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What is Open Graph?

The Open Graph protocol is a widely adopted standard used to integrate web pages into the social graph.

Published on 2024-03-03 by Dmytro Krasun

Essentially, the Open Graph Protocol allows any web page to become a rich object in a social networking platform’s ecosystem. Developed by Facebook in 2010, the protocol uses metadata tags embedded in the HTML code of a webpage to control how URLs are presented when shared on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

This metadata can dictate the appearance of the page’s title, type, image, and more, ensuring that shared content looks appealing and accurate to potential viewers on social platforms.

Open Graph tags allow publishers and web developers specify precisely which information should be displayed when their content is shared. For example, they can set a specific image to appear in the thumbnail, craft a compelling description, and ensure the title accurately reflects the page’s content.

Look at how SEO Stuff uses meta tags in the HTML:

<!-- Open Graph / Facebook -->
<meta property="og:type" content="website" />
<meta property="og:url" content="https://www.seo-stuff.com" />
<meta property="og:title" content="SEO Stuff - Keyword Research Tool" />
<meta
property="og:description"
content="Excellent keyword research. Without monthly subscription."
/>
<meta property="og:image" content="https://www.seo-stuff.com/og-image.jpg" />
<!-- Twitter -->
<meta property="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image" />
<meta property="twitter:url" content="https://www.seo-stuff.com" />
<meta property="twitter:title" content="SEO Stuff - Keyword Research Tool" />
<meta
property="twitter:description"
content="Excellent keyword research. Without monthly subscription."
/>
<meta
property="twitter:image"
content="https://www.seo-stuff.com/og-image.jpg"
/>

These tags help ensure that when a link to your site is shared on social media, it displays with a title, image, and description that accurately represent the content of the link.

On social media the resulting image of SEO Stuff looks like:

An Open Graph image example

The Open Graph protocol is essential for improving the appearance and engagement of content shared on social media by allowing customized presentations for different media types.

It also plays a crucial role in content discovery and distribution, significantly impacting digital marketing and SEO strategies by helping social platforms categorize and prioritize content.

Make sure you don’t miss on that opportunity and check our Open Graph examples for inspiration.

Frequently asked questions

Answers to the questions people often ask about the Open Graph protocol and Open Graph social cards.

What is Open Graph?
Open Graph is a protocol that allows web pages to become rich objects in a social graph. Essentially, it is a set of meta tags added to the HTML of a webpage that provides information about the content of the page, such as the title, type, URL, image, video, and site name.
How is the Open Graph protocol used?
The information specified in the Open Graph meta tags is used by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to display a preview of the webpage when it is shared on their platforms.
What is an Open Graph checker?
An Open Graph checker, or validator, is a tool that inspects your webpage to verify that the Open Graph tags are correctly implemented. It checks for the presence of necessary tags and whether they contain appropriate values that will effectively represent your content on social media platforms.
How to debug the Open Graph protocol?
To debug the Open Graph protocol, ensure correct OG tags are implemented, use validator tools like Facebook Sharing Debugger, Twitter Card Validator or our Open Graph tester to identify and fix errors, and clear social media caches to reflect changes.
What is the purpose of Open Graph images?
The purpose of Open Graph (OG) image is to provide a visual preview of the content being shared on social media platforms, enhancing engagement by giving users a quick understanding of what the linked page is about. Check out our OG image examples for inspiration.
What mediums support the Open Graph protocol?
The Open Graph protocol is supported by social media platforms, messaging apps, search engines, content aggregators and readers, email marketing tools, and bookmarking and content sharing services.