•  4 min read

Troubleshooting Facebook Post Link Previews

This guide outlines some of the common issues that can occur posting to Facebook through the Metigy platform.

What issues can occur?

Below is a list of a few of the more common issues that can occur when a post is published. There are more than can happen but we work to catch them before they go live, and we also do work to prevent post issues for you.

  • No URL preview is shown on Facebook
  • There is missing information from the preview
  • The content is not up to date
  • The image is missing or wrong
  • The image is low quality / incomplete

Other items that can affect how posts are shared, some examples of which are included to help you.

Also, we at Metigy believe in helping our customers get the best experience we can. As part of that, we are working to help you identify and correct any issues before they become an issue.

Verify how Facebook sees the URL

The first step is to check what Facebook sees on your page – or if it even sees it. For this, they provide a simple testing tool where you can put the URL in, and they report any issues they find.

  1. Open the Facebook Sharing Debugger tool.
  2. Add the URL you want to share and click Debug.
  3. Scroll down to Link Preview and check the image.
  4. If you don’t see the correct details, you may need to click “scrape again” to get a fresh version (this will solve the out-of-date problem)

You should see something like this from the Metigy Website:

Debugging URLs using Facebook's Open Graph Debugger Tool

Debugging URLs using Facebook’s Open Graph Debugger Tool

If you they don’t get all or any of that information, then you are probably missing some tags on your page or else the information has not been set.

How to fix missing text items

The answer to how to fix it come down to how your site is built.

If you are using a CMS driven site, such as WordPress, then your first step is to install an ‘SEO Optimization’ plugin. We are big fans of one called Yoast SEO which is one of the most popular in the community. Install that and follow their instructions on a post, then try the validation again. If all went to plan, you should see the text populated now.

On the other hand, if like us you have a custom built site, you will want to be reading Facebook’s Open Graph instructions. That article highlights the tags you must include to get the most from sharing through any platform.

Once those are set up, make sure that they are populated with the correct data. For those of you using a CMS or some other data backend, they should be easy.

Images are missing or wrong

If you are using a CMS, then the first step is to check that the article has a featured image – that’s what it is called in WordPress. This is, as the name says the image that is featured in the article, usually in lists and on the header (dependant on the theme). When that is set, and there is still no image, check the manual for your plugin (and read the next paragraph for a bit of a technical check).

If you are creating your site manually, or want to do a more in-depth dive, then the first step is to check your open graph tags in the HTML for your page by viewing source. Check the url in the <meta name=”og:image” /> tag is set and correct; otherwise that is what needs to be fixed.

The image is low quality / incomplete

If the image is too small, Facebook may show a different image or post your content without an image. The recommended size is at least 1200px by 630px and this will ensure your images will work for Facebook posts.

To learn more about Facebook’s image sharing best practices, visit their Developer documentation.

Once you’ve updated the image, return to the Facebook debugger, and click ‘scrape again.’

Examples of other issues

We have seen a lot of problems over time with Facebook sharing. It’s such a massive, continually changing, living machine that it’s inevitable that things will change or break at times.

Here are some other examples we’ve seen recently:

  • Doubling up (or more) on Open Graph tags. This usually happens if you are using plugins and multiple ones of them are trying to create the tags.
  • Your site (or the shortened u.metigy.com) url shows up as the title. This occurs when the og:title and page title are empty or missing.
  • Strange characters appearing. This occurs when your site is ‘double encoding’ tags to escape them. So & becomes &amp; for example
  • Facebook refusing to scrape a page. Ok, this is a very broad one, but the last couple of times it was caused by server hosting issues where the site cannot be reached or is very slow.

There are lots more that can happen and we will keep adding to the list of help items for you.

Please contact us if you need more help.