How to check meta tags for your links
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are HTML tags that provide information about a webpage’s content to search engines and users. They play a crucial role in influencing how a website appears in search results.
If you have the proper meta tags set up, then your links will appear with the corresponding thumbnail. For example, if your link is not loading a thumbnail, that means the og:image meta tag is missing.
The most relevant meta tags that you should check, which will specify how a link will load, are the the OG title, description, and image meta tags. These tags will specify the title, description, and thumbnail (image) of your link, so if one of the tags is missing, the link will not load accordingly.
Checking Meta Tags: Social Networks Tools
When you are sharing a link to social networks, you want to make sure that the link has the proper OG meta tags, so that the specific network can properly load the link. Major social networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have their own tool that you can use to check the meta tags.
For LinkedIn, you can use the LinkedIn Post Inspector.
For Facebook, you can use the the Facebook Sharing Debugger.
For Twitter, you can use the Twitter Card Validator and the Twitter Composer for a full preview.
Tip: Check out this article for a detailed guide on how to check the meta tags for these social networks.
While these tools help you check the meta tags, they are not 100% guarantee that a website will allow Publer to scrape the link and load it properly. That's why it's better to also use other tools to check the meta tags, such as Meta Tags tool and Link Preview as outlined below.
Checking Meta Tags: Other Tools
LinkedIn Post Inspector and Facebook Sharing Debugger will not guarantee that a website will allow Publer to scrape their site. To be sure, we recommend you use the following general tools:
Meta Tags tool - https://metatags.io/
Link Preview tool - https://linkpreview.net
Internally, we use two different ways to fetch link previews, one being through a third party service, the Link Preview tool. If your link fails or does not load the necessary og:meta tags (i.e. image, description, title, etc) with any of the tools above, that means that your link is missing the necessary og meta tags. In this case, there is not much that we can do.
Meta Tags Tool
In the Meta Tags website:
Enter the link and click on Parse Meta Data to check if it will generate a thumbnail.
If your link is missing the og:image tags, it will not generate a thumbnail.
In this case, Meta Tags tool did not generate a thumbnail for any of the social accounts (scroll down to see all the previews). It only generated the link's title, and description, so the only missing meta tag is the og:image tag.
Link Preview Tool
In the Link Preview website:
Enter the link under Try your website and click on Submit to check if it will generate a thumbnail.
The tool will load the thumbnail and show the main meta tags, such as title, description, image, and URL.
If any of the tags is missing, then the link preview won't load.
In this case, all the meta data is specified properly which is why the Link Preview tool loads the link thumbnail, description, and title.
Keep in mind
If both of the sites, Meta Tags and Link Preview, cannot load a thumbnail for your link, there is not much that Publer can do, since the respective meta tags are missing from the link.
The meta tags or meta data is used to specify the link preview, such as the title, description, and image. They are crucial if you want the link to be displayed properly when it is shared on the social networks.
A link with the image tags specified correctly would have this: <meta property=“og:image” content=“link_here”. If the link is missing and og:image tag is empty, that means that the thumbnail won't load, since the image link is missing.
If your link is not generating a preview, you have to add the meta tags to your website.
Updated on: 04/12/2023