Open Graph

By Nathan Segal

In this article we look at Open Graph and how it may or may not affect SEO. To show you how this works, my colleague Steve Wiideman is going to take you on a guided tour. He said: “Essentially there are many things you can do with Open Graph not just related to your web site.”


“When you open up the Developers page in Facebook, you discover many things that you can do. From an SEO standpoint we’re talking about structured. In the screen shot above, this is where we’re going to get some metadata that we’ll put on our website.”

“There isn’t any current specific evidence that Google is using some of the metadata we’re going to be discussing but data that shows that people who subscribe, share and engage in this content may end up linking to it or sharing it elsewhere which creates a freshness algorithm.”  

“Considering the excerpt above, when you update your status with the comment: Here’s some cool stuff, then you put in a URL, the URL automatically propagates the Open Graph information which includes: The image, title, description, information about the site, etc.”


“To create that, there are some specific fields as in the table above. Google may use some of those fields in their rankings but again, we don’t have data so that’s speculation. Above are some of the basic tags, such as: URL, title, and description.”


“If you’re a WordPress user and you’re sharing content on your blog, here’s a blog of an interview with a Google WebSpam employee. At the bottom of this post is a section which makes use of the Yoast SEO plug-in (one of many you could use). In this example I use the Facebook title, description, SEO title (I could put in an image but I like what I have). If you use an image you can place a call-to-action in it, such as: ‘Click here to read more.’ It’s a type of fake button within the image which looks like something to click on. There are many things you can do to customize the imagery.”


“When that’s done, Yoast inserts some default information. In addition you can see several ‘og’ tags. One thing I’ve seen in the past is if Google doesn’t like your title it will choose something more relevant. If people on social media and other places are sharing that content with a certain tag or title, perhaps derived from Open Graph, Google will actually swap your HTML title with that title, which can be frustrating because that’s not the title you want showing up in a Google search result.”

“I have seen instances where Google will swap that out simply because of the frequency of people using that title to describe a particular URL. There could be a negative impact to Open Graph if more people are sharing that content with the Open Graph title and not the title you’ve created to try to get people to click on your search results.”

“This has an impact in search ranking because Google will think that your web page is more relevant than the other pages on the first page of Google if people are clicking on it. Be careful with Open Graph tags if your content isn’t being shared with its default title but is instead getting shared with the Open Graph title.”

“When you create customized content within Facebook  (with a controversial image, graphic or title), you might not want to put this on your web page but you might want to use it as an advertisement to get people to find an interest in that content. This is where the image, title, and description come into play to make it shareable.”

“You can use Open Graph to help your content go semi-viral in social networks. If you have 200,000 people sharing that content, then maybe 200 of them are influencers and maybe some of those influencers might have hundreds of thousands of followers who have a blog of their own. Those followers might be interested in curating some of this content or mentioning it in a feature or sharing it. It’s that sharing, mention, or link that ultimately makes your listing appear higher in search results. Note that this is for any content. Open Graph is a way to allow you to provide better content and that gives you an opportunity to rank higher than someone who doesn’t take advantage of it.”

“If the post goes viral and people wind up linking to your content, it’s those links, that visibility which will help the content move up to the top of the search.”



To learn more, access the URL’s on the Open Graph site as provided in this article, spend some time with really learning about Open Graph. A fast way to learn more is to Google: Facebook open graph. You can learn about best practices, integration with apps and much more.

Many thanks to Steve Wiideman who created the tour for this article. You can learn more about him and the service he offers at:

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