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Open Graph Matters

July 5, 2017

Why Social content creators should buy webmasters a drink or 2?!

Last friday  Facebook announced that it will no longer be possible to adapt/edit the previews of shared links in posts as of 17/07/17. This means that brands will no longer be able to modify or optimise the way they share content on their Facebook pages.

i need help

So, this👇 will no longer be possible😪?  
... Unless you have access to the open graph tags from the source website. 😅

FB link post example

What is Open Graph?

Facebook Open Graph is best described as code snippets that allow the way content from third party websites appears on Facebook to be controlled.

So there you go: if you have access to the CMS / backend of your website, you can control the way your content appears on Facebook. Shared by consumers or shared by your brand Facebook page. Community managers and social content creators; go and buy your webmasters a drink! They are the key to link ads and -posts.

i can't say no to tequila

Should we care about Open Graph for reasons other than social?

Website traffic nowadays is generated in part due to social shares and Google judges the quality of your content based on the number of shared links. So you could say that the better your Open Graph metadata, the better your ranking in Google will be.

Open Graph data snippets are designed to make it easier for your readers to click on your content. Facebook’s Open Graph data snippets enable you to show the image and title you want on the user’s timeline. Below is an example of a rich data snippet on Facebook. The image, title and text below the image are defined in the open graph snippets.

rich open graph content

You have to see them as a part of the big SEO toolbox to improve the visibility of your content. You should still use old-school tags, such as alt-tags, H1, 2 and 3, meta description, which focus on good website content, while the social meta tags focus on easy clickable content on your social media networks.

2 different things, but both necessary to distribute your content.


But how?!

To turn your webpages into graph objects, you need to add basic metadata to your page. The 5 required properties for every page, according to the Open Graph Protocol, are:

  • og:title - The title of your object as it should appear within the graph, e.g. "The Rock".
  • og:type - The type of your object, e.g. "video.movie". Depending on the type you specify, other properties may also be required.
  • og:image - An image URL which should represent your object within the graph.
  • og:url - The canonical URL of your object that will be used as its permanent ID in the graph, e.g. "http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500/".
  • og:description - This metadata descriptor is very similar to the meta description tag in HTML. This is where you describe your content, but instead of it showing on a search engine results page, it shows below the link title on Facebook.

Note that you can add them via the Google tag manager by inserting a custom html/javascript tag that creates additional meta tags via the page header. However, some engine spiders are not picking up the inserted meta tags via javascript and browsers.

By Bart Van Costenoble - Lien Brouillard
Webmaster & Traffic - digital Strategist

Good reads and sources:

Lien Brouillard Lien Brouillard
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