A Simple Guide to Facebook's EdgeRank

Posted by David Murton on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 @ 11:20 AM

Every post you make on Facebook and its positioning on your friends' or fans' news feeds is determined by something known as EdgeRank.

It is the algorithm that Facebook uses to effectively decide which posts appear on a particular user's news feed. By doing so, the social network ensures that users are exposed chiefly to the type of posts they're most likely to care about.

But how does EdgeRank exactly work? What factors determine a post's worth? By understanding how EdgeRank works, it will help your marketing team see how certain posts are more highly considered and what needs to be done to earn greater exposure among your fans.


How EdgeRank works

Regardless of whether you're posting from your personal profile or from your business page, EdgeRank works in a similar fashion to both. With your personal profile, any of your Facebook friends have the potential of seeing a post you make. With your business page, it's your fans who have the potential of seeing the posts you make. Now that that's out of the way, let's delve a little deeper into EdgeRank's algorithm.

There are three chief categories - or variables - that EdgeRank works on.

  1. Affinity
  2. Weight
  3. Time decay

These may sound like gibberish at first, but let's focus on each individually.

1. Affinity

First of all, there's affinity. Affinity refers to the relationship a Facebook user has to your posts (both past and present). The chief determining factor of affinity is how they engage or have engaged with your posts. So if they commonly 'like' your posts, this is considered an indicator of affinity. If they comment on or share your posts, these are considered as even greater indicators of affinity.

In short, if an individual tends to engage with your posts on a regular basis (be it a friend or fan), then EdgeRank will rate that user as having a high affinity with your posts. Additionally, EdgeRank also takes into account the type of post. So if a user tends to engage more with your photo posts, then they'll be considered more highly by EdgeRank. As a result, it's more likely your posts will be surfaced and displayed in their news feed more often.

2. Weight

With weight, EdgeRank is basing the significance based on two chief factors. The first is the type of post it is. Facebook decides to place more organic weight on posts based on the following order:

  1. Photo/video posts
  2. Posts with links
  3. Plain text posts/updates 

That means that if you were to post a photo and then a plain text update and both of them received the same amount of engagement, your photo post would still be ranked higher. The reasoning behind holding greater value to a post type is something that is ultimately at Facebook's discretion. Whenever they introduce a new post type, they tend to lend it more weight to encourage users to utilise it earlier on.

The second factor is based on the overall engagement a post has received. So say 20 people have liked a plain text post by one of your friends but then only 5 people have liked a photo post by another friend of yours. Even though photo posts are automatically granted more weight, because the overall engagement on the plain text post is notably greater, it would have a greater chance of showing up in your news feed.

So with weight, it comes down to post type and how many of your friends - or other fans or a page you like - have engaged with a particular post. Also worth noting is if a post has received a notable amount of negative feedback, then it will be less likely to show on your news feed as well.

3. Time decay

The final factor is time decay, and this is certainly the most straight forward of the three variables that make up EdgeRank's algorithm. Simply put, time decay all has to do with how recent the post is. The older a post gets, the less relevant it becomes. When it's considered too old, EdgeRank will remove it from users' news feeds.

In the end, the logic behind EdgeRank's algorithm is very simple and makes plenty of sense. Understanding how it works is a valuable tool for marketers. So make sure you keep yourself up-to-date with the basic ins and outs of EdgeRank


Margin Media is an inbound marketing company based in Brisbane. We offer a range of digital marketing solutions to help your business increase its website trafficqualified leads and customer base. To find out more about our services, give us a call on 1300 798 848 or visit our contact page.

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