Facebook looks at everything published as “objects.” These can be status updates, links, photos, video or anything else that can be shared on Facebook. Every object receives a ranking (EdgeRank), which determines if it will show in your personal newsfeed. Objects with a high EdgeRank appear in your “Top News” feed. Objects with a low EdgeRank will not. According to a study conducted last fall by The Daily Beast, objects with a really low EdgeRank may not even show in your “Most Recent” news feed.
An object’s EdgeRank is based on three factors: affinity or the relationship between the creator and user, interaction with the object (likes, comments, etc.) and timeliness. Add the three factors together using a formula that only Facebook truly knows and you’ve got an object’s EdgeRank.
Unlike Google’s PageRank, which stays the same from user to user, every object is scored based on the individual Facebook user who may (or may not) view the object in their news feed.
Let’s take a closer look at the three factors that determine EdgeRank.
An object’s affinity score is based on the interactions you have with the friend or fan who published the object. Friends or fans with whom you regularly interact receive a higher affinity score. Each time you visit a fan page, click the “Like” button, comment on a user’s status or look at a picture, you increase the affinity score with that user.
As The Daily Beast study points out, this affinity score only works one way. I can’t increase my affinity score in another user’s feed by constantly clicking on their “Like” buttons or looking at their pictures. Although doing so will increase the likelihood that you’ll see their updates, your objects won’t do better in their news feed until they return the favor.
Level of Interaction
Different types of interactions are weighted differently on Facebook. Activities that require higher levels of user engagement get a higher score than those that don’t. For example, leaving a comment on a photo takes more effort on the user’s part than clicking the “Like” button. Objects that receive higher levels of interaction are more likely to show in a user’s newsfeed.
Most people don’t want to read yesterday’s news. Newer objects have a better chance of showing up in your news feed than older ones.
Armed with an understanding of these three elements, here are six tips on how you can increase the likelihood that your content or objects will appear in your friends’ or fans’ “Top News” feed.