We live in an ever changing world of algorithms. At first glance this doesn’t really seem to be exciting or pertinent, until you consider that the way that Google delivers your search results for “hilarious dance video” is based entirely upon an algorithm.
Typically, companies who deliver content have developed these algorithms to help decide what content is most relevant to your needs as a user. Take the new Facebook “edgeRank” for instance. EdgeRank is the name for the Facebook algorithm that delivers your content to you. No longer is your newsfeed simply an aggregation of all the content posted by people and pages with whom you are connected. In many cases this would be a massive amount of information and actually degrade the user experience. It’s thought that perhaps as little as 15% of the total amount of content a user is subscribed to might show up in their newsfeed. I say the tricky thing about allowing others to measure your content is that you can never be quite sure just how they do it.
There are three major factors that go into how Facebook decides to deliver your content. The first is ‘affinity’, or how actively you interact with the user who posted the content. If you post on your friends’ walls, like their photos, and comment on each others status, then it’s likely the two of you will share a higher affinity score. The second part of EdgeRank is ‘weight’. Weight is a value judgement on what kind of content is posted. Typically video’s and photo’s will have a higher weight than a text status update. The final piece to the EdgeRank puzzle is something called ‘time decay’. Time decay measures how old the content is. You’re unlikely to care about a Places check-in from several weeks ago suddenly popping up in your newsfeed. Events that are timely will have a higher EdgeRank score that decreases over time.
So with all these new changes impacting how Facebook delivers your content, what can you do to accurately measure and impact your EdgeRank score? Do the same things you should have been doing from the beginning. The underlying factor to all these algorithm changes is valuing content. If you are creating content that users are interested in, engage with, and amplify on their own, then your content is likely to have a good EdgeRank. Measuring your content’s performance may not give you an exact EdgeRank, but it will absolutely give you a clear indicator of how good your content is and if it’s doing its job with your users.