Facebook Makes Critical Change to Meta Tags

2018-07-30T16:03:03+00:00July 10th, 2017|Articles, Social Media|

Why Can’t I Change the Facebook Image In My Link Posts Anymore?

Until June 2017, Facebook content creators enjoyed the ability to change the image on a link post being shared to the platform. Those days are over, as Facebook makes a critical change to force web designers and search engine optimizers to update what image is being pulled from the social media giant using OG meta tags.

What is an OG tag?

Although many of us Gen Xers and Millennials would love for OG to stand for Original Gangster (Ice-T was so boss in Law & Order), OG actually stands for Open Graph. The tagging system was developed solely for the optimization of information being pulled from a site when a link is shared on Facebook.

When someone shares content from your site to Facebook, the social network’s crawler will scrape the HTML of the URL that is shared. On a regular HTML page this content is basic and may be incorrect, because the scraper has to guess which content is important, and which is not.

In order to take control of what the Facebook crawler picks up from each page the OG tags provide structured information about the page such as the title, description, preview image, and more.

Previously, social media managers could tailor the copy for a post using one lead link in a million different ways. A lead capture page for a coffee caterer could become a unique call-to-action for wedding organizers, music fest coordinators, or a family reunion with a simple swap of the preview image and some creative writing.

As of today, however, the job of providing the image that best appeals to the target audience will now rest on the blood, sweat, and tears of the content management system manager to ensure that the image matches the call-to-action on social media to the page.

While adding more labor to the backend of marketers, business owners and SEO plugin makers respectively, this change is not necessarily a bad thing. The result will be a more user friendly experience on social media. Facebook users will now be served organic content with seamless call-to-action from the Newsfeed, off the platform to the website, while traffic for campaigns will be measured more efficiently from inception of an idea to completion.

Good Example

Title

A clear title without branding or mentioning the domain itself.

URL

A URL with no session id or extraneous parameters. All shares on Facebook will use this as the identifying URL for this article.

Description

A clear description, at least two sentences long.

Facebook App ID

A Facebook App ID that identifies your website to Facebook.

Object Type

The type of object:

Localization

This article has some translations:

Author and Publisher

This article has an author and a publisher:

Bad Example

Bad Title

The title should not have branding or extraneous information.

Bad URL

This URL has extraneous information that changes from user to user, resulting in likes/shares spread across multiple URLs, instead of being aggregated for all users sharing this article.

Generic Description
Bad Title

The title should not have branding or extraneous information.

Bad URL

This URL has extraneous information that changes from user to user, resulting in likes/shares spread across multiple URLs, instead of being aggregated for all users sharing this article.

Generic Description

This is a generic description that will not entice users to click.

Generic Image

This is a generic image that will look the same for all stories. It is only 100px by 100px, which will not be usable on higher resolution displays

Image Sizes

Use images that are at least 1200 x 630 pixels for the best display on high resolution devices. At the minimum, you should use images that are 600 x 315 pixels to display link page posts with larger images. Images can be up to 8MB in size.

This is a generic description that will not entice users to click.

Generic Image

This is a generic image that will look the same for all stories. It is only 100px by 100px, which will not be usable on higher resolution displays

Image Sizes

Use images that are at least 1200 x 630 pixels for the best display on high resolution devices. At the minimum, you should use images that are 600 x 315 pixels to display link page posts with larger images. Images can be up to 8MB in size.

What Else Is Different?

For now, if you try to change the meta image using a scheduler, some pages that have not had the new rollout will be grandfathered in and will still be able to perform the image replacement. In the old days, Facebook has tinkered with taking away the option, but experienced social media content writers continued the old practices by changing what information would be displayed in Power Editor.

Of course, Facebook will continue to allow those that are creating Paid Advertising to alter the content of their posts. Paid advertisers will still be able to change link descriptions, headlines, and images from their content, but this content will not be permitted to be posted organically.

Social Media schedulers such as Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and So Shell already lost the ability to override the images and headlines to ensure content writers are informing their search engine optimization teams and web designers that OG meta tags needs to be taken seriously. To make sure that your business is ahead of these changes, finding a marketing team that knows how to navigate through the ever-changing digital landscape is important.  At Fasturtle, we help small and large businesses beat the competition through best practices and troubleshooting changes so that your message is heard on social media. Whether it is a link on your site, or a special in-store offer, our team has over 10 years of social media content writing and scheduling experience for all industries and locations. Contact us today and find out how Fasturtle can help you post exciting and effective content with our Social Media Management package coupled with Organic Search Engine Optimization.


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