How to get Facebook to show the correct link image

There’s nothing worse than getting ready to share your latest piece of epic blog content, and Facebook wants to play games with your link images. Am I right?

The wrong image showing as facebook link image

At some point we’ve all yelled at our screen something like: “Come on, Facebook. Seriously?! I’ve created a jaw-droppingly good graphic with Canva, to match my insanely imaginative blog post, and now you’re telling me you want to use a linky badge from my sidebar as my link image?!”

Facebook share box with image not showing

Sometimes Facebook might not display a link image at all, and will leave you wondering why they have forsaken you. Is it because they noticed you’ve spent more time tweeting or finding the perfect filter for the photo of your sandwich? Not likely.

Most of the time it’s because:

  • Facebook has got an older version of your page/post cached, or
  • You’re making it hard for them to find the right image to display with your link.

It can also be due to the size of your image so make sure you check that first. Remember, Facebook requires the image be larger than 200x200px, otherwise it will ignore it.

How to fix your Facebook link image

Before you even think of hitting post; First things first, have you tried SHIFT + REFRESH(F5)? If your link image isn’t showing at all, you should try and refresh your page. Sometimes things don’t load properly, especially if your blog is a bit on the slow side, or your blog’s host gets a load of requests at the same time. Giving Facebook the old classic refresh will often sort this problem out.

If Facebook is showing an image with your link but it’s not the one you wanted it to show, there is a quick fix for then and there. Just use the little navigation arrows that appear when you hover your cursor over it to cycle through the images from the post or page, until you get to your share image.

But you really don’t want to have to cycle through the images each time you want to share. So here’s how to get Facebook to show the correct link image, every time.

The solution: Open Graph tags

Open Graph tags are basic bits of metadata that tell social sites such a Facebook the correct title and image to use when linking to, in our case, a blog post.

There are four required open graph (OG) tags that you’ll need to use on each post or page:

  • og:title – The title of your post as it should appear in the link.
  • og:type – For a blog post, the type would be “article”.
  • og:image – The URL of your link image.
  • og:url – Your link URL.

You could add these manually to every single post, but who wants to do that?

Not me, or anyone I know for that matter. Luckily, there’s several automated solutions to add Open Graph tags to your blog posts.

Check your Open Graph tags

Let me introduce you to my good friend, Facebook Debugger. The nice engineers over at Facebook decided to create this handy tool to do two main things (amongst others).

Facebook open graph object debugger

The first functionality is:

  • It checks for any errors in your OG tags and gives suggestions to fix those errors, plus shows you an og:image preview.

Simply go to and enter your link URL and click ‘Debug’.

The page will display the OG tag data for the link URL you entered, along with a few other bits of info Facebook needs. If you scroll down this page, there are two areas where your link image appears. You’ll see a section titled ‘og:image’, and another lower down titled ‘When shared, this is what will be included’. If all is well, it will display the link share box with your title, description and image all perfectly in place. If not, it will make suggestions on how to fix those errors.

Facebook debugger when shared this is what will be included

The second functionality is:

  • It clears the Facebook cache for your link URL.

This is a valuable function to have access to. Imagine if you posted a link on Facebook and it’s not quite right. There’s a spelling mistake in the title or the link image isn’t right. You correct the mistakes on your blog post, and make sure your OG tags reflect the changes, then post again to Facebook.

Chances are nothing will have changed. But why is this? Well, Facebook will have already cached your URL the first time you posted your link. So, for speed when you re-post your link, Facebook uses the version it already has, rather than go and fetch the info again from your post.

The Facebook OG Debugger (when you click ‘Debug’) will refresh the Facebook cache for the URL and will show the changes you made, rather than use their old cached version. It’s useful to add the Debugger to your bookmarks/favourites as you’ll need to use it from time to time.

How to implement Open Graph tags

OG tags live in the <head> section of your website’s code. If you’re not too familiar with HTML then you’ll want to get your web developer to help. The great news is that most blogging platforms have easy ways to implement OG tags, without the need of a code geek.

One of the great things about WordPress is it’s easy to setup and adjust OG tags. Many WordPress themes have OG tags already coded in to their pages, so there’s no need for a third party plugin. The theme will use the featured image of the post as your OG image.

