Facebook made two ranking updates last month that target and reduce the reach of posts that make exaggerated or sensational health claims.
Facebook previously made several ranking algorithm changes to demote low-quality content like clickbait on its platform by identifying commonly-used phrases in related posts. Now, it’s using the same system to predict which posts may contain “sensational health claims or promotion of products with health-related claims,” in order to reduce their reach as well.
The two ranking updates that took place last month relate to the two aforementioned issues and identify two things: first, if a post exaggerates or misleads (i.e. “making a sensational claim about a miracle cure”), and second if a post promotes a service or product that makes a specific health-related claim. An example of the latter would be a post detailing a “medication or pill claiming to help you lose weight.”
While Facebook likes for its users to connect and talk about issues like nutrition, fitness, and health, it wants to make sure that it can help people get more accurate information. Apart from that, it knows that people don’t like posts that are sensational (or spammy) – with health content that is misleading being a top priority.
If you’re wondering whether this will impact your Page, Facebook says that most Pages will not see any “significant change,” however if your content includes “sensational health claims or solicitation using health-related claims” its distribution will be reduced. As explained in a recent Facebook Newsroom post:
“Pages should avoid posts about health that exaggerate or mislead people and posts that try to sell products using health-related claims. If a Page stops posting this content, their posts will no longer be affected by this change.”
This move comes as a continuation of Facebook’s efforts to improve the quality of content on News Feed.