Facebook EdgeRank: What It Is and Why It Matters

Have you heard of the term Facebook EdgeRank? It’s a somewhat secret algorithm to Facebook’s news feed that a majority of page owners know very little or nothing about. Despite all the mystery surrounding it, a pages EdgeRank is a huge deciding factor in how often fans will see a page’s updates. There’s a lot of potential exposure at stake in learning how to leverage it.

The “Like” is only half the battle

Consider for a moment about how users interact with pages on Facebook. After initially visiting the page and clicking on the like button, most of us won’t frequently return to the page on a regular basis. We receive status updates and photos more often than not via our individual news feed by clicking on the Top News or Most Recent headings. Many Facebook users never change their default setting (by preference or without knowing there’s another option) from only receiving news from friends and pages they interact with most. This is where EdgeRank comes into play.

What exactly is EdgeRank?

The quick answer is that EdgeRank is Facebook’s deciding algorithm as to whether or not an update appears in an individual’s news feed. Thus for marketers, it’s mighty important to have a higher as opposed to lower EdgeRank. You can receive an educated guess as to what your page’s rank may be on a scale of 1-20 via EdgeRankChecker.com. While it’s just an estimate, the tool is useful for gauging how your page performs as compared to others.

Understanding the algorithm

EdgeRank is determined by 3 factors: Affinity, Weight, and Time.

Affinity is the frequency and volume of interactions. Every time an update is commented on, liked, or viewed it receives another vote towards its EdgeRank. A status update with 20 comments and 15 likes is logically given higher priority over an update that has none.

Weight is the type of content and how long it’s interacted with. It’s been said that photos and videos tend to hold a higher weight than just normal status updates.

Time is how long ago the update was made. Fresh news is given higher priority over an update that’s hours or days old.

What does it mean for page owners?

If a page has 2000 fans, but only 10 of them are actively commenting and clicking on the like button, the page isn’t going to have a very high EdgeRank and thus won’t appear in most fan’s news feed. The 1990 fans that don’t interact aren’t useless, but they might as well be. As page admins it’s our job to be frequently updating the page with meaningful content, preferably the kind that’s comment and like worthy. For some this may mean posting more photos and videos. For others asking questions and/or soliciting feedback may help.

It’s only after understanding EdgeRank that we can then work towards improving it.

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