Facebook EdgeRank & Facebook Ranking Factors: The Complete List

facebook edgerank

TLDR: This article contains a comprehensive list of all 44 Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors. By reading this article, you’ll learn the exact ranking signals that Facebook uses to distribute your content in the News Feed.

 

Facebook EdgeRank: [March 1st, 2016 Update] 

 

Since publishing the original “Facebook EdgeRank & Facebook Ranking Factors: The Complete List” article back on the 23rd of November, 2015, Facebook have made numerous updates to their News Feed Algorithm which affect what is displayed in your News Feed and how successful your Facebook Ads are.

 

I have provided these additional Facebook EdgeRank Ranking factors in the “Updated Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors” section at the end of this article.

 

Video Update

 

 


 

 

Facebook EdgeRank: Original Article

 

Why is it that some of your Facebook Posts are seen by 10 times the amount of people that Like your page…

 

Whereas other Posts (read: most) are only seen by a dismal 10%?

 

It’s no secret Facebook employs an algorithm which determines what you see in your News Feed.

 

But what factors affect how the Facebook EdgeRank Algorithm actually works?

 

More importantly, how can we reverse engineer these factors to work in our favour to:

 

  • save countless dollars wasted on Facebook Ads?

 

  • gain free boosts in our organic reach?

 

  • have more people see our posts?

 

  • find new customers?

 

  • increase sales?

 

Today I’ll be answering ALL of these questions by showing you the complete list of Facebook EdgeRank & Facebook Ranking Factors that may affect your Organic Reach.

 

Some are proven by means of empirical evidence.

 

Some are straight from the horse’s mouth.

 

Some will spur controversy.

 

And others are based on my eight years of marketing experience on the platform.

 

Nevertheless, all 44 of them are here.*

 

 

Bonus: Download the EXACT Blueprint I use to create perfect Facebook Posts based on the 44 Facebook EdgeRank & Facebook Ranking Factors listed below. Click here to get your free copy.

 

 

Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors: User Engagement

 

facebook edge rank

 

 

1. Content that generates a lot of Likes are likely to receive increased Organic Reach: The total number of Likes a post receives will impact its visibility and overall organic reach in the News Feed.

 

The stories that show in your News Feed are influenced by your connections and activity on Facebook. This helps you to see more stories that interest you from friends you interact with the most. The number of comments and likes a post receives and what kind of story it is (e.g. photo, video, status update) can also make it more likely to appear in your News Feed.

Source: Facebook, 2014

 

 

2. Content that generates a lot of Comments are likely to receive increased Organic Reach: See 1.

Source: Facebook, 2014

 

 

3. Content that generates a lot of Shares are likely to receive increased Organic Reach: See 1.

Source: Facebook, 2014

 

 

4. Content that generates a lot of Comments by users that @Tag Friends are likely to receive increased Organic Reach: Publishing content which results in Users @Tagging their Friends in the Comments is likely to increase the Organic Reach your post receives.

Source: Facebook, May, 2015

 

 

5. Content that spurs discussion and Replies between those who have left a Comment and the Page’s Admins are likely to receive increased Organic Reach:  I have noticed spikes in the total organic reach my Facebook Page posts receives when I reply to comments, stir discussion and tag the specific people I’m replying to on said posts. This conclusion is based on a plethora of tests I have run on 50+ Facebook Pages I have managed since the Reply Feature was launched in 2013.

 

Have you noticed your organic reach increasing when you reply to / tag those people who comment on your Facebook posts? Or do you have a source that confirms this speculation? Let me know in the comments below, I’d really appreciate it!

 

 

6. Content that generates a lot of Clicks is likely to be rewarded with increased levels of Organic Reach: Personal experimentation on 10+ Facebook Pages I manage over the past year has led me to strongly believe that Facebook Posts which generate a lot of clicks will be rewarded with increased levels of organic reach.

 

These suspicions of mine have also been loosely confirmed by Jon Loomer in his post “Facebook Organic Reach is Changing: Should Brands Share More Links?” from March of 2015.

 

Have you noticed the amount of clicks your post generates positively impacting your overall organic reach? Or know of any case studies or sources that confirm this hypothesis? Drop me some love in the comments below, I’d love to get your 2 cents and will update this article with the help you share.

