With costs rising, Facebook traffic arbitrage strategies lose effectiveness | TrainMyNews

With costs rising, Facebook traffic arbitrage strategies lose effectiveness

3 months ago
With costs rising, Facebook traffic arbitrage strategies lose effectiveness

Listicle publisher Ranker and lifestyle publisher Topix have, for years, employed profitable traffic arbitrage strategies, buying Facebook ads to acquire traffic that they can then monetize through ads that earn more than the cost of the ads. Starting in June 2018, things became less awesome, as both Ranker and Topix saw the effectiveness of their Facebook arbitrage operations diminish. Neither Benson nor Tolles knew exactly why their Facebook ad strategies were impacted, but they believed the issue is connected to Facebook's efforts to clean up its platform following the 2016 U.S. presidential election cycle, in which bad actors ran ads on Facebook to promote fake-news articles. According to Facebook's ad transparency tool, several of Ranker's and Topix's Facebook Pages have run ads about social issues, elections of politics. When it comes to paid media on Facebook, "Facebook is very pedantic and makes a lot of effort now to make sure any information there is very accurate and validated and fact-checked, on the paid media side even more than the organic side," said Guy Oranim, CEO of First Media, which began running ads on Facebook to drive traffic after launching a site for its publication So Yummy in September 2018. Tolles said the "Vast majority" of Topix's Facebook traffic comes from its ads. Advertising on Facebook to acquire site traffic "Still works and it still comes in at a decent margin. But we only dedicate one or two staffers to it. It's just really a function of shifting resources," Benson said. Read more