Facebook EdgeRank 101: What is It and What does It Mean?
Just because you post a status update for fans does not mean all of your fans will see it. In fact, some experts suggest that less than 10% of your fans will be able to view your update in their News Feed. Is this because your fans simply aren’t paying attention? No. It’s the result of a content prioritizing formula developed by Facebook; a formula known as EdgeRank.
Think, for a moment, about all of those people using Facebook. They’re posting status updates, liking pages and other items, sharing links and playing games that automatically update to their wall. All of this information is multiplied by the thousands upon thousands of individuals and businesses that use Facebook every day. With all of that information, Facebook has to have a way to prioritize content to prevent a convoluted mess of information in each user’s feed.
The answer was EdgeRank, a formula that takes into consideration factors such as the interaction level between pages and users (affinity score), the type of content posted (weight for edge type) and time since posting (time decay factor). Each of these factors fits into the EdgeRank formula to produce a final score. That score determines where you rank in Top Stories and, with the advent of the new hybrid feed, Recent Stories. Just like search engines rank websites based on their own algorithms, Facebook uses EdgeRank to determine the best, most popular or most useful content users are likely to want to see.
Just like high ranking in the search engines garners more traffic for a website, a high EdgeRank score garners more time in front of your fans via top placement in their feed. A low EdgeRank score means your fans may never see your content in their feed, no matter how good or useful that content might be to your fans. With the advent of the hybrid feed, getting a high Edgerank score is now even more important, since you must make it into both Recent and Top Stories to maximize your exposure and stay in front of your fans and potential customers.
Numerous factors can affect your EdgeRank. Understanding how different content types are scored is one area of focus. With the weight for edge type factor, videos may be ranked higher than links, and photos higher than text updates. Likewise, with affinity scores, a fan sharing your content with others scores higher than a fan who simply comments on an update or photo. Considering the time decay factor, regular updates will produce a higher score than sporadic posts, although points can be taken off for businesses that lean toward over-sharing or spamming fans with tons of updates.
For many business, garnering fans is hard work as it is, much less getting them to interact with a page and share its content. However, fan engagement is the best, most valuable way to increase EdgeRank. Quality over quantity and listening to what fans want are two of the best strategies for increasing EdgeRank. Not engaging fans or taking the “engage until they hide us” approach to the point of appearing spammish are the two best strategies for killing your EdgeRank and dropping out of your fans’ feeds altogether.