In 2010, Facebook launched Open Graph: an integration tool between the world’s most popular social media network and the rest of the internet. Through this simple extension, Facebook gained the ability to read content and display articles organically in users timelines.

While understanding this is critical to social media success, many websites do not incorporate Open Graph into their back end. Does Open Graph need to be part of your website? More importantly, could it be a part of your overall SEO strategy? Here’s what all website owners need to understand about Open Graph and their website.

What is Facebook Open Graph?

Open Graph is the code by which Facebook sees the world. When it was introduced, the code gave website owners the ability to translate their content into Facebook timelines. When added to the head tag, the additional meta information allows Facebook to decipher some of the most important items in your website content or blog post, including the headline, feature photo, and summary.

Over time, the code has changed to improve how content appears on the social network. Today, the head-level tags govern how a website is ultimately displayed on Facebook. If a website title is wrong, summary information is missing, or a thumbnail incorrectly placed, it is a result of missing or incomplete Open Graph tags.

How Does Open Graph Affect Your Website?

Research shows well organized Open Graph tags can dramatically affect how people visit your website through social media. In a case study from The Next Web, Tumblr increased their traffic by 250 percent when implementing Open Graph into their website. Imagine what that traffic would do for your website!

To make matters even more complicated, Facebook no longer allows website owners to adjust link previews manually. As a safeguard to prevent against scams and clickbait, Facebook will only aggregate information from the website alone – making Open Graph tags even more important than ever. By optimizing Open Graph tags, everyone can increase their organic traffic through social channels.

Does Open Graph Affect Your SEO?

From a traditional stance, Open Graph does not affect organic SEO. However, there are serious search and display implications for brands who want to improve their social media positioning.

In order to receive prime visibility inside Facebook, the social network judges content in two ways. The first is based on loading speed – which is a topic for a different blog. More importantly, websites with optimized Open Graph tags are valued higher than those without. In order to receive prime visibility on Facebook timelines, websites must have Open Graph tags with an eye-catching title, big visuals, and easy-to-read summaries will be prioritized in timelines.

While Open Graph tags are another part of website success, taking the time to add these to your content will help you reach Altitude over your clients. Confused on where to begin with your website? Contact us today for a free consultation on how Open Graph can improve your digital visibility.