Parse.ly Released a Dashboard That Lets You Stress Over Facebook Changes in Real Time
Fellow neurotic media nerds, rejoice: You can now stress out about Facebook’s algorithm changes on a minute-by-minute basis.
Digital analytics company Parse.ly just released a dashboard that tracks Facebook referral traffic for more than 600 publishers and measures the estimated traffic Facebook should’ve driven before it changed its algorithm last week to deprioritize publishers in the News Feed. (I analyzed all the implications here.)
Surprisingly, referral traffic has largely matched or beaten expectations, according to Parse.ly, since the algorithm change. This could be due to some bias in Parse.ly’s sample size. Or maybe Facebook just decided to temporarily boost publisher traffic and quell the media’s collective freakout. Who knows?
I’m writing this at 6 p.m. on a Thursday, so let’s arbitrarily switch to a Q&A format.
Is this overkill?
Maybe! But then again, per Parse.ly, Facebook now drives over 40 percent of all traffic to publishers—more than Google. If Google changed its algorithm this drastically, Rand Fishkin would be holed up in his whiteboard room conducting a 24-hour live stream. As a modern editor, I’m always happy for another dashboard that I can obsessively refresh.
Is there a blog post explaining why Parse.ly made this dashboard?
There is! And in honor of the PR person who emailed it to me, I will link to it here. What the hell, here’s even a quote from Andy Rhinehart, customer success manager at Parse.ly:
“For those who have worked with SEO, this has been a consistent theme. Google can change its algorithm and greatly affect traffic. If you’re a publisher doing 70 percent from search and relying on Google to stay constant, you’re doing it wrong. Same with Facebook.”
You hear that, BuzzFeed? You’re doing it wrong. And Andy would like a word.
Is this dashboard secretly dangerous for my health?
Probably! But, man, do I love Parse.ly for creating this. It’s like a super drug—one that will probably kill me.Image by Getty