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EdgeRank is an algorithm developed by Facebook to govern what is displayed (and how high) on the News Feed.
What is the EdgeRank algorithm?
This algorithm can be understood as: the sum of Edges, each Edge is made up of (Affinity, Weight, & Time Decay). This may sound complicated at first, but when you begin to understand the underlying concept, it’s actually a brilliantly simple and effective algorithm. We’ll dive into the details and provide a working example.
What is an Edge?
An Edge is basically everything that “happens” in Facebook. Examples of Edges would be status updates, comments, likes, and shares. There are many more Edges than our small list, simply put any action that happens within Facebook is an Edge.
What Does EdgeRank Do?
EdgeRank ranks Edges in the News Feed. EdgeRank looks at all of the Edges that are connected to the User, it then ranks each edge to understand the importance to the User. Objects with the highest EdgeRank will typically go to the top of the News Feed (there is a small component of randomization).
What is Affinity?
Affinity is a one-way relationship between a User and an Edge. It could be understood as how close of a “relationship” a Brand and a Fan may have. Affinity is built by repeat interactions with a Brand’s Edges. Actions such as Commenting, Liking, Sharing, Clicking, and even Messaging can influence a User’s Affinity.
What is Weight?
Weight is a value system created by Facebook to increase/decrease the value of certain actions within Facebook. Commenting is more involved and therefore deemed more valuable than a Like. In the weighting system, Comments would have a higher value than a Like. In this system all Edges are assigned a value chosen by Facebook. As a general rule, it’s best to assume Edges that take the most time to accomplish tend to weigh more.
For engagement Edges we generally say Shares > Comments > Likes > Clicks. For content type Edges we’ve seen Videos > Photos > Status Updates > Links.
What is Time Decay?
Time Decay refers to how long the Edge has been alive; the older it is the less valuable it is. Time Decay is the easiest of the variables to understand. Mathematically it is understood as 1/(Time Since Action). As an Edge ages, it loses value. This helps keep the News Feed fresh with interesting new content, as opposed to lingering old content.
Chad Wittman’s Hypothetical News Feed:
- Brother’s Photo (Created recently, no engagement)
- High School Friend Status Update (Created 12 hours ago, high engagement)
- Brand Page’s Photo (Created 4 hours ago, high engagement)
- Casual Acquaintance Status Update (Created 2 hours ago, low engagement)
Why are these updates arranged in this particular order? Ultimately, EdgeRank is the determining factor of this particular arrangement. As you can see, a brand that leverages EdgeRank was able to enter the News Feed among friends and family.
Why is EdgeRank Important?
If a Brand generally has low EdgeRank objects, then the Brand’s updates will be seen by less people. This means that their Facebook marketing budget is being less effective than it could be. Brands that are succeeding with high EdgeRank objects are leveraging their Facebook budget by multitudes. The difference between leveraging and being punished by EdgeRank is substantial. The difference can result in a 5x difference in exposure.
What is EdgeRank Checker’s EdgeRank Score?
EdgeRank Checker measures the average impact of EdgeRank on a Brand. EdgeRank Scores are determined per object, per day with the average Fan. This helps Brands get a general understanding of how EdgeRank is impacting their Facebook marketing efforts. EdgeRank Scores can fluctuate depending on the success of their objects and Competitive EdgeRank. It’s free and easy to check your EdgeRank Score.
How Do I Optimize For EdgeRank?
Your Brand will ultimately be judged by your ability to engage your content. Some Brands have natural success such as the NBA and NFL due to their media rich and highly engaged audience.