Please Don’t Feed the Edgerank Spammers (…or become one)

Those of us who operate Facebook business pages get the delightful insight of seeing how many of our fans get to see our posts. We bang our heads against the wall, and scream along with death metal music to express our frustrations. We work our hardest trying to come up with awesome crap to post, only to have it seen by a mere percentage of the people who obviously want to see it since they clicked the “like” button.

Well, not necessarily.

When I first joined Facebook I added “Willow” in as one of my favorite movies. Action, romance, fantasy creatures, and an adorable baby – what’s not to like? I added it merely to populate a blank profile page with my personal interests. I wasn’t really aware that I was actually “liking” a business page that would start to populate my feed with pictures and quotes and trivia about the movie. Likewise, I am not interested in when Metallica is going to be playing in Tennessee (as much as I like the band), or that my favorite books are being re-leased for the Kindle.

Sometimes people “like” pages because they like a product or brand, and don’t initially realize that they are going to be receiving daily messages in their feeds from those pages. What Facebook does, in order to prevent people from seeing too much from pages they didn’t really intend to see updates from, is they only share content that those users frequently interact with. A post that receives more interaction from more people will be given a higher “edge rank” and be seen by even more people (unless of course, you pay Facebook money to up the rank without the interaction.)

Interaction on Facebook consists of comments, shares, and likes. Posts that receive more of these will be seen by more people. Hence, the temptation for pages to Edgerank Spam.

Edgerank Spam consists of posts that ask viewers to like, share, or comment for a reason that tugs at their heart strings. It usually has nothing to do with what the page is about. I know you’ve all seen them, they look like this:

“Like if you love Jesus! Comment if you’ve accepted Him into your heart!”

“Like to support our troops!”

“Share to save the polar bears!”

“Comment if you want Obama THROWN OUT!”

“Like for One Direction, comment for Justin Beiber.”

“Share this post and the image will transform! It really works!”

“Like if you HATE CANCER!”

You get the idea. The original creators of these posts often have no intention of spreading religion, preventing cancer, or providing support for injured soldiers. They simply want to up their rank on Facebook so they can get seen by more people and gather additional fans. In fact, building up business pages that are pre-loaded with fans and interaction is actually turning into a big business. Individuals are taking these pages, and selling them to businesses who don’t want to do the legwork building up their own fan base.

It’s pretty underhanded and sleazy, I know.

Please don’t feed the Edgerank Spammers. As much as this image tugs at your heart-strings, liking it will do nothing to help this child:

edgespam

And please resist the temptation to create posts that spam their way to a higher rank by using this technique. It’s sneaky and icky. Instead, do the legwork. It’s harder, but it’s worth it in the end. If you write interesting updates and share valuable information via Facebook, your fans will naturally want to interact with you more. You want fans who really like you and your stuff, it does neither of you any favors to betray that trust.

Have some Facebook friends who are feeding the Edgerank Spammers and polluting your feed? Share this post to educate them!

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14 thoughts on “Please Don’t Feed the Edgerank Spammers (…or become one)

  1. Peggy Martinez January 30, 2013 at 7:12 am Reply

    Great information, I’ve had my doubts about these, like a gut feeling that there’s a purpose behind them…sneaky people!

  2. Nelson Jewelry & Gemstones January 30, 2013 at 7:17 am Reply

    I hate those. Especially the cancer ones. Cancer is between you and your oncologist. Why are you attempting to elicit sympathy from me, a complete stranger?

    And I can’t stand it when these folks post, “Please click and like our page” on every single post.

  3. Nicole January 30, 2013 at 7:22 am Reply

    great post! I’m tired of the southwest airlines tix, target coupons, and all of the “free giveaways” from companies… I find that I am spending less and less time on facebook – maybe that is a good thing!

  4. Heather Everson Design January 30, 2013 at 7:49 am Reply

    I haaaaaaate seeing those pictures all over Facebook. “Like if you love Jesus, ignore if you hate him”. Really? Because I’ll totally be condemned to hell for not hitting like on a picture of Jesus. That really happens you know ;)

    • MegansBeadedDesigns January 30, 2013 at 8:36 am Reply

      Oh, yes. And your true love really will call you in 3 days if you share. ;-)

  5. Nelson Jewelry & Gemstones January 30, 2013 at 7:51 am Reply

    Ignore if you hate him? Ha ha. That’s a good one.

    Maybe they could add, “Like and share with 10 other people or you will suffer calamity in your financial life.”

  6. wishingwellstudio January 30, 2013 at 7:55 am Reply

    Thanks for addressing this irritating embarrassing crap that multiplies like rabbits on our pages as we unsuspectingly “like” things!

    • MegansBeadedDesigns January 30, 2013 at 8:38 am Reply

      Yup. What most people don’t realize is when they :like” a picture, it shows up in a lot of their friends’ feeds, even if they didn’t share it. The cycle increases at an alarming rate!

  7. Kanelstrand January 30, 2013 at 11:34 am Reply

    You are so right! I have been considering closing my Facebook business page, although I have more than 4,000 fans simply because of the direction Facebook is taking. Not that I was ever in love with it but I thought it will have a positive impact on my business. I think it is more of an ego booster for most people though…

    • MegansBeadedDesigns January 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm Reply

      Facebook can be a very powerful way to connect with people, I just fear that the spammers will take over if not dealt with now.

  8. kimsolga January 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm Reply

    I’ve often suggested to friends that they bookmark the snopes.com website so they can check Facebook links (ie scams) before liking or sharing. It’s our job not to fall for scams and edgerank spam, and it is absolutely Facebook’s responsibility to clean up their systems to prevent this sort of annoyance.

    • MegansBeadedDesigns January 30, 2013 at 2:06 pm Reply

      Scams are often created and shared precisely for edge rank spam. The creators of these fake Facebook pages know that the more something makes a person angry, the more likely they are to share it or comment on it. Apparently they can’t find enough true articles in the real world, so they spread made up ones.

  9. Christie Cottage January 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm Reply

    No facebook for me, but their is yontoo attached and even if you don’t see it, it is spying on you!

    Stopping by from Blogging Buddies
    http://chrisiecottage.blogspot.com
    <

  10. Laura Coe January 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm Reply

    Megan – THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just don’t understand/get FB: started a page (BoonieBeads) because etsy said it was the thing to do; and lately have seriously considered getting out of the whole mess!! – maybe there is a way to use it and enjoy it???

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