 

 

7. Facebook Posts that reference a Trending Topic are likely to be another one of the many Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors that increase Organic Reach: Published content that references a Trending Topic is likely to receive increases to its organic reach, as stated in this 2014 newsroom update from Facebook:

 

When a friend or Page you are connected to posts about something that is currently a hot topic of conversation on Facebook, that post is more likely to appear higher up in News Feed, so you can see it sooner. 

Source: Facebook, September 2014

 

 

8. How recently a Facebook Post was published or content that generates a high amount of engagement / interaction in a short amount of time is likely to have a positive affect on Organic Reach: The speed at which your published content generates user engagement and interaction (e.g. Likes, Comments, Shares, etc) is likely to increase your organic reach.

 

According to Facebook:

 

Currently one of the signals we look at is the total number of likes that a post has received when determining how high up to to show it in News Feed. With this update, we are going to begin looking at when people are choosing to like, comment and share.

Source: Facebook, September 2014
Source: TechCrunch.com, April, 2014

 

 

Therefore, even if your content is really, really good, you need to be strategic when choosing when to publish it. That is, even the best content will fail if no one’s on Facebook when you post it. All the more reason to pay attention to your Facebook Page Insights.

 

 

9. Content that receives Likes or Comments by one’s friends now has less of an affect on your Facebook Reach: Your friend’s engagement behaviour on Facebook Posts is no longer as likely to have a positive affect on organic reach (if at all). Facebook had this to say on the topic:

 

Posts highlighting what a friend Liked or commented on will either show up lower in your News Feed or not show up at all.

Source: Mashable, April 2015

 

 

edge rank on facebook

 

 

10. Posts that generate frequent hides or are reported / flagged by users are likely to receive decreased organic reach reach.

 

Source: Facebook, August 2013

 

 

11. Posts that receive an unusual amount of Engagement compared to its Page Engagement Average (considered to be a signal of Like-baiting) are likely to receive decreased reach: “Like-baiting” is when a post that appears in the News Feed explicitly encourages readers to Like, Comment or Share the post in an attempt to gamify the Facebook Algorithm to receive free artificial reach beyond that of which the post would usually receive. Facebook had this to say about Like-baiting:

 

People often respond to posts asking them to take an action, and this means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed. However, when we survey people and ask them to rate the quality of these stories, they report that like-baiting stories are, on average, 15% less relevant than other stories with a comparable number of likes, comments and shares. Over time, these stories lead to a less enjoyable experience of Facebook since they drown out content from friends and Pages that people really care about.

 

edge rank

Source: Facebook, April, 2014

 

 

12. Pages with a greater level of affinity with their community are likely to receive increased organic reach: “Affinity” refers to how much of a connection a Page has with its Community.

 

If you are able to get your Community engaging with your content frequently, you demonstrate a greater level of affinity and are likely to be rewarded with increased organic reach in the future.

Source: Inc, October 2014

 

 

13. Lower Fan Engagement may lead to your posts being bundled in the Newsfeed.

Source: TechCrunch, November 2014

 

 

14. Users direct actions and control over their Newsfeed Preferences will affect your organic reach: thanks to additional control options, users can filter their Newsfeed by People, Groups, Pages or see them all at once.

 

facebook edgerank example

Source: TheNextWeb, November 2014

 

 

15. The more time users spend viewing your stories, the higher the likelihood of your Organic Reach: The amount of time that people spending viewing your stories helps determine what appears higher in the Newsfeed, potentially affecting the reach and visibility of content published by Pages.

 

Facebook said:

 

“We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them.”

Source: Facebook, June 2015

 

 

Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors: Content

 

 

facebook edgerank content factors

 

 

16. The type of content that is published by a page impacts its visibility and reach:

 

The stories that show in your News Feed are influenced by your connections and activity on Facebook. This helps you to see more stories that interest you from friends you interact with the most. The number of comments and likes a post receives and what kind of story it is (ex: photo, video, status update) can also make it more likely to appear in your News Feed.

Source: Facebook, 2014

 

 

 

17. Facebook Video Posts that receive positive interaction are likely to be rewarded with increased levels of Organic Reach: Video content that is uploaded directly to Facebook (not shared from third party platforms like YouTube/Vimeo) that generate large amounts of views or feature an extended average viewing duration are likely to be rewarded with increased organic reach.

Source: Facebook, June, 2014

 

 

18. Link Posts are likely to receive more Organic Reach in the News Feed: Link posts receive preference over links shared in photo captions or status updates.

