The Mystery of EdgeRank Revealed

Did you ever wonder what Facebook means when they give you the choice of only receiving “important posts” in your news feed? How do THEY know what’s “important” or not? It will all be explained.

By now, most of us are familiar with the fact that Google and other search engines have mathematical formulas (called “algorithms”) that determine the value of a whole website, its contents, and even its words. Is it any wonder that Facebook had to create their OWN formula to determine what you may want to see in your newsfeed?

While Facebook’s formula -called “EdgeRank”- is an algorithm, its purpose is much different than a search engine algorithm, but has some similarities. Unlike search engines, which do nothing but wait until you type what you’re looking for, Facebook’s EdgeRank is always working and trying to determine what you want to see most in your news feed about your friends.

So, why and how does Facebook make this determination? The reason they filter your news feed results is so the experience is pleasant for you, the Facebook user, and not overwhelming. The method they use is a formula that blends 3 main factors together; Affinity, Weight and Time Decay. Let’s examine what each of these factors mean and see why they’re important.
But, before we do, we’ll have to consult our Facebook glossary for some new terms that are specific to Facebook.

• “Object” (n) – Any piece of content posted on Facebook (A video clip, an audio clip, a picture, a hyper-link, or a bit of text)
• “Edge” (n) – Any interaction with an object by a Facebook user (Like, share, or comment) or the original posting of an object.

Notice where Facebook’s focus is right off the bat: interaction and engagement.

Affinity
Affinity is Facebook’s word for a fondness of one Facebook user about another. If you frequently Like, share, or comment upon your sister’s posts, Facebook gives you high points on your Affinity score towards her and you are more likely to see her posts prominently featured in your news feed in the future.

Weight
Weight is Facebook’s word for the ability of any particular object to attract interaction. If lots of people Like, share or comment upon an object you’ve posted, it gets a high Weight score.

Time Decay
Time Decay is Facebook’s term denoting how long ago an object was posted. If you had two posts equal in Affinity ranking and Weight ranking, the newer one would show up at the top of your Facebook newsfeed. The other one may or may not show up at all.

In summary, an Object is more likely to show up in your Facebook news feed if people you’re fond of have been interacting with it recently.
So, what does all this mean for your business Facebook page? It means you must create content with some frequency, but not too much, (our best estimate is about twice a day) that other Facebook users want to interact with. Why? So, they’ll be more likely to see your Facebook posts when you have a sale, a discount coupon, or any new offer that may result in them becoming a new or repeat customer or client.

This is another great way to increase your profits; another factor in your overall Internet Marketing program.

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Filed under: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)Social Media

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