• Edge rank and how facebook pages can out rank websites.

    The other day I noticed something interesting. A client of mine has a website that was poorly optimized but a facebook page with around 9k fans and a lot of activity. The really interesting thing was that on certain niche and location specific terms the facebook page was beating out other legitimate websites. I am not sure a facebook group is given enough weight by google to start out ranking strong pages in the same category, however its definitely able to rank and rank well for queries like "where to get a -item- in -location".

    So suddenly there is another reason to build a strong FB page, its basically impervious to links, it does not require actual SEO, it builds a following for you and even if it loses google import it will still be a list of sorts. So what made this page important to google?

    First thing we need to examine is edge rank, edge rank is what facebook uses to determine whats important to you, when you sign in. It's also the basic system by which facebook decides how far your posts reach organically, without being liked or shared. Each facebook post you make has a chance to score points in three categories:
    How much someone likes your content, users who often visit your page, share your links or comment on your posts will be exposed to more of your content. Affinity is unique to each fan, so it makes sense to find ways to drag your fans onto your page from time to time. Even better if you have a competition they can interact with. Kays recent art contest would be a brilliant example as it would encourage, comments, uploading of media and interaction. That would be nearly the perfect way to build affinity.
    I am not sure anyone really understands how a post gains weight as the explanations out there are too simple. For all intents and purposes its the type of post and how the post is interacted with. It is claimed that the hierarchy of what facebook favors goes as below.
    1. Videos and photos
    2. Posts that link to other Facebook pages
    3. Posts that link to other websites
    4. A plain old post gets the least number of points.
    The next part is how they are interacted with, shares, comments, likes which makes sense shares are a sign of great content, comments are a sign of interesting comment and likes are a dime a dozen. However I am pretty sure the system loops around and takes affinity into account, this is part puts pay to me buying 2k shares as unless the sharer has some affinity it wont mean as much.

    The last factor is decay, the longer a post goes without interaction the less relevant it becomes, so you can affectively boost a posts rank by linking back to after the fact, posting about something up coming or having it picked up by some one popular.

    Of course all of this is easily googled and most people have some idea of how it works. What was more mysterious is how a facebook site becomes a relevant search result.
    1. You need to feed google. Link out to relevant websites and hopefully attract a lot of commentary and discussion around that link.
    2. You need people linking in to your facebook. From inside facebook but more importantly from blogs and outside sites
    3. Integrate, make sure your youtube, digg, linkedin etc all refer to your facebook and your website. Make sure that content remains dynamic and targeted.
    4. Make sure discussion remains keyword rich inside your social network, but do it organically. Hey where can I get a pizza in -location- : Hi if your not in -keyword location- we might suggest pizzahut, link they are nation wide
    Its all painfully simple but I was surprised to see it working so well is all. So from this we have shown the importance of including media in your facebook promotion efforts and the impact of making your facebook page more website like in the interactions it attracts.
    Just some fodder for thought and all that.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Edge rank and how facebook pages can out rank websites. started by Slowdive View original post