Source: Facebook, August, 2014

 

 

19: Content that features over sensationalised or hyperbolic claims (AKA clickbait) will be penalised with lower Organic Reach: Following similar rationale to Factor 11 (above), Facebook will show penalise clickbait based posts by giving them less visibility in the News Feed.

 

edgerank facebook example

 

Clickbait can be determined by looking at user behaviour related to a link. For example, if a user clicks through to a link and then bounces straight back to Facebook or if a lot of people click on the link, but comparatively few people Like / Comment / Share the story when they return to Facebook, this is likely to be interpreted by Facebook as a signal of clickbait.

Source: Facebook, August 2014

 

 

Bonus: Download my free 23 page eBook “How To Amplify Hack & Gamify Your Facebook Reach” and learn the secrets to achieving insane organic reach on Facebook.

 

 

20. Content captions that @Tag other Pages are likely to be another one of the many Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors that increase Organic Reach:

 

When a Page tags another Page, we may show the post to some of the people who like or follow the tagged Page.

Source: Facebook, February 2014

 

 

21. Posts that republish content and links that have already been frequently published and circulated by other Pages are shown less and thus, are likely to have a negative affect on your overall reach:

 

There are occasionally instances where photos or videos are uploaded to Facebook over and over again. We’ve found that people tend to find these instances of repeated content less relevant, and are more likely to complain about the Pages that frequently post them. We are improving News Feed to de-emphasise these Pages.

Source: Facebook, April 2014

 

 

22. Image content that has not previously appeared on the Facebook Open Graph is likely to have increased levels of Organic Reach.

Source: Social Bakers, May 2014

 

 

23. Video content that has not previously appeared on the Facebook Open Graph is likely to have increased levels of Organic Reach.

Source: Social Bakers, May 2014

 

 

24. Content featuring links that have not been shared before is likely to have increased levels of Organic Reach.

Source: Social Bakers, May 2014

 

 

25. Content that includes spammy links will be shown less in the Newsfeed: 

 

By measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends, we’ve been able to better detect spammy links.

Source: Facebook, April 2014

 

Bonus: Download the EXACT Blueprint I use to create perfect Facebook Posts based on the 44 Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors listed in this post. Click here to get your free copy.

 

26. Content that Links to websites that are known to be malicious towards users (e.g. phishing scam sites) will receive decreased organic reach.

Source: Facebook, January 2015

 

 

27. Text-only status updates from Pages are shown less:

 

The latest update to News Feed ranking treats text status updates from Pages as a different category to text status updates from friends. We are learning that posts from Pages behave differently to posts from friends … Page admins can expect a decrease in the distribution of their text status updates, but they may see some increases in engagement and distribution for other story types.

Source: Facebook, January 2014

 

 

28. Pages that shares similar audience / niche / industry elements with other high quality Pages may receive increases in reach thank to the “Related Articles” feature:

 

Soon, after you click on a link to an article, you may see up to three related articles directly below the News Feed post to help you discover more content you may find interesting.

Source: Facebook, December 2013

 

 

29. Content published using Facebook’s updated Note feature may receive increases in reach: This is purely based on my own speculation, please note (no pun intended) that I have not seen evidence of this actually being true.

 

My thinking behind this is based on the fact the updated Facebook Note feature was launched at a very similar time to the new Facebook Lead Ads feature. Both features imply Facebook is taking massive action to keep its users within the native Facebook environment, as opposed to being sent off site to another web property (where the user can’t be monetised).

 

We know that Facebook has rewarded advertisers who published Video Ads with extremely low cost per views and increased reach as an effort to increase video engagement on the platform (to compete with the likes of YouTube in the long run). Similarly, if the Facebook Note feature was launched to compete with services such as Medium and LinkedIn Long Form Posts, one could argue that it would only be natural to rewarded those Pages that use the new feature with increased organic reach.

 

Have your Facebook Notes positively impacted your overall organic reach? Or do you know of any case studies or sources that confirm this theory? Please share your insights in the Comments section below, I’d love to get your 2 cents and will update this article with the help you share.

 

 

30. Content published by Pages that have a history of positive interaction from their Community is likely to receive increases to their Organic Reach. 

Source: Facebook, August 2013.

Source: TechCrunch.com, August 2014

 

 

31. Content published by Pages that feature complete Profile information is likely to receive increases to their Organic Reach. 

Source: Facebook, August 2013.

 

 

32. Content published from a Verified Page or Profile is likely to receive increased Organic Reach:  This is purely based on my own speculation, and may be a product of misinterpreting cause and affect, i.e. a Verified Facebook Page Post may receive increased organic reach due to any other of the factors in this blog post, and not because they have that shiny blue tick.

