Check how the website will appear when shared, based on the use of Open Graph tags

Screenshot of Sitebeam's open graph test

Why is it important?

Websites are increasingly dependent upon social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for traffic. The Open Graph standard defines how pages should appear when they are shared on these networks. Making optimal use of Open Graph means your pages are more likely to be shared socially.

How is it measured?

Sitebeam looks for Open Graph meta tags, like so:

<meta property="og:site_name" content="BBC News"/>

Note that many Open Graph tags have equivalent ‘fallbacks’. For example, if og:title is not specified, the <title> of the page will be used instead. These are the tags which are checked, and their respective fallbacks:

Tag Fallback Purpose
og:title <title>tag The title of the content being shared. You may wish for this to be different from the page title, as you’re optimising for users sharing, whereas a page title is often (at least partly) optimised for search engines.
og:description Meta-tag description A short plain text description of the content being shared.
og:url The URL of the page The canonical URL of the page. You may wish for this to be different from the page URL.
og:image None An image representing the page. In Facebook, for example, this is shown as a thumbnail to the left of the shared link. Links are vastly more likely to be clicked upon where attractive and appropriate imagery is shown.
og:type None The type of content, e.g. a video, music, book etc. There are agreed standards for many media types.
og:site_name None The name of the website. This can be used by social networks to say a user is doing something with a specific site, e.g. “Bob liked XYZ on site_name”.

Each tag must be visible as uncommented HTML and conform to the Open Graph specification.