Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sharing Blogger Links to Facebook - Common Errors & Easy Fixes

First, I am NOT a tech genius and I know little about HTML so you may not want to ask me for any additional help, although you may want to check the resources at the bottom of this post. I have been scouring the internet looking for answers and thought that I would compile everything in one place. For 2 reasons:

  1. So that I can access it again if the helpful posts/pages where I found the information are ever removed.
  2. So that others may find what they need in less time.

This post includes easy to understand fixes for the following topics:
  • 'Wrong Image' Error
  • 'Wrong Description' Error
  • Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools
    • Web Property ID
    • Site Maps

Easy Fix #1: How to Fix the 'Wrong Image' Error.

If you have incorrect images attached to your Facebook posts when you share your links, you may need to specify the image in your post meta data. Follow the steps below.

Go to Template > Edit HTML and just above...
Copy/Paste the following code snippet...
<b:if cond='data:blog.postImageThumbnailUrl'>
<meta expr:content='";gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image&amp;resize_h=200&amp;resize_w=200&amp;url=" + data:blog.postImageThumbnailUrl' property='og:image'/>
<meta content='' property='og:image'/>

You can alter the image URL in the above snippet. That image will be used when no post thumbnail is present. I left the default image in case you forget to change it. Just keep in mind that it will disappear if the location is ever removed or changed. 

To retrieve an image URL from your Blogger, log in to Picasa (owned by Google, the albums will contain any photos you have uploaded - OR, upload a new photo), locate the image you want to use and click on it. This should take you to the 'photo view' of that image, then right click the image and copy the image URL. Then simply replace the current image URL with your new one. 

Now when you share posts to Facebook, your post thumbnail will be displayed. If the post doesn’t have images (or has images that haven't been directly uploaded to your blogger account), then the default image which you have specified in the snippet will be used. After updating the search description (or updating your post with paragraph tags), use the Facebook debugging tool and debug the post link to force a cache refresh.

Resource, Blogger Widgets - HOME PAGE - POST PAGE - Thank you for the help!

Easy Fix #2: How to Fix the 'Wrong Description' Error.

The wrong description will appear when Facebook cannot recognize the content and structure of your post. This can be corrected by adding a search description while creating your post (OR, you can update the search descriptions of your existing posts). This description will be added as meta data to your post so that Facebook can recognize the content. 

If you don't see a Search Description option on your post screen as shown below:

Go to Settings > Search Settings and Enable Meta Tags. You can include a default description here as well. 

When meta data is not found, Facebook typically uses the First paragraph in your post, but it isn't a bad idea to just include a description to be safe. After updating the search description (or updating your post with paragraph tags), use the Facebook debugging tool and debug the post link to force a cache refresh.

Resource, Blogger Widgets - HOME PAGE - POST PAGE - Thank you for the help!

Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools

Easy Fix #3: Google Analytics - Analytics Web Property ID

Have you set up a Google Analytics account? You may need to add your Analytics Web Property ID to your blogger settings (This will be needed for each blog you have on your account).

To find the Tracking Code, Tracking ID, or Property Number in your Google Analytics account:

  1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account, and go to the admin page.
  2. Select an account from the dropdown in the Account column.
  3. Select a property from the dropdown in the Property column.
  4. Click Tracking Info.
Here is an example of what you are looking for.

The complete string (UA-XXXXX-YY) is referred to interchangeably as your Web Property ID or UA Number.
  • the X's (UA-XXXXX-YY) represent your account number
  • the Y's (UA-XXXXXX-YY) represent view (profile) numbers within your account.

Now that you have located your Analytics Web Property ID, you need to add it to you Blogger settings.

You can track traffic to your Blogspot domain on Blogger with Google Analytics. Follow these steps to add the tracking code.
  1. Log in to your Blogger account.
  2. Navigate to your blog's Settings > Other tab.
  3. If you already have a Google Analytics account, simply enter your blog's Google Analytics tracking ID.
  4. Click Save to finish.

Once you complete the steps above, you should see data in your Analytics account within 24 hours. However, you can also check your account within a few hours to see if data has begun to appear. To do this, go to your report and change the date range to the current day (by default, the ending date range is set to the previous day). If you see pageviews appear in your reports, your property is collecting data. If you don't see any data after 24 hours, see Troubleshooting Common Mistakes.

Resource, Google Analytics Support - HOME PAGEPOST PAGE - Thank you for the help!

Easy Fix #4: Webmaster Tools - Submit Your Site Maps

Webmaster Tools is part of Google Analytics, so if you have one you have both. Site Maps are important because they help search engines find your blog. Google does not automatically 'crawl' all of your posts and pages, so setting up site maps tells them to do so. This will help people find you on search engines, but it also may contribute to the information that Facebook has access to when you choose to share your links.

On hosted websites, you need to create your site maps first, but luckily with Blogger, your blog feed is your sitemap. The below URLs are your site maps.

How to submit a sitemap:

  1. Go to Google Webmasters Tools homepage and sign in with same Google account which you are using for your blogger blog.
  2. Click on your blog name to go to the blog’s Dashboard.
  3. Navigate to Crawl > Sitemaps and click on ADD/TEST SITEMAP button.
  4. One input box will appear, enter atom.xml, appending the necessary parameters and then click Submit Sitemap button.
  5. Click the refresh page link that appears.

Your work is done. Google will take few hours to approve your submission. 

Resource, Addicted Me - HOME PAGE - POST PAGE - Thank you for the help!

Now, go take a break and give your brain some rest! I hope that you found my compilation useful. I plan to make more posts like these in the future, especially the ones that I have lost the most time researching more than once. 

If you have other issues, be sure to use the resources from this blog. Their sites included a wealth of useful information and could be a useful tool. 

Blogger Widgets

 Addicted Me

Google Analytics Support

If you are still unable to share your posts, I just learned that if your blog is set to adult content, your posts will be marked as private. Therefore, you will continue to have issues sharing them on Facebook since the posts will automatically be set to private. 

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