If you use Facebook, you may or may not have heard about Edge Rank. If you haven’t and you aren’t just using FB for fun but trying to promote a business, you may be interested to know more about edge rank.
Most people know that Google has algorithms that determine how a website ranks when someone does a search.There are many criteria that go into it. Well, Facebook has an algorithm that determines how widely a post is seen. You probably realize that not everyone you are friends with sees every post that you do. If Facebook put everything on your News feed that all your friends posted, you would be overwhelmed. So Facebook tries to figure out what you might be most interested in and puts that on the news feed.
When your friends do something on Facebook, it generates a potential News feed story. In Facebook jargon each one is called an Edge.
So, how does the algorithm work to determine which stories or Edges you see? There are 3 main factors:
- Affinity score
- Edge Weight
- Time decay factor
This is how connected you are to someone else. If you are friends with them, interact with them on a regular basis, have a lot of mutual friends, write regularly on their wall, you will have a high affinity score with that person and what you post is more likely to show up on their news feed. Different actions have different weights. The higher the effort involved and the more interest inherently shown, the more it will boost the score. So just viewing a post does nothing. Clicking on a post gives some score, liking it gives more, commenting on it still more and sharing is at the top.
Each Edge has a weight. If you just like something, your friends aren’t too likely to see that. If you comment on something, they are much more likely to see that. Facebook ranks different actions depending on what they think you will find most interesting. For instance, Facebook ranks videos and pictures in a post higher than a link. When Facebook adds a new feature they put the weight high for that so you see a lot of the new feature. Then they decrease it over time to a more normal level.
Time Decay Factor
Facebook is not going to be putting up things from a year ago. In other words, there is not a single edge rank score. It constantly changes and decays with time since Facebook is constantly looking for what is new to catch your interest.
It is impossible to determine an edge rank score and you would go crazy trying to since it is different for everyone you interact with. In fact, the edge rank between you and a friend is different than the rank between them and you. That is because you might look at their posts more than they do yours or a number of other reasons. However, you can get a feel for the effects of edge rank by seeing how many people you reach with a post. The posts with more comments and likes will be seen by more people since Facebook thinks that this must be an interesting conversation if a number of people are commenting on it.