Facebook Algorithms Demystified – Why You See What You See

Facebook REQUIRES users to agree with the ‘Terms of Use’ to create an account.  It does not matter what you do, post or say after that since you already agreed to the Terms of Use.  Everything on Facebook is tracked, recorded and used to determine advertisements  direct email marketing to users, what content shows up in the main ‘News Feed’ and even what ‘friends’ are displayed.

There are some ‘rumors’ going around pertaining to ‘your top Facebook Stalkers’ using the following trick to locate Facebook OrderedFriendsList data:

  1. Log into Facebook.com 
  2. Right click anywhere on the page (not on a photo or text area, click somewhere on the white space)
  3. Select “view page source”
  4. Press Ctrl + F
  5. Search for ” orderedfriends “
  6. Copy + paste the first set of numbers below to facebook.com/numbers   (ie. if the first set is 123456789 go to facebook.com/123456789)
  7. This shows the top ‘friends’ (or stalkers) that Facebook considers to have the most ‘connections’ which can mean a wide variety of things including who is looking at your profile, updates and photos the most!
The top factors Facebook uses to generate the orderedfriends list include:

  1. How many friends you have in common with the other person
  2. Length of time and number of interactions of all types you have together
  3. Friends of common friends (think multi-level marketing)
  4. The number of times he or she visited your profile or photos
  5. The number of times you visited his or her profile or photos
  6. Amount of times you’ve viewed profile of people related to him or her
  7. Games you play that he or she also plays
  8. Recent interaction including likes, comments, shared posts, messages, wall posts
  9. Whether you’re in the same school, company or groups
  10. The number of common ‘Pages’ you both ‘Like’ on Facebook

There are additional items Facebook take into account into generating your profile and who or what they show when you login to Facebook.  

The OrderedFriendsList places the most emphasis on recent interactions you have with a person. Another major factor is the searches you do, so it actually details more about your online Facebook habits than it does about the people who may be ‘stalking’ you.  

Another key indicator Facebook uses the above information for is advertising.  Ads and marketing are targeted to you based upon what YOU post, share and comment on Facebook.  An example is when I posted about wanting to go see the new James Bond movie the very next advertisement Facebook showed was for a local theater playing the James Bond movie.  The next day my email address associated with the Facebook account received two emails from theaters marketing the James Bond movie. 

Another example, shown below, highlights a simple update on my profile about playing ‘pool’ with a friend and going to CVS Pharmacy.  The instant this update was posted, advertisements and content identically matching those words was displayed by Facebook!

The display ads on the side of Facebook are also manipulated based upon the same criteria above.  The secondary determination is the advertisers in the local area or that have your specific details set as part of the Facebook Ad Campaign.  The latest Facebook advertising permits marketers to specify details such as the company someone works for, a group they belong to, age range, levels of education, geographic locations and even specific hobbies or interests Facebook users have listed on their profiles.  
The targeting methodology is exceptional although the results do not match since there is a significant amount of ‘Click Fraud’ taking place on Facebook.  We setup some test accounts paying $2.86-$6.93 PER CLICK and then tracked the traffic coming to the website from Facebook ads.  The shocking result was that ALL of the clicks came from two specific locations within 5 minutes of the ads going live until the daily spending budget was reached every single day.  From the perspective of an Ad Agency they would consider this a success because the Facebook ad delivered ‘Likes’ and ‘Clicks’ to the customer’s website.
From the perspective of an Internet Expert this was a complete waste of money since the clicks and ‘Likes’ were clearly coming from one location repeatedly which was a waste of money.  There are some free valuable metrics and data available for Facebook Pages showing how many people viewed each individual update, which posts reached the widest audience and options to ‘Promote’ an update, photo or status for a flat rate.  If you hover over any photo, update or post on a page you are an Administer of you can see details such as the Organic (people directly connected to your page who ‘Like’ it) or Viral (people who shared the post with friends).  

Facebook remains the #1 destination on the Internet today with more than 1 Billion users.  The potential for proper marketing, optimization, branding and sales through Facebook is unlimited when done properly.  Pay Per Click ads are best focused on Google, Yahoo and Bing while an active, engaging social marketing campaign on Facebook can convert ‘Likes’ to ‘Leads’ when done properly.  For expert SEO, Social Marketing, training or consulting for your business contact the Internet Experts at Internet Builder Consulting and Social Marketing Builders today for a complimentary consultation 816-842-7774.
Robert ‘Dot Com’ Jackson
Internet & Technology Expert

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