There has been a lot of talk in the digital press recently about EdgeRank, the good, bad, and of course the downright ugly side of the back office Facebook analytics. With this in mind, we have put together the definitive guide to EdgeRank with absolutely everything you need to know from its positive pro’s to the pitiful problems.
First things first, for those new to the business Facebook page world, what is EdgeRank?
In Facebook terms, an “Edge” is defined as any activity that occurs on Facebook (be it Likes, Comments, RSVPs, Tags, etc) that can potentially create a newsfeed story. From that, the EdgeRank algorithm is used by Facebook to filter newsfeeds and show the most relevant posts for that particular user.
The algorithm itself is split into three main focuses:
- Affinity The Affinity score is measured by the relationship you have with the user that created the “edge.” The more ‘interconnected’ you are, the higher the score. Also, if a large number of your friends all like a similar page, there is a higher chance of that content arising in your newsfeed.
- Weight There are two Weight types: post and interactions. EdgeRank takes the Weight of posts into account by determining what type of post it is – be it a photo, video, link, or text only status update. Shares and comments require more input/work from an end user, and therefore are ranked higher in ‘weight’ as these actions reach more users (than compared to a simple ‘like’ for example).
- Decay An obvious sentiment, but a sentiment all the same – an old story is a dead story. Whilst Facebook does not order its ‘edges’ chronologically, it does factor in Time to its algorithm. The vast majority of engagement occurs within minutes after a post has been published. So unless people happen to scroll through your page out of principle, old stories are lost forever.
The Good Bits…
From 2011-12, the amount of all time spent on Facebook, specifically on the newsfeed/timeline went from from 27% to 40%, so with Facebook maximising what it is people will automatically see by using EdgeRank, the content viewed by the end user will be far more targeted, therefore far more likely to be shared or commented on.
With targeted posting, it also helps the more ‘white hat’ of pages; those that have fans through hard work and genuine authenticity (rather than having deeper pockets and buying their numbers). In the end, if you have real people, looking for real information, and you are a real help and real interest, it really can’t be a bad thing at all….can it?
The Bad Bits…
At times it can seem that Facebook think with their wallets rather than the paying and unpaying users. Whilst targeted marketing is widespread across the internet (Google of course being a prime example of such), as a user (less a business) you do feel a little…cheated.
You like a page because you enjoy their information, their posts, their photos. If you didn’t want to see it, why would you have clicked ‘like’ in the first place? Similarly, if you no longer like a page, we are quick enough to head over and swiftly check the ‘unlike’ box.
However, Facebook don’t seem to deem our own judgement on our own pages worthy. Nor does the algorithm pick up tone or sarcasm to a level that could influence what it is that ultimately appears on our timelines.
Could it all just be a ruse for Facebook to bang an extra buck from our business?
Lets be honest, our thoughts (or anyone elses!) on the matter really won’t make all that much different to their pocket-laden ideas anyway. However, the key to success is understanding the algorithm, and knowing how to maximise your posts to ensure that they receive the coverage they deserve. Although the future may hold the odd tweak here and there for EdgeRank, it seems that it is here to stay.