Larry BraunerYou post updates on your Facebook profile, page or group and want your friends, fans or group members to find them in their Facebook news feeds — and hopefully comment on them and recommend them to their friends.

Ever notice that much too often your posts don’t have the effect you desire? This result can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Few Eyeballs - The quantity of your friends, fans or members is small to begin with, and since few check their news feeds regularly, your posts go unnoticed.
  • Relevance - Your posts are irrelevant or simply fail to resonate with your audience. They don’t appeal enough for people to engage them.
  • Passivity - Many people lack the assertiveness or the focus to react to your posts or share them, even if they enjoy them.
  • Low EdgeRank - Facebook buries your posts so far down in people’s news feeds, that they’re in-effect invisible. Facebook computes and uses EdgeRank to assess the relative importance of posted content. A high Facebook Edge Rank leads to visibility, while a low Facebook EdgeRank leads to obscurity. Your posts are competing with others, and a relatively low EdgeRank keeps them from appearing.

FacebookAs Jason Kincaid explains in EdgeRank: The Secret Sauce That Makes Facebook’s News Feed Tick on Tech Crunch, three factors influence the EdgeRank of your content:

  1. Relationship, i.e., your relationship with your potential audience as perceived by Facebook. The more you interact with Facebook users, the higher the EdgeRank of your posts, and the higher your posts appear on their walls. Facebook rewards you for building personal relationships. Invest time reading, commenting on and sharing other people’s content.
  2. Engagement, the extent to which people engage with your post. A strong interaction will drive up your Facebook Edge Rank. Of course, someone has to see your post and react to it in the first place. This can lead to a Catch-22 situation. If necessary, send a message to some of your good friends in order to get the ball rolling. By the way, the most engaging posts are status updates that ask questions.
  3. Time Elapsed - Over time your post loses EdgeRank, which makes room for newer posts to appear. No one post gets to hog the news, so keep your creative juices flowing.

Facebook values relationships between its members and engagement with member content. Give Facebook what Facebook values, and your EdgeRank and visibility will benefit. Use Facebook for pushing your ads or agenda, and your EdgeRank and visibility will suffer.

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24 Responses to “How Facebook EdgeRank Affects Your Visibility”

  1. Solveigh Calderin on June 14th, 2010 4:23 am

    Thank you for this article, Larry.

    Yes, you are absolutely true. An acquaintance of mine always says: “Feed the system and the system feeds you.”

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge :-)

  2. Cherry Rahtu on June 14th, 2010 5:45 am

    Hi Larry, interesting post. Is this the reason why when I open the news feeds every time, certain people’s posts always show up at the first place before I click on “most recent?”

    Curious to know more about it.

    To encourage engagement and enhance relationship, my thinking is to start listening first, “liking” and commenting on others’ posts. Same thing for myself, when I observed someone always liking my posts or commenting on my posts, I definitely will go to check out his/her profile. What do you think? What is your best practice to encourage engagement? ;)

  3. Reviews on June 14th, 2010 6:47 am

    Larry, thanks a lot for explaining Edge Rank (frankly, I had no idea about it). Which reminds that Facebook is fundamentally search based, and Edge Rank appears to be a ranking factor in that search algorithm, just as the name suggests. Since you know FB better than I do, what is your opinion of FaceBook as a search engine. Does “SEO for Facebook” make any sense?


  4. Mirdza on June 14th, 2010 9:00 am

    That’s true. Relationships are definitely very important. That’s good to know that Facebook values this. Thanks for the tip on asking questions in our status. The times I’ve asked questions have definitley engaged more people in the conversation.

  5. Diane Schubach on June 14th, 2010 12:29 pm

    I’ve been hearing a lot about EdgeRank. Thanks for the clear explanation.

  6. Don E. Chute on June 14th, 2010 12:45 pm

    Thanks Larry for the post.

    I had no idea, facebook had a ranking system.

    Good to know, Good to know.


