5% of Android and iOS devices in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. 

The game’s daily active users quickly matched Twitter’s numbers, but did so in only two days of existence (compared to almost a decade for Twitter)! 

But the number of people who downloaded Pokemon Go is not the best indicator of how successful Pokemon Go is. It’s the number of people that use it regularly, and more importantly, make frequent in-app purchases, that provide the real measure of success for the game.

At ETR we’ve made the mistake of only focusing on the number of people signed up for certain products. This number tells us how well our offer converts, but it doesn’t give us the whole picture. When we look at customer retention, we start to see which of our products actually offer the most value to our customers.

For example, one of our products was a $7 trial. At first glance the offer appeared to be a success because we were making many sales of it each day. However, after examining the customer’s long-term buyer behavior, we realized the $7 customer was not ascending into our higher priced, higher value offers. Therefore, this offer was not contributing to net profit, and was simply taking up a lot of our team’s time and energy. We cut the offer, cut our expenses, and have moved our time and energy to more important projects.

When we know which ones deliver the most value we can figure out how to make our offer convert better for these products. And we can look at ways to improve our product or better communicate what our product offers on our offers with low customer retention.

The full article will be published on Monday, stay tuned.

The main takeaway: Facebook needs to treat its News Feed like a product. The articles and posts that people read in full, then comment on, like, share, react to etc., the ones with the most retention (over shorter time frames) should rank highest. Those are your best product-market fit.

Nick Papple
Managing Editor
Success Formula Daily

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How to Trick Your Brain into Making Better Decisions (Backed By Scientific Studies)

What are some tools to use for effective decision making? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing site where questions are answered by people with unique insights. This answer was shared by Charles Duhigg, staff writer for the New York Times and author of Smarter Faster Better, on Quora:

Here is what scientific studies say will help you make better decisions:

Thinking through various, contradictory possibilities, and then trying to force yourself to figure out which ones are more or less likely, and why. (This is known as probabilistic thinking, and studies show that it significantly increases the quality of people’s decision making.)

Say, for instance, that you are trying to decide whether your group of rebels should attack the Death Star. Seems like an easy decision, right?

After all, the Death Star is filled with jerks, and it has a big glaring weakness (that apparently no architect considered when designing the ship): one well placed shot can blow up the entire thing.

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We could have enough X-wings but then miss the shot. We could make the shot but our intel could be wrong. We could have good intel and make the shot and the Death Star blows up, but our reward is Jar Jar Binks…” You get the point.)

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So, maybe you are pretty certain that your intel is good, and maybe you are pretty certain that, if they can get close to the Death Star, your pilots will hit the target (because, after all, you’ve got the force on your side), but you aren’t particularly certain that you have enough X-wings to make sure that you’ll get close to the Death Star.

Now you know which parts of your plan are weakest, you know what you need to learn more about and what problems you need to solve to increase the odds of success.

Our brains, left to their own devices, prefer to think about choices in binary terms. (And, from an evolutionary standpoint, this is really efficient.)

But to make better decisions, we have to force ourselves to think probabilistically – AND THEN WE NEED TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE FACT THAT PROBABILISTIC THINKING TENDS TO REVEAL HOW MUCH WE DON’T KNOW.

It is scary to confront uncertainty. It can make you crazy and anxious. That’s why it is so much easier to look at choices as binary options (“I’ll either succeed or fail”) or deterministic outcomes (“I ended up married to her because she was my soulmate.”)

But if you genuinely want to make better decisions, you have to fight that instinct, and make yourself think about multiple possibilities – both the good and the bad – and be really honest with yourself about what you do and don’t know (and what is knowable and unknowable.)

And then you have to take a leap, and make a decision, and see it as  an experiment that gives you data, rather than a success or failure that you should congratulate yourself on/beat yourself up about.

Because, unfortunately, the force doesn’t really exist. But probabilities do.

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5 Signs You Have What It Takes To Be a Great Entrepreneur (Infographic)

Starting up is hard. But if you don’t pursue your dreams, you’ll never know if it stand the chance to success. Dreams are all we have. Take them seriously.

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