There is a lot of uproar these days about Facebook’s Edgerank system – especially since the controversial changes to it in mid-September that marketers say have impacted their reach greatly.

But with all the talk surrounding EdgeRank and hot to optimize your page for it, how well do you really understand what EdgeRank really is and how yours is being determined?

What is EdgeRank? An algorithm developed by Facebook to determine what is shown and how it is ranked in Facebook users’ News Feeds. EdgeRank is also used to refer to the rank of a brand/page, and to the specific ranking of a particular “edge” (see below).

How EdgeRank is determined? The formula that dictates an item, connection, or a brand’s EdgeRank is as follows, courtesy of EdgeRank Checker:

Let’s break that formula down…

Sum of “Edges”: An edge is an occurrence of some kind of Facebook; a status update, a posted photo, a like, share, etc. The sum of those is everything that anyone connected to a certain user does.

Affinity (u): This is basically the quality of the connection between a brand or another user and the individual in question. For our purposes today, we’re going to focus on how this affects brands. The user and the brand’s relationship is affected by how often and in what ways the user engages with the “edges” generated by the brand.

Weight (w): An edge’s weight is essentially Facebook’s determination of that story’s importance to Facebook users. Everything has a weight, whether it’s posted content – photo, video, link, status – or an action by a user such as a like or comment. The chart below shows a Wildfire study’s results when they studied the weight of different content types from a local business:

Time Decay (d): How long it has been since the edge was originally generated. Newer actions or content are the most valuable, ensuring that the ‘news’ in your feed is as current as possible, while still being interesting to you.

Now, why is all of this important? We will look at the importance of EdgeRank for brands on Facebook in our next posting. We will also talk about the recent changes and their implications for your marketing strategy.

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