Facebook EdgeRank – Do I Need to Care?

What is EdgeRank?

EdgeRank is the Facebook algorithm that decides which stories appear in the news feed. The algorithm hides boring stories, so if your story doesn’t score well, no one will see it.

For those unfamiliar with Facebook, the news feed is what you see when you login to Facebook.  This is all the things happening with your friends on Facebook.

Every action your friend takes is a potential news feed story.  Things likes posting a picture, status update, game milestone, post from a business page etc. are considered news feed items.  Facebook refers to these things as “edges”. So whenever a friend posts a status update, comments on another status update, tags a photo, joins a fan page or RSVP’s to an event it generates an “Edge” and that Edge might show up on your news feed.

The problem is you cannot see ALL the posts because that might be very overwhelming – so Facebook came up with EdgeRank to kind of rating system where Facebook ‘looks’ at your interactions, likes etc. and provides you with news feed information around that.

How does EdgeRank work?

EdgeRank relies on 3 things to determine how well you will rank.

  1. Affinity Score
  2. Edge Weight
  3. Time Decay

Affinity Score

The Affinity Score is how well connected are you to your Friends Edge. For examples, I am friends with Megan Lade. I write on her wall all the time and we have 20 mutual Friends.  So since we have a strong connection when I post something it will probably hit her news feed.

Facebook calculates affinity score by looking at specific actions that a user takes. These actions are:

  1. The strength of the action
  2. How close the person who took the action was to you
  3. How long ago they took the action

These specific actions can include clicking, liking, liking a fan page, commenting, tagging, sharing, and friend-ing a person. Each of these interactions has a different Edge weight and the more effort you do to create the action the typically the higher the Edge weight will be.  So commenting will carry more weight than liking. Commenting on something is worth more than merely liking it, which is worth more than merely clicking on it.

Affinity score measures not only my actions, but also my friends’ actions, and their friends’ actions. For example, if I commented on a fan page, it’s worth more than if my friend commented, which is worth more than if a friend of a friend commented. Not all friends’ actions are treated equally. If I click on someone’s status updates and write on their wall regularly, that person’s actions influence my affinity score significantly more than another friend who I tend to ignore.

Edge Weight

Each category of edges has a different default weight. Comments weigh more than likes for example.

Every action that a user takes creates an edge, and each of those edges, except for clicks, creates a potential story. By default, you are more likely to see a story in your news feed about me commenting on a fan page than a story about me liking a fan page.

Time Decay/Recency

As a story gets older it will loose Edge points simply because it is old news!

EdgeRank is a running score.  So as your post ages it looses points because newer stories with higher Edge points will replace it. Your update will only hit the news feed if it has a higher Edge point score–at that moment in time–than the other possible news feed stories also being posted.

How can I optimize my Fan Page for EdgeRank?

Since most of my post is based on what I have read since Facebook does not come out and directly say how their algorithm works my best strategy advise would be to compel your readers to engage you.

All of your posts need to generate “likes” or comments.

Some examples:

  • “Click ‘like’ if you’re excited that we just released our Mobile Real Estate Website.”
  • “Fill-in-the-blank: I want my new house to have a ______. “
  • “Yes or No, I think Real Estate Prices are DROPPING.”

All those likes and comments will increase the Affinity Score between each fan and your page, boosting how many fans see your status updates in their news feed.

Using images.  In general you see more posts with images then those without.  So go ahead and attach a photo or video.

So if you generally try to engage your readers at the end of your posts you are already increasing your EdgeRank.  So what types of closings do you use and are they working for you?  Let’s build a list here for everyone to share!

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