Have you ever wondered how some posts appear as the first item of your top news compared with others? What makes one post higher or more important than another? Is it because more people “like” their post or more people are commenting on their post?

Well if you’re new to Facebook, there are two types of news feed – top news and most recent. Most recent is real time feeds of what your friends, groups and fan pages that you like are sharing and commenting on.

See the screenshot below. You can see the top news feed on the left and the most recent feed on the right.

The secret sauce behind what ranks higher than others is Facebook’s own secret algorithm just like Google’s secret search engine ranking algorithm. Known as EdgeRank, Facebook has showed it as this:

If you are good at maths, then you might be able to figure this out! For the rest of us breaking this formula down, there are three areas involved in this formula. But before we go into these three areas, let’s quickly talk about how Facebook sees status updates, pictures, videos, links etc. Every time you make a status update, share a picture, share a video or share a link, Facebook sees each of these items as objects. Now every time someone interacts with your object whether it be a like, a comment, or a tag, this creates what is known as an edge. However, the value of each edge is different based on those three areas involved in the above formula. Obviously, the higher the EdgeRank value, the higher it will appear in your top news feed. So what are these three areas. They are:

This can be simply viewed as the number of interactions that are involved with an object. So the more often someone likes, views, comments or clicks on your object, the higher its affinity score. This is also a one-way street from one user to another user and not vice versa.

Moreover, the single most valuable interaction you can have with an object is the comment. Why? Well in Facebook’s eyes, it takes a lot more effort for someone to comment on your object, than it is say to make a simple click and like your object. Have you ever noticed some of the top objects on your top news feed are objects with lots of comments.

Weight is you guessed it, a different weight on each object. Some objects are more important than others. According to experimental data and not confirmed by Facebook, the order of importance of weight is as follows:

Last but not least, Facebook bases your object’s EdgeRank score on another factor known as time. This is the freshness factor that makes sure your object is not stuck at the top for days on end. For example, you might have posted something on the current world news but imagine if it stayed at the top for days on end. It would become old by that stage. Hence Facebook wants to keep news “top news” and fresh by introducing this time factor.

So there you have it, the Facebook EdgeRank formula. Now here are some practical tips to get your news item to appear at the top especially if you are into internet marketing:

1. Post objects that are interesting and get people interacting with it. One great way of doing this is writing something funny, witty or controversial. Another good example is posting up a question asking for people’s opinions. If you say that you are going shopping, you’re probably not going to get a lot of interaction! I remember once I posted up a question on my status update asking if “Do nice guys finish last?” In total, I had around 100 comments on that status message update alone. Then when I saw of my friends in person, they would mention to me about what I meant by that question. Even though they hadn’t made a comment on the status message itself, they had obviously seen it!
2. Post up photos and videos. Find a great YouTube video and post it up. You are bound to get a load of comments and likes.
3. Post up fresh objects. Don’t be stuck on old objects, get some new fresh objects up there!