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Written By Sansation on Wednesday, 6 March 2013 | 10:52

For those of you who (most probably) never even heard of the term "EdgeRank" before, here's a quick 101-guide on what Facebook's EdgeRank is, what it does and how it works. (especially interesting if you are an SMM (Social Media Marketing) or SEO professional.

What is EdgeRank?

EdgeRank is an ingeniously programmed algorithm invented and deployed by Facebook which allowd the social networking site to filter the News Feed for their over one billion users continually. It decides which exact new content is being displayed on the News Feed of Facebook users and what position a certain new feed gets. EdgeRank does this by comparing the authority, usefulness and popularity of people, pages, posts and pictures among many other variables.

EdgeRank "ranks Edges", looks at the particular connections it has with the particular user and then gives that "Edge" a certain ranking which is obviously mirroring the specific importance to the user. So, the most relevant and important stories, pictures and status updates will end up at the top while the lessser relevant / interesting "objects" will get a less lower place (or not a place at all).

The EdgeRank algorithm

EdgeRank uses a range of ingredients in its algorithm formula to calculate an Edge's importance to the user. The three most important ones are:

Affinity - A 1-way relationship between Facebook-user and Edge. So basically it looks at the interaction of the user and the authority posting the particular news item (likes, shares, comments, visits, chats, etc.). Is the authority a close relative or a fan-page? A friend with many other common friends or just a vague friendly connection?

Weight - A coprehensive "value-system" that increases or decreases the value of specific actions on the Facebook network. A comment for instance is seen as more valuable then a like so they get a higher value on EdgeRank's weighing-scale. Also, what kind of content is it? And how popular is it among other connections?

Time-decay - The longer an Edge is alive on the Facebook network, the higher is its time-decay. As fresh content is most important to users, time-decay as well is an important ingredient in the EdgeRank algorithm.

What makes EdgeRank important to you?

If you are a publisher, brand or promotor, understanding how Facebook ranks newsfeed items could help you optimize your campaigns to get more reach and attention. Focus for instance on comments instead of likes.

If you are a regular Facebook-user...well, it's always good to understand which ideas and concepts lie beneath that tool you use on a daily basis, just because it's interesting!
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