 

Do you know of any case studies or sources that confirm this theory? Please share your insights in the Comments section below, I’d love to get your 2 cents and will update this article with the help you share.

 

 

33. Content that features images that are optimised to maximise Desktop and Mobile News Feed real estate may receive increases in Organic Reach.

Source: Facebook, June 2015

 

 

34. Long form Facebook Posts may receive increases in visibility.

Source: Facebook, June 2015

 

 

35. Content that is overly promotional, sales centric, value lacking content that push people to buy a product or service from a Page is likely to decrease your Organic Reach.

 

According to Facebook, overly promotional posts include:

 

  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

 

Examples of these types of Page posts:

 

edgerank example on facebook

 

facebook edgerank example post
They also said:

 

Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.

Source: Facebook, November 2014

 

 

36. Posts that reuse the same text that have been included in that Page’s Facebook Ads will experience decreased Organic Reach:

 

Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.

Source: Facebook, November 2014

 

 

37. Posts that are analysed by Facebook’s visual analysis algorithm and deemed to be a “Lolcats-style meme” will receive decreased reach.

 

facebook edgerank will penalise memes

Example of a “Lolcats-style meme”

Source: Social Bakers, May 2014

Image Source: Memefiles

 

 

38. Posts that contain the words “Like, Comment, or Share” may receive increases in reach.

Source: Social Bakers, May 2014

 

 

39. Posts that share Traditional advertising materials (e.g. Newsletters / Sales Brochures) will experience decreased reach: This is based on my own experience with the Facebook Pages I have managed over the last few years – I am however, beyond certain you’ve experienced and know this to be true.

 

Do you know of any case studies or sources that confirm this theory? Please share your insights in the Comments section below, I’d love to get your 2 cents and will update this article with the help you share.

 

 

40. Old posts stand a good chance of being seen and may receive increased Organic Reach.

Source: Washington Post, August 2014

 

 

41. Content that is created with the intent of promoting a hoax will received decreased organic reach.

Source: Facebook, January 2015

 

 

42. Content posted by friends that you care about will appear higher in the News Feed: Content (such as photos, videos, status updates or links) that are posted by your friends will appear higher in your personal Newsfeed, implying that they are prioritised over content published the Pages you follow.

Source: VentureBeat, April 2015.

 

 

Updated Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors: March 1, 2016

 

 

43. Stories that are BOTH likely to be rated highly & likely to be engaged with will receive increased Organic Reach: Facebook’s Feed Quality Panel research noted that “people reported having a better News Feed experience when the stories they see at the top are stories they are both likely to rate highly if asked and likely to engage with”. As a result, Facebook has made an update to the News Feed that combines these two signals.

 

Therefore, both the probability that you would want to see the story at the top of your News Feed and the probability that you will like, comment on, click or share a story will affect your Organic Reach. Facebook EdgeRank will rank stories higher in feed which they think people might take action on, and which people might want to see near the top of their News Feed.

 

In a nutshell, Pages should avoid posting content that encourages people to take an action (like encouraging a lot of clicks), because this will only lead to temporary spikes in metrics that may be rebalanced by the feed’s ranking over time.

Source: Facebook, 2016.

 

 

44. Facebook’s new Reactions feature may affect your Organic Reach: Facebook have noted the introduction of their new “Reactions” feature may affect the way in which the News Feed distributes and ranks organic content in the future. Facebook stated:

 

“In the beginning, it won’t matter if someone likes, “wows” or “sads” a post — we will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content. Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see.”

Source: Facebook, 2016

 

 

What has your experience with the Facebook Algorithm been like? Did this list help you in any way? What other Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors have you come across that you think should be added to this list? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

 

Bonus: Download the EXACT Blueprint I use to create perfect Facebook Posts based on the 44 Facebook EdgeRank Ranking Factors listed above. Click here to get your free copy.