  7. Steve on June 14th, 2010 1:40 pm

    Larry, thanks for the great writeup. I have found joining relevant groups on Facebook (I keep the main ones I interact in down to 2-3) has been helpful in terms of bringing some interested people to my fan page. And from there, the interactions go up. Also, I like the List function for sorting groups of friends: it makes it much easier to keep up with everyone and to interact with them.

  8. Larry Brauner on June 14th, 2010 4:16 pm

    @Cherry You’re right on target. Consistency is also important.

    @Philip SEO for Facebook makes sense to me, if you substitute “social” for “search.”

    @Solveigh @Mirdza @Diane @Don @Steve Thank you for stopping by. :)

  9. VanillaSeven on June 14th, 2010 10:16 pm

    Sweet! This is a revelation. I should be more active on FB then :) Thanks!

  10. Shari Weiss on June 14th, 2010 10:49 pm

    I really appreciate this information, Larry. I’m going to share it with many of my social media newbie friends who want to know how to use Facebook to help build their businesses.

    That being said, I do know many Facebook users — especially among our fellow Baby Boomers — who use the Global Whiteboard [the internet] for personal messaging. I don’t get it. I don’t understand why people put really intimate details of their lives on[the]line . . . for just a few of their close friends.

    Anyone here want to help me understand this?

  11. JT Locke on June 15th, 2010 8:23 pm

    Thank you for the information, Larry. Like some of the others, I had no idea that Facebook had a ranking system. Another reason for me to become more active on Facebook.

  12. HGH on June 15th, 2010 11:09 pm

    That was really a new information to me about the EdgeRank in Facebook. I was wondering why no one comments on my status even after having as many as 800 friends.

  13. Website Overnite on June 16th, 2010 10:47 pm

    Brilliant post!

    I will pass this on to a client who has been looking for a systematic edge on Facebook, no pun intended :-P

    I.C. Jackson

  14. Larry Brauner on June 16th, 2010 10:56 pm

    Thank you Ivo. The systematic edge is an edge that must be earned. Good luck to your client.

  15. Jamie Gorman on June 19th, 2010 9:18 am

    I wondered how FB determines “Top News”. I usually try to use “Most Recent” when I pull up my page, but it always defaults back. Thanks for the info.

  16. idon on June 19th, 2010 1:51 pm

    Thank you for this article, Larry.

  17. Outsourcing Guide on June 19th, 2010 3:06 pm

    This is very informative article. Thanks for sharing it. I am a Facebook user and this is very helpful. Great post!

  18. Kristy on June 20th, 2010 11:06 pm

    I am reading all your Facebook posts and the more I read the more I think I need to make a Facebook page. I knew I needed to worry about my page rank with Google. Facebook edge rank is so new to me, but I think I could do it! Thanks for the tips!

  19. Prosperity Extreme on July 25th, 2010 6:07 pm

    Hey Larry, Brad West here,

    Understanding edge effects is one thing, making time to be effective at it and do the other tasks that are so demanding is another. To get anywhere today on the internet it takes massive action and work. You ether have to do the work or outsource it. Outsourcing takes both time and money, you need to spend the time to train people to do things correctly. It really doesn’t take much of the wrong thing being done the send the rankings into the crapper.

    Thank you for the reminder about asking questions. Most of what we do on the web can be shared and is accepted very well as content on our social sites, but I do need to come up with question posts. Also been working some with Wendy Ai on her Animal information project. I have been learning some teaching her.

    Thanks for the post and see you on the outside.


  20. Larry Brauner on July 25th, 2010 6:40 pm

    I agree with you about massive action, Brad.

    Massive action is a key success factor in every major endeavor, and social media marketing is no exception.

    Rumor has it that Twitter will soon offer some type of ranked view of tweets.

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  24. Tegan Saunders on February 21st, 2012 7:28 am

    Admittedly, I’m having a hard time establishing business relationship in Facebook. What I do is to contact my friends and ask them to recommend my page with their friends thru posting my link to their wall. So far, its working. I’ll try the tips you shared, hopefully, it will work for me as well.

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