Have you ever wondered what determines which updates you see in your newsfeed on Facebook? You may have had an experience where a friend sees an update from a particular person that you missed when you were both scrolling through your feeds at the same time. Or maybe you wonder how all of the updates from all of your friends and the pages you like even fit in your newsfeed.
Well the truth is, they don’t.
In order to try and make the best possible user experience for Facebook users, Facebook has created an algorithm which takes many different factors into consideration in order to create the most relevant and engaging newsfeed for each and every user. This algorithm is known as Edge Rank.
Why It Matters for Businesses and Marketers
You are probably already putting the pieces together if you are a business owner; Edge Rank has a large impact on you. You need your posts to be seen in order to grow your audience and engage with them. However, your posts are competing against people’s best other pages, friends, and family members for prime real estate in their newsfeeds.
How can you ensure your posts get seen by the largest amount of people? For one, you can pay using Facebook Ads to expand your reach. But there is also something you can do to get the most out of your organic reach; learn the ranking factors and use them to your advantage.
So here is a list of factors that have been identified to influence Edge Rank. First you’ll see the ones that can improve your post’s visibility, followed by factors that can hurt it.
Take note of these factors as they reveal what you should be aiming for in your posts.
Lots of likes on content
If a Facebook post receives a lot of likes from the people a user interacts with on Facebook, it will be more likely to appear on their feed.
Lots of comments on content
Similar to above, a post that a user’s friends and connections comment on is more likely to be seen by them.
Lots of shares on content
Posts that have been shared many times are more likely to have increased Organic Reach.
Comments with tags
Content that attracts lots of people who tag their friends in comments will also have more Organic Reach.
Content that spurs discussions/replies
When Page admins respond to comments left on posts, it increases the chances of the piece of content having a higher Organic Reach, especially if it creates a discussion.
Lots of clicks
The more a piece of content is clicked on – for example, if it’s a link to a story – the more likely it will be shown more widely on users’ feeds.
Referencing a trending topic
Posts that reference a topic that is currently trending will be more likely to show up on a user’s feed, so that they can be informed in a timely manner.
High Engagement in a Short Time
If there are many interactions on a particular post in a short amount of time, this increases its chances of ranking highly. This means that you have to be strategic about showing it at the right time – when more people are logged on to Facebook. Look at your Facebook Insights to determine when this time period is.
The more frequently your community interacts with your posts, the higher the affinity it has with your page. This will be rewarded by a higher likelihood that your posts will be seen by your fans.
High Time Spent on Post
The amount of time a user spends lingering over a post shows the algorithm that a particular story or topic interests them. More similar stories will be shown to these users the longer they spend interacting with it.
Videos that are uploaded directly onto Facebook are favored, especially if they attract a lot of likes and shares and are viewed longer than average.
Posts that are links are favored more highly than those shared in a caption or status update.
Content Captions that @tag other pages
When a piece of content tags another page, it’s likely that the post will also be shown to the followers of the tagged page.
Original Image, Links, and Video Content that has not appeared on Facebook Open Graph
New and original pieces of content that have not been seen before are more likely to be ranked highly.
There is speculation that content published on the Facebook platform is more highly ranked. For example, by publishing content using the Note Feature, it is more likely to appear more often. This is because it keeps the users on Facebook where they can be monetized instead of sending them off to another website where they cannot be tracked.
Profile pages that have been verified are thought to be more highly ranked, although this too is not conclusive.
Profiles that show complete information, along with a photo and cover photo, are more likely to have their posts shown on a user’s feed.
Long form posts
Posts that are longer will be given priority.
How Close People Are To You Who Take Actions
The pieces of content that a user’s friends interact with are prioritized over a Fanpage’s posts.
How Long Ago They Took an Action
Recent actions on a post will determine the likelihood of another post from the same page being shown again.
Type of post
Videos and images are given more priority, followed by link posts and text-based posts.
Now for the factors that reduce your exposure.
Posts that generate hides or are reported or flagged by users
This is an indication that the content was irrelevant, offensive or boring, and will tell the algorithm to show less content from that page.
Unusual spikes in engagement (potential like-baiting)
Posts that encourage users to like them, in order to game the algorithm and improve ranking are hurtful for the page in the long run.
Over-sensationalized headlines to entice users to click on them are de-prioritized in the long run. This is measured by how quickly a user returns to Facebook after clicking on the link and receiving a low number likes despite the high volume of clicks.
Republishing frequently published content
Users find these posts less useful and are more likely to hide them, leading to less visibility for the page’s content over time.
Facebook is able to tell which links are more spammy by measuring the frequency of users liking and sharing a post after visiting the link.
Linking to malicious websites
Pages that share links to harmful websites with malware are penalized with a lower ranking.
Text-only status updates
These are given a lower priority than text-only status updates from friends of a user, and will be shown less frequently that other post types so be sure to include media as often as possible.
Overly promotional, sales-centric posts
Posts that feature less original content, focusing more on pushing products are given less priority.
Reusing text from Facebook ads
Pages using the same content and creative from ads will see their organic reach fall..
Images that appear to be like a Lolcats-style meme will be given less visibility and will have lower organic reach.
Traditional advertising materials
Posters, flyers and newsletters will receive a lower organic reach.
Promoting a hoax
Posts that promote a hoax will also be shown less frequently.
Make the Most of Your Organic Reach on Facebook
Making sure that your post is seen by your Page followers involves some strategy – the more your fans interact with your posts, the more likely they will see your future posts! Share useful content, steer clear of the hurtful practices and you should be on your way to creating an active community.