August 22, 2013

Facebook Object Debugger: A valuable tool for marketers & businesses

Target audience: Marketing professionals, Web publishers, bloggers, community managers, SEO specialists, businesses, nonprofits, Facebook administrators, anyone with a Facebook page.

Chris AbrahamIf you’re a blogger, content marketer, community manager, website admin, online writer, site owner, or online editor, I am sure you’ve had the experience of your share on Facebook breaking.

And by breaking I mean it just shows up as a source URL without the article’s Title, Description, or a lovely selection of pulled images — sort of like this:

brokenURL

Well, there are several ways of fixing this, one of which is to take that source URL and run it through a URL-shortening service such as Bit.lyTinyURL, or rnnr in order to reboot Facebook’s site and page inspection. Or, you can harness the fearsome power of Facebook’s very own Facebook Object Debugger, part of the Facebook Developers toolkit. Did you know about this?:

debug

It’s truly a panacea, for several reasons: First, it reboots the cached metadata, thumbnails, page title, and description — which is really what you want. And if that’s really what you want, then you’re done — you can stop reading now, bookmark this and go try it out now — go thee to fix you your blog post preview (and, you’re welcome).

First, there’s proof that metadata isn’t just interesting to the NSA, and metadata andmetatags are still important to the proper description of not only sites but all your discrete pages as well (from my site, chrisabraham.com)

openGraph

Then, you can see what Facebook has been able to extract from your page or your site — this helps you sort out whether your blog or site is properly tagged, named, and structured in such a way that Facebook can automagically grok what you’re up to — here’s another example from my site:

objectProperties

Warning: Proceed if you’re OK with geekery

The rest of the info is very geeky but it can sort you out if your site is doing some strange thing such as an unexpected canonical redirect — it allows you to know how your site is responding (with a response code of 200) and if your featured URL and the real URL match up (useful but not something most people need to know, unless Facebook throws you an error).

scrape Info

And, finally, the Facebook Graph rabbit-hole — go ahead and click through one or both of the URLs and you’ll see that the Internet is just HTML, code, scripts, CSS, and metadata — and aren’t you lucky that Firefox, IE, Chrome, and Safari do such a nice job of making all that rude text pretty?

uRLs

Good luck and may all of your blog posts render beautifully on Facebook!

Related

Control which image Facebook uses to represent your site (Socialmedia.biz)Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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  • This is new to me. I have to try that debugger and check my own site. I will share this to my friends, too!