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What is Facebook EdgeRank or How Facebook Algorithm Works

Laura Montells

Laura MontellsMetricool.com

Do your posts on Facebook hardly receive interactions? Other Facebook pages are obtaining more interactions than yours and it’s frustrating not knowing why. Have you ever thought about why you see some publications instead of others? The answer to your questions is Facebook EdgeRank.

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EdgeRank: What’s EdgeRank?

That’s what Facebook Algorithm is called. This algorithm will determine which posts will be seen by a user depending on his activity.

Today we will reveal everything about it and what you can do to make sure Facebook and EdgeRank consider your page’s posts, attaining more visibility and standing out amongst other News Feeds on Facebook. We will break down this algorithm and its more recent changes, don’t miss anything!

What Exactly is Facebook EdgeRank?

Apart from being a real headache for many Community Managers, it’s also how Facebook algorithm is known. So, not only does Google have its own algorithm, the queen of social networks has one too.

EdgeRank algorithm is a collection of math operations with many different variables. It determines which stories will be shown in each user’s newsfeed depending on the content that they are interested in. What does this mean? Through this algorithm, Facebook decides which publications will appear in each of your followers’ newsfeeds.

How Does Facebook Algorithm Know What The Preferences Are For Each User?

The movement of each Facebook user counts, from making a comment on a photo, liking a post or posting a video. All these signs will show the algorithm what you might be interested in or not. At the end of the day, Facebook is a business and the clients are all the profiles and pages. The objective is to keep everybody happy making sure that the clients receive only information that is valuable for them.

Simon Sinek Facebook

You will get a better understanding with this simple example:

If every time you open Facebook, the first thing you do is search for posts of your family, partner, friends or your favorite clothing brand, Facebook will know without a doubt that if these publications appear in your newsfeed, they will receive more interactions than if other content is shown.

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EdgeRank is Facebook’s big brother. It´s watching you at all times.

Facebook Algorithm History

Before going into detail about how the Facebook EdgeRank algorithm works, let’s review the most relevant changes that Facebook algorithm has undergone in the last few years.

If you are a Social Media professional or you’re managing the webpage of your business, we recommend you consider these updates when you are planning your publications.

  • Newsfeed prioritizes popular publications (2009):This change was one of the most relevant to date. Facebook first started to consider the most popular posts: the more attractive the post, the higher it appeared in Facebook News Feed.
  • Design (March 2013):The social network changed News Feed design to make it more visual and attractive to users.
  • Instagram (April 2014): Instagram became part of this social network giant.
  • Clickbait Control (August 2014): Facebook is not a big fan of clickbaiting, or in other words, easy ways to get clicks. That’s the reason in 2014 Facebook started restricting publications that used striking headlines to encourage users to click on them. However, this type of publication had a high bounce rate.
  • Video Update (September2014): The social network rewarded those publications that used their videos, that’s why they didn’t prioritize pages or profiles that posted a YouTube link.
  • News Feed prioritizes friends’ posts (2015): After some users’ complaints, this update started prioritizing posts from friends over other publications coming from other pages.
  • Support for GIFs (June 2015): From this date, the use of GIFs increased on Facebook.
  • Harder restrictions towards Clickbait (August 2016): With this new update, Facebook can recognize and classify “clickbait” headlines like a spam filter. This change was forced after thousands of complaints from users.
  • Facebook Stories (January 2017): It will probably sound familiar from other social networks like Snapchat or Instagram. The purpose of these “stories” is to allow users to share photos and videos that will disappear from a newsfeed after 24 hours. It expands the reach for both profiles and Facebook pages.
  • News Feed prioritizes videos (January 2017): This new update consists of prioritizing those videos on the timeline that engage users. That is, if a user watches all or most of a video, that video or similar will be prioritized over other videos that are not able to captivate their audience.
  • Facebook “reactions” are valued more than “Likes” (February 2017): Facebook will weight more a Reaction than a Like. Facebook understands that a user leaving a reaction on a post shows that the person gave more value to the content than if he had simply liked it.  However, this algorithm update doesn’t discriminate between positive or negative reactions, the value is the same.

 

How EdgeRank Works

Now that we’ve reviewed the list of Facebook Algorithm updates, you are probably wondering which factors you should consider to be more appealing to EdgeRank.

If you want to appear on Facebook News Feed and reach more users, you should take note of the following factors:

  • Affinity: This means that Facebook considers more relevant posts from friends and pages that have more affinity with the user. For example, profiles from relatives, partners, or Facebook pages that users often visit.
  • Type of content: Facebook algorithm leans toward the quality of the posts. This factor was included recently to fight against the infamous “clickbaiting”. What should you do to increase engagement? You should offer interesting content for your targeted audience without falling into easy clicks.

Amongst the contents with a better acceptance in the social network are:

  • Videos (the objective is to compete against YouTube).
  • Live Transmissions (to compete against Periscope).
  • GIFs
  • Images

National Geographic Post

 

Interactions: Here you will have to put into practice your originality when you create content. This social network considers those publications that obtain a high percentage of Facebook engagement. The order of relevance is as follows:

  1. Number of times that content has been shared.
  2. Value of comments received.Interactions: Here you will have to put into practice your originality when you create content. This social network considers those publications that obtain a high percentage of Facebook engagement. The order of relevance is as follows:
  3. Number of Likes and Reactions on a post.

Therefore, if you have a low number of followers on your Facebook Page, you’re in luck since the more followers you have, the higher the engagement on your posts should be.

So, for example, if you have 20,000 fans but none of them interact with your content, the impact on the EdgeRank algorithm of your Fan Page will be negative.

National Geographic Post Likes

  • Present: Time factor is essential for this social network. That is, the most recent publications will appear in the latest newsfeed on your followers’ page.

Be careful though, this will change when we consider promoted publications with Facebook Ads or when we talk about the memories that Facebook brings with ‘On This Day’.

To be more appealing in this social network, it’s also important that you don’t exceed the maximum of 5 daily publications. What happens if you surpass it? Your Facebook Page could be penalized and it’s not worth the risk after working so hard, right?

  • Variety: This social network giant loves that Pages get the most of different content types. Try to alternate your content and you will succeed: Photos, videos (including live videos), GIFs, events, link shares, etc.

Links on Facebook Score Positively

Facebook is not particularly fond of sharing external links. It prefers that users don’t leave the social network. However, for this type of content you should publish updates with a high percentage of sustained engagement and a low bounce rate.

If the social network realizes that you post an article including an external link that has many shares but users don’t spend too much time on them, then Facebook will penalize your page.

Links on Facebook Post

One last recommendation, if you want to make sure your Facebook Page goes far, you will have to invest in promoting your posts and carry on ad campaigns with Facebook Ads. In the end, Facebook is a business that also rewards those that invest in its own platform. Facebook is willing to make money out of it.

Now you know how to work with EdgeRank or Facebook Algorithm to be rewarded for your publications and reach a lot of people. Is there something else that we could add to this article according to your own experience? Please, tell us…


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