The search engine marketing community throws around a lot of terms. “Penguin,” “Panda,” “EdgeRank,” “PageRank” and “link juice” may be among them because these monikers create a language with which to discuss SEO and social media success. Buzzwords are tricky because they can make speakers sound intelligent one day and out of the loop the next. This is why it’s essential for marketers to discontinue their use of the term “EdgeRank” when discussing social media content on Facebook.
In a recent call covered by Search Engine Land’s Matt McGee, Facebook Engineering Manager for News Feed Ranking Lars Backstrom said the term has been yanked from the network’s internal vernacular for more than two-and-a-half years.
“The easiest analogy is to search engines and how they rank web pages,” Backstrom said. “It’s like comparing the Google of today with Alta Vista … It’s more sophisticated than the early days of search, when the words on a page were the most important thing.”
Brafton recently offered a glimpse into the signals Facebook does use to determine which online content to display in users’ News Feeds. Straight from the horse’s mouth, the first release in the “News Feed FYI blog posts” explained that Facebook chooses from around 1,500 potential options when displaying stories for a member at any given point in time.
To ensure surfaced stories provide optimal user experience, the site considers users’ content preferences and current device (opting for formats that will load quickly on a smartphone or desktop) as well as the articles and updates people recently viewed. In addition, Facebook looks at the larger audience response, giving priority to stories that receive a high volume of shares, Likes and comments, while demoting content that most users hide.
The worlds of social and search engine marketing are continually changing, and it’s essential that marketers remain at the forefront of developments, lest they let their vocabulary – and strategies – become irrelevant.