 

 

All Facebook EdgeRank Sources Used In This Post:

 

 

facebook edgerank sources

 

 

2016:

 

“News Feed FYI: What the Reactions Launch Means for News Feed” – Facebook, February, 2016

“News Feed FYI: Using Qualitative Feedback to Show Relevant Stories” – Facebook, February, 2016

 

2015:

 

“5 Clever Hacks to Beat the Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm for More Fan Engagement” Inc.com, October, 2015

Your Audience Rules – How Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Really Works” – SocialMediaToday.com, October, 2015

“News Feed FYI: Taking Into Account Time Spent on Stories” – Facebook, June, 2015

“Tagging”Facebook, May, 2015

“Facebook tweaks News Feed to show more updates from friends, fewer stories when friends like or comment” VentureBeat.com, April, 2015

“Facebook Organic Reach is Changing: Should Brands Share More Links?” –  JonLoomer.com, March, 2015

“News Feed FYI: Showing Fewer Hoaxes” – Facebook, January, 2015

 

2014:

 

“Facebook now gives you more control over your News Feed” – Thenextweb.com, November, 2014

“Decoding the Facebook News Feed: An Up-to-Date List of the Algorithm Factors and Changes” – Buffer.com, November 2014

“What Facebook doesn’t show you”    Washingtonpost.com, August, 2014

“News Feed FYI: Cleaning Up News Feed Spam” – Facebook, April, 2014

“Why Is Facebook Page Reach Decreasing? More Competition And Limited Attention” – Techcurnch.com, April, 2014

News Feed FYI: Showing Better Videos” – Facebook, June, 2014

“How Facebook Uses Artificial Intelligence in the News Feed” – Socialbakers.com, May, 2014

“News Feed FYI: Cleaning Up News Feed Spam” – Facebook, April, 2014

“News Feed FYI: Showing Stories About Topics You Like” Facebook, February, 2014

“How News Feed Works”Facebook, 2014

 

2013:

 

“News Feed FYI: Helping You Find More News to Talk About” – Facebook, December, 2013

“News Feed FYI: A Window Into News Feed” Facebook, August, 2013

News Feed FYI: Showing More High Quality Content” – Facebook, August, 2013

 

 

* Please note that this list of 42 Ranking Factors is correct as of the 01 March, 2016. I intend to update this post in a timely manner as Facebook’s algorithm evolves over time.

 

 

  • Hi Paul – just double checking something. Point 38 is like-baiting, no? Isn’t including the words ‘like, comment, share’ counted as inciting likes, hence a decrease of value by the algorithm would be assigned?

  • Hi Nicole, awesome pick up – I was speaking to someone else about this point earlier this week… basically I had the same thought, as the evidence for this factor somewhat contradicts Factor Number 11…

    My interpretation is the algorithm is advanced enough to distinguish between content that has been created for the reasons of overt Like Baiting VS content that is of value and happens to encourage engagement through the use of this call to action…

    Regardless, the evidence is paradoxical, which is frustrating.

  • Hi Paul,

    Liked the article. I have a question, how about those posts which got shared in “Like 4 Like ” I have experimented and generated good Organic reach to the posts when I target such groups and some groups with relevancy audience.

    Will posts getting engagement from audience who is ready to exchange like 4 like and how Facebook going to find out this tricky thing ?

  • Hi @iammanojsethi:disqus

    I do not advocate using “black hat” methods such as “Like 4 Like” schemes that artificially inflate reach.

    I recommend anyone considering a using L4L gamification of the Facebook Algorithm to consider its true value… especially if you have a community of accounts that have been created with the sole purpose of doing this…

    Sure it may increase your vanity metrics (bigger organic reach numbers) but does that increased reach put your posts in front of people that will actually end up converting as a true customer?

  • Ricardo Mietti

    Hi Paul, congratulations for the material. If i use Facebook Comments Plugin in my website will increase my edge rank? Because I use discqus, but I would change if the Facebook Plugin upgrade Edge Rank.

  • Lee Woodman

    What impact does landing page speed (where the page has been shared in a link organically on the facebook timeline) have on its reach/performance? For example if we share a link and the resulting landing is very slow to load will Facebook limit its reach due to usability issues?

  • Matt Steele

    I believe the difference is context.

    “We like the pictures that this photographer makes so we had to share!”

    Vs

    “Like and share our posts to see more”

  • hey mate, to my knowledge… using a Facebook Comments Plugin **MAY** increase your rankings purely based off the fact that it will increase your overall engagement if you embed the comments for a post which has already gone out … that said… i’m not even sure if that’s possible…

  • Hi @leewoodman:disqus thanks for your comment. In my experience slow page load speeds **MAY** adversely affect your Relevance Score which by definition will decrease the potential reach of your content…

    This may be a direct result of the slow page speed or an indirect result (caused by users bouncing back Facebook before viewing the actual content because it took too long to load…)

    Hope that helps!