Facebook page owners and brands trying to get their content in front of customers say their reach has decreased since the company changed its Edgerank algorithm on Sept. 20. One Facebook’s employee's response? Post better content.

EdgeRank Checker, a social media consulting company focusing on Facebook, posted a blog item about the matter and found the typical page had reach of 26%  prior to the Sept. 20, meaning that, on average, 26% of a page's subscribers would see messages posted on the page. That reach has dropped to 19.5% since Sept. 20. Similar drops were recorded in EdgeRank's measures of viral reach and median engagement for pages in its sample, which the company conceded was “relatively small.”

Facebook made the recent change to boost the relevance of users' feeds. "We’re continuing to optimize Newsfeed to show the posts that people are most likely to engage with, ensuring they see the most interesting stories," Facebook said in a statement to ReadWriteWeb. "This aligns with our vision that all content should be as engaging as the posts you see from friends and family."

Facebook’s goal, stated by founder Mark Zuckerberg, is to make sure all the content in your Newsfeed - even if it’s from a brand - works to keep you on the site longer. A Facebook employee said that the company constantly tweaks the algorithm that determines who sees what in their Newsfeed. (The employee requested to remain anonymous, citing company policy on making public statements.) 

In short, according to the Facebook source, if brands are seeing less engagement and reach on their Facebook pages, it’s because they’re not creating engaging content.

“If a brand is continually putting up low-quality content that no one is engaging with, that content is going to be optimized out of the Newsfeed,” the source said. 

Gaming The System

Facebook measures the quality of content through engagement: number of likes, clicks, shares and comments. Typically, a post’s reach is between 15% and 20%.

The source declined to reveal what kinds of content increase engagement. But he was quick to point out that Facebook charges brands less to promote content with high engagement rates than it does for sub-par content.

“Content that doesn’t get any play and is optimized out of Newsfeeds is more expensive to promote to more people,” he said. “That’s good for [people] because they are seeing relevant content, and it’s good for brands because we’re encouraging them to create engaging content.”