The Facebook Edgerank algorithm has ruined social media. It’s time to abandon Facebook. Jump ship. Pack up. Move on.
A little dramatic? Without a doubt. I’ve heard/read at least a dozen big-name internet marketers say something – or publish something written by someone else – along those lines within the past week. I’m going to go out on a limb and bet that 100-percent of them still have a presence on Facebook next week. Look, Facebook is still essential and just like everything else in the internet marketing world we need to adapt, learn and custom-tailor our strategy to work with the changes rather than against them. Internet marketers can be real cry babies sometimes.
For those of you living under a rock, Edgerank is Facebook’s algorithm designed to
make my life hell predict how useful a piece of content is from the pages you follow. This means I’ve used up approximately 2-bazillion (I may have rounded up) hours cultivating hordes of fans to client pages so that Facebook could decide that only approximately 16-percent of them could see my posts at any given time. 16-percent might even be high; I’ve read other sources claiming 10-12-percent might be closer to average. This stings a bit, but it’s not time to abandon Facebook just yet.
Let’s talk about the algorithm for a second so that you can understand what makes this beast tick. Edgerank is an alogorithm based on three variables (that we know of).
Affinity measures the relationship of the person sharing the content with the person on the receiving in. For example, Facebook is much more likely to assume you want to see content from your mom than from McDonald’s. Whether or not that’s the case, we’ll never know. That’s just how Facebook sees it.
Another example would be you liking a page that several of your close friends also happen to like. If you interact with these close friends regularly, Facebook is going to assume since you interact regularly and like the same page, you might want to see the updates more often. If you have a friend (a) that you rarely ever interact with, but you both like the same page, the chances of you seeing this page’s updates go down. That is, unless you start interacting with the page even though you aren’t interacting with the friend. Does anyone else’s head hurt?
In a nutshell, the more you like, comment and share a page’s updates the more likely you are to see future updates from that page. If you and close friends (friends you interact with on Facebook regularly) all like a same page, it’ll take not only your likes, shares and comments into consideration – but those of your friends as well.
Okay, this concept is much simpler to explain.
Time decay is merely the act of devaluing (moving a piece of content down a page) a content update by a page based on when it was published. If you have 3,000 friends the time decay period is going to be very short. This means your window of opportunity to see something published by one of the pages you liked is going to be significantly shorter than your friend who only has 100 friends. Essentially, as friends and other pages update their content, they’re pushing yours off the page. The more friends you have or pages you follow, the more updates you see. The more updates you see, the less time any one update will stay at or near the top of your page. Facebook is striving to keep the timeline fresh and updated with the newest content.
Weight is basically what types of posts are most likely to be interacted with by those that like your page. In order from most interaction to least based on historical data we have:
1.) Photos, videos & album updates
2.) Links (internal or external)
3.) Plain text updates
In reality, these are just historic statistics. If your fans interact with it (no matter what you post), you’ll start to appear on more timelines and for longer periods of time. That said, there’s no shame in following this handy list until you get the hang of it.
Understanding Edgerank is half the battle. The other half is beginning to manipulate what you post to increase the engagement numbers of your audience. We’ll talk a bit more about that in a later post. Stay tuned.