How to use Open Graph Protocol for SEO and Social Networks

The Open Graph Protocol makes each page social object. This becomes by describing things on the Internet. You can set the type, title, description, address, contact information, even a specific location.

Facebook first introduced the semantic protocol known as Open Graph back in 2010 in order to facilitate improved integration between the social networking site and other websites. It does so by allowing other websites to be rich “graph” objects that have an identical functionality to other Facebook objects. In other words, it makes it easier to integrate any kind of internet object or web content into Facebook’s social graph — and that brings significant SEO benefits. Content is integrated with defined meta tag specifications that are used in the content’s source code. These tags then dictate how content is rendered on Facebook, ensuring a seamless integration.

Described by The Open Graph Protocol

Initially, you can set your type of site. This will be:

  • article (used for news, blog posts, video, audio)
  • blog (only used in the homepage)
  • website (only used for the homepage)

Then you can specify descriptive information about your pages with contacts. This is useful for your business site. The types are:

  • contact Information
  • location

You can also describe films, audio or some other known object from the real world:

  • activities
  • businesses
  • groups
  • organizations
  • people
  • places
  • products and entertainment

If you have a Facebook profile you can put your ID. Thus the social networking will identify you as an administrator of the site.

Open Graph Protocol in your web page

og:description

This is also similar to your html meta description tag because it is used to describe your content. You shouldn’t care if it is keyword rich, but instead you should come up with a compelling description that will result in more clicks. You have up to 297 characters for this tag.

Example: <meta property=”og:description” content=”“/>

og:image

Remember I mentioned I was able to increase my Facebook traffic by 174%? It was because I used Open Graph to ensure that Facebook showed an image every time someone shared a URL from Quick Sprout.

Before I get into how you can use this tag, I’ll walk you through Facebook’s requirements. An image has to be at least 50px by 50px, but preferably bigger than 200px by 200px. Plus, the image can’t be more than 5 MB in size.

Example: <meta property=”og:image” content=””/>

og:url

In this tag, you should place the URL of the page you are sharing. This tag may seem irrelevant, but it’s important because sometimes you’ll have more than one URL for the same content. By using this tag, you’ll ensure that all shares go to one URL versus multiple URLs, which should help your Facebook Edgerank.

Example: <meta property=”og:url” content=””/>

og:site_name

This tag tells Facebook the name of your website. You don’t really need this tag, but there is no harm in including it.

Example: <meta property=”og:site_name” content=”Quick Sprout”/>

fb:admins

If you have a fan page on Facebook and you want to get more data in Facebook Insights, then you have to use this tag. It tells Facebook you are the site owner, and it connects your Facebook fan page to your website development.

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