I just finished reading a blog post where the author concluded, after conducting an experiment with his fans, that Edgerank had little to nothing to do with whether our posts are seen or not. Huh? He came to this conclusion after asking his fans to like his post to indicate if they saw it in their newsfeed. But, he did this after pre-announcing the experiment a day in advance on his blog, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ and then again with a status update 15 minutes before he posted his experiment update. C’mon, seriously?
If I let all my fans know in advance I’m going to post an update at a specific time and will be asking them to let me know if they see it, what are the odds they’ll be logged in, looking for it in their newsfeed? Obviously this person didn’t pay attention in science class at school when they explained variables and scientific method. If I hypothesize that if you close your eyes and I sneak up behind you and make a loud noise that you’re going to jump and then I say, “Okay, get ready” right before I make the noise, would you consider the result valid?
So, back to my original question and yes, Edgerank most certainly affects whether your posts are seen or not. The better your content and the more engaged your fans are by liking, commenting, and sharing your posts, the better your Edgerank. If you engage with my Page posts more often or nearly as often as you do with those from your friends and family the chances that my posts will be seen are going to be better than if you read my posts but never engage with them.
Even if your friends or fans use the “Most Recent” setting when viewing their news feed, in which case I don’t believe Edgerank has much effect, posts are displayed in reverse chronological order (newest first) and then it’s only common sense that if they haven’t checked their newsfeed for 8 hours and you posted something 8 hours ago and then 50 of their friends posted something after you, your post is going to be way down the page and likely never seen.
I do think people are getting too hung up on Edgerank and claiming it’s keeping their friends or fans from seeing their posts when in reality, many of those people just aren’t seeing their posts for the plain and simple reason that the more friends they have and the less often they check their newsfeed, the chances they’ll see your post depends entirely on how long ago you’d posted it. That’s why it’s important to know what times of day the majority of your fans are using Facebook and therefor more likely to see your post at the time you post it.
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Hugh Briss is the owner of Social Identities.