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Facebook EdgeRank And Why It’s So Important

Facebook EdgerankFacebook EdgeRank is Facebook’s brand new algorithm it uses to rank “stuff” on Facebook news feeds! Whether you believe it or not, Facebook does have it’s own complex algorithm it uses to rank stuff on user’s news feeds. What “stuff” am I talking about? Well, just about everything. From status updates to pages, even groups and videos too. Why would you be interested in Facebook EdgeRank? Well, it’s an algorithm sort of like Google’s. And… there are over 600 million Facebook users, if you knew how to appear at the top of Facebook news feeds, imagine how much traffic you could rake in!

So what’s a Facebook news feed? The Facebook news feed is like the home hub of Facebook. Situated in the home of Facebook, the news feed gets a phenomenal amount of traffic. The news feed displays recent and popular content from user’s friends and friends of theirs. The feed’s content consists of: tagged photos, videos, notes, friend requests, status updates, pages, groups, responses to events and other stuff. What the news feed does, is update people on what their friends are up to. That’s the whole idea behind it.

There are two parts of the Facebook news feed. Most recent and top news. Both are completely different and EdgeRank can only be applied to top news, for obvious reasons. By default, users are shown top news. Apparently, it’s said that around 50% of users choose to see most recent over top news.

So how do you use Facebook EdgeRank? Basically, in order to rank well in Facebook’s news feed, you need to use Edgerank ranking factors. There are actually a ton of Edgerank ranking factors, but you only need to focus on a few of them. We will cover the main Edgerank factors in a minute.

Edgerank Factors:

Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors

There are a bunch of ranking factors, probably a lot more than we are aware of. However, Facebook have actually announced their EdgeRank algorithm. Kind of crazy considering marketers have spent years trying to figure out Google’s algorithm. While they have announced their Edgerank algorithm, I am certain there are a lot more factors than what’s been said. So this is what Facebook say, right from their website:

How does News Feed determine which content is most interesting?
The News Feed algorithm bases this on a few factors: how many friends are commenting on a certain piece of content, who posted the content, and what type of content it is (e.g. photo, video, or status update). You can read it on the official website here.

Sounds pretty simple right? Well it is, a lot less complex than Google’s ranking algorithm. Also, I have come to the conclusion that Facebook likes also play a big part in the EdgeRank algorithm. I actually found this really cool graph below. I don’t know who made the graph, but I found it here.

Element Topic Description
Fresh news and activities Recency Recency of activity (news, tags, comments, likes, link clicks…)
The type of content Content Status updates, photos, videos, comments …
Who has published the content item Author It may be a person, a page, a group, an application. Each will have its own authority and affinity.
Commentsfrom friends Engagement(edge) The greater the number of comments from friends, the more likely that a story will appear.
Likes Engagement(edge) Counts could be used, particularly those made recently, possibly calibrated on the basis of the authority of who has done the liking and / or the rate of liking
Clicks on links, if present Engagement(edge) Facebook tracks all links to external sites. It is easy to imagine that this data is used as a news feed item ranking signal.
Personalbehavior history Engagement A user has historically shown greater interest in news by a certain author or of a certain type?

As you can see, there are a ton of factors. Recency plays a huge part in the EdgeRank algorithm. By recency I mean the age of the content. While new content like status updates or liked pages will rank really well, especially with a little activity… Activity seems to always outweigh recency. When I say activity, I mean comments, likes and even clicks. (engagement)

Now engagement is what plays the biggest role in the Edgerank algorithm. This has been proven time and time again. EdgeRank shares a few similarities with Google’s algorithm. They both want to provide interesting and popular content for their users. So obviously, the more comments and likes something gets, the better it will rank.

The type of content also plays a role in the EdgeRank algorithm. Photos, videos, status updates, groups, pages and responses. For obvious reasons, actual content gets a lot more attention than responses and even status updates. Although, a really popular status updates beats everything.

Just a quick word on author authority. Whether you like it or not, author authority plays a pretty large role in the Edgrank algorithm. This factor kind of sucks and will be a pain in the ass for some people. So what makes an authoritative author? Well, amount of friends and activity. Otherwise known as the relationship factor. This is what sucks for “unfriendly” marketers.

User interaction: Facebook rewards you for being active and building relationships with your friends. The more you comment, message and interact with a certain friend, the more likely your news will appear high up on their news feed. Basically, this means you need to constantly interact with friends by posting on their walls, commenting on their status updates and so on. Slight pain in the ass, but not that big of a deal.

Something else you should know about is the lifecycle of Facebook “news”. No piece of news will last forever. Unlike ranking on Google where you have an unlimited life span, Facebook news is sort of limiting. As users constantly update their profiles and post new content, it has to be seen. Pretty much all Facebook content is displayed in the news feed. There is just no way of keeping yourself “in the news”. However, you can definitely increase the life span of a certain piece of news. Simply by engagement which I explained above.

Stuff to do:

If you want to take full advantage of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, there are a few things you can do. Whether you run a blog, company website or whatever, you can definitely use EdgeRank to your advantage. It doesn’t even matter what you do, all that matters is you have a website that needs traffic. If you have a website, you can create a Facebook page for it. Or you might want to create a personal Facebook fan page, (all depends on your business really). Anyways, here are a couple of things you can do to stick around people’s news feeds for A LOT of free traffic and exposure.

1. Post regular quality content on your page’s news feed. This definitely increases author authority and increases your news’s lifespan.

2. You need likes! The more likes you get, the more popular your news will be. I’m sure you could game the system somehow, but getting likes isn’t tough. Be cool, post good content and the likes will just come.

3. Comments people! Now comments are probably THEE most important engagement of all. Why? Simply because they add to your content, they start conversations and shout popular. Best of all, comments can start viral conversations. Sometimes you’ll have a 50 comment conversation on your “news”. When this happens, you’ll get a ton of viral exposure.

4. Interact with friends. You must interact with your friends if you want to appear in their news feeds. Just comment from time to time. Unless you know the person, avoid messaging and posting on their wall. It looks unprofessional and is kind of creepy. (isn’t it weird when random strangers post on your wall?) LOL

So that’s pretty much all you need to know about Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. There are actually a bunch of other minor EdgeRank factors I failed to mention. Why? Simply because they aren’t that important. It’s like Google’s algorithm. People are always obsessed with every little detail. I mean, my stuff ranks pretty well, and I don’t pay attention to all of Google’s algorithm factors.

Even if some of the stuff I do contradicts with what other “SEO gurus” might say… I personally couldn’t give two shits. Do I stuff my content with keywords and header tags? Nope… And although people say that stuff is important, I like to stick to the basics. So pay attention to the big stuff and avoid the minor details. That’s what works for me and most definitely applies to Facebook EdgeRank.

To the TOP,
David Wood

P.S. If you want more quality info on Facebook marketing, SEO and all that good stuff, put your email in the form over on the right and hit ‘Get Instant Access’.

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2 comments
Soren Egstrup
Soren Egstrup

Like Ryan say, it better for all on FB. David thanks for sharing this important information on News Feed Optimization. ~Soren

Ryan Biddulph
Ryan Biddulph

Hi David, Powerful tips here. I'm new to the concept of EdgeRank on Facebook. Luv how the greatest emphasis is placed on engagement, improving the Facebook user experience. The more you engage, the more you connect, the better it is for all on FB. Thanks for sharing! Ryan

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