Rough guide to the content-busting EdgeRank system on FacebookNewsBy Viewpoints | April 8, 2011Share This article was originally published on NB: This is a guest article by Pete Goold of Punch Communications, a social media, search and PR agency from Brighton, UK.EdgeRank is Facebook’s new algorithm that decides which posts/updates in Facebook appear in a user's "Top News" stream.The algorithm can impact a company or user's content in a number of ways, illustrated most recently in an admission by UK online travel agency TravelRepublic that it had seen a dramatic drop in "impressions" to its fan page.Working around three criteria (affinity, weight and time), the algorithm tailors the stream according to what content it deems most appropriate for each individual user.There are numerous factors that are believed to contribute to an EdgeRank score, which are briefly outlined below.How does EdgeRank work?The Facebook news stream for each individual user is now divided into two streams: "Top News" and "Most Recent". The "Top News" stream is the default stream when users log into Facebook and, it seems, about half of Facebook users go on to click to view the "Most Recent" news having first accessed their Facebook account.The EdgeRank algorithm affects the "Top News" stream, whereas the "Most Recent" section delivers the vast majority of user posts in chronological order from the user’s friends and chosen fanpages.Since "Top News" is the default setting, the EdgeRank algorithm conducts this customisation on behalf of the user, ordering the posts that are displayed according to three main criteria: Affinity (u): Based on how often the user and the user’s friends interact with content from the Page that is publishing the content.Weight (w): Each type of content is weighted differently for each user based on the user’s past interactions with each type of content.Time (d): The age of the post. How does EdgeRank Assign Scores?The EdgeRank algorithm assigns a score to each individual post and page. The following points summarise a number of deductions and predictions regarding the way that EdgeRank works and its impact on news feed content: Linking to other parts of Facebook/the web using the native embed link tool in Facebook will not result in a post being penalised - but linking to the same place more than once using the embed link tool will result in significantly less impressions for the future posts linking to the same place.Links from Facebook posts to other places within the Facebook environment are viewed preferentially in terms of EdgeRank when compared to links to external sites, and will result in a post having a higher visibility (i.e. more eyes will see it). However, links to external sites do still offer some benefit in terms of EdgeRank scores against posts with no links.The more frequently a fan clicks on posts from a particular page in their newsfeed, the more likely that fan is to see that page's wall content in their news feed in the future. How do we React?So, here are some suggestions, for best practice in optimising Facebook posts to increase a post’s potential EdgeRank score: Do not post multiple instances of the same linkUse specific calls to action and share triggers (e.g. clearly flagged links, invitations to post content)Invite fans to contribute their own content (e.g. uploading photos or videos etc).Do not over-post", and maintain a steady stream of content.NB: This is a guest article by Pete Goold of Punch Communications, a social media, search and PR agency from Brighton, UK.NB: Read more about EdgeRank by Goold on the Punch blog.