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Megan McArdle

Facebook Is Upworthy's Weakest Link

Upworthy's reliance on Facebook to push its content makes it vulnerable.

It's fair to say that Upworthy is an Internet sensation. The site has only been around for a year and a half, and it had 87 million unique visitors in November from a comparative handful of posts. Yet there's a vulnerability at the heart of its business model, as Jeff Bercovici explains:

Until 2011, entire public companies were built around gaming Google Inc.'s search algorithms, using networks of low-quality content to move themselves up the search rankings for popular terms. Then Google changed its algorithms, and those companies lost a huge chunk of their revenue overnight.