Over the past few days, we have seen an issue when making posts on Facebook pages that contain links. More specifically, the link preview wasn’t working. The link preview is that box that pops up after you have entered a URL into your Facebook post, and before a picture is added. Generally, that link preview includes an image, title tags, and the meta description of the page that the link is associated with. Plus, anyone can click that preview box and it will take you to that page of the link.
Here is an example of what we are talking about where no link preview was generated:
So what is causing this issue? There is a multitude of reasons why, as far as we know. When you or whoever creates a page on a website, such as a blog, you do have the option of creating what is referred to as Open Graph tags (OG:) on that page. These tags essentially tell Facebook what to show in that link preview. These tags will override all other tags on the page too. And there are times if you haven’t created these OG tags that Facebook will look around on the page and find the next best things to display. In these cases, it is rare, but possible that Facebook won’t render that link preview at all. And there are still other instances where Facebook caches these links, and if they don’t load properly the first time, that link preview will not be generated. But there is a fix called the Sharing Debugger that works most of the time when a link preview is not generated.
When you are having this issue, head over to https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/sharing, enter in the URL, and click “Debug”. See the example below:
After that, the debugger will generate what the link preview will look like, along with any Open Graph information it pulls from the code of that page. This tool forces Facebook to load the page once more, and ideally the information and image loads correctly. Once you have completed these steps, head back over to your Facebook page, repost your content, but make sure to add the link as if it was a new link post. Here is how it turned out after I used the debugger tool when the link preview reappeared:
So while this may not always solve your problem, we have found that it does solve the issue of link previews in Facebook posts not appearing. But it’s always good idea too to add those OG: (Open Graph) tags whenever possible. You might want a different image or even a different headline to appear on Facebook posts then you would in Google search results to help encourage more clicks on your link. Happy posting!
If you have questions about Facebook, social media services, social media analytics tools, or even Open Graph tags, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 720.880.5492, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.