If your theme doesn’t add the OG tags for you, there’s a couple of options to get them applied. The Jetpack plugin via it’s ‘Publicize’ and ‘Sharing’ modules add OG tags to your blog’s posts. Jetpack also uses the post’s featured image as the OG image.

I suppose I should make a mention of Facebook’s own plugin, that will add OG tags for you.

Personally, I avoid Jetpack on Blogglebox and let my SEO plugin handle the OG tags for me. Why? Because the Yoast SEO plugin adds a handy tabbed section below each post editor screen. It allows you to easily set the OG title, OG description and OG image for each social network you’ve set up the plug-in for. It will also use a default image the user can set if a featured image is not applied to your post, or if an OG image isn’t specified.

Open Graph Conflicts (and how to resolve them)

Sometimes your link image won’t appear correctly because you have multiple OG tags. This can be caused by themes supporting OG tags being used along side plugins that also add OG tags. The resulting multiple OG tags can confuse Facebook when it goes to your page to scrape the open graph info it needs to display your link. In most cases, the plugin authors are aware of potential conflict issues and allow their OG tags to either be overwritten by the theme or visa-versa.

Jetpack isn’t so thoughtful and so requires some manual intervention if a conflict occurs. They have written a quick way to turn off Jetpack’s OG tags. You’ll need to add the code they give you in to your blog’s functions.php file via the WordPress editor.

It’s easy to fix your link image

So, to recap, you’ll need to:

  • Check your image size
  • Try refreshing the Facebook page
  • Check Facebook OG Debugger
  • Implement OG tags (where applicable)
  • Correct any errors or conflicts

I’d love to know if you already use OG tags on your blog or is this new to you? Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

How to Hide the SumoMe Badge for Free

Who doesn’t like free stuff?!

SumoMe now offer the ability to hide their badge for free on your blog or website, when using their free services. Which is an awesome move IMO.

I didn’t really mind paying for the privilege to be honest, but I’ll be more inclined to use their upgrades in the near future.

It was a feature that was included when you upgraded any of their free services such as Scroll Box or Share, or there was a nominal $5 cost per month if you didn’t require upgraded services but still wanted to hide the badge.

Well now every SumoMe user can hide the badge for free!

Here’s a quick graphic I’ve thrown together, to help get that badge hidden on your blog or website:

How to hide the SumoMe badge for free

Would your readers benefit from this?
Then Share this Infographic On Your Site!

Copy & paste the code below into your blog post or page content 🙂
I’ll tweet shout-out anyone that does! Thanks!

Stop Referral Spam from Ruining your Blog Stats

I hate to break it to you like this, but your stats may be deceiving you.

For months, visitors from sites such as and etc have given you a nice little boost in referral traffic.

(A referral is simply a person clicking through to your website from another website, such as Facebook, Google search etc.)

But there’s a problem with the referral traffic from these sites: it’s not actually real.

It’s damn spam! And who in their right mind wants referral spam like that?!

Why am I getting analytics referral spam?

The truth is that these stats have been generated by spam referrals or spam bots pinging your Google Analytics (GA) account and not actual real people clicking through to your blog. So while it may be nice to see the extra 100 or so sessions added to your total, at the end of the day you really want accurate, real stats.

Analytics referral spam

Spamming in this way is a sneaky little trick used by a few marketers who think they are being clever.

They ping your site. You see it in your analytics. You wonder what it is and click on the URL which takes you to their website. It gives them a nice stream of traffic and gets their brand seen by who knows how many thousands of innocent GA users.

This problem has been around for a while and it’s only a drop in the ocean for larger blogs and websites, so won’t really skew analytics that much for them. But for most bloggers and small businesses, referral spam like this could incorrectly show an increase of up to 70% in referral traffic.

Though they could make it harder for the spammers, It’s not Google Analytics fault. GA is an amazing tool for seeing how much traffic you are getting, where your visitors are arriving from, tracking your blog’s growth, and then some. It’s just that some naughty marketers are out to spoil the party for everyone.

An easy way to stop referral spam

There are some great posts on how to block spam referrals. Most will tell you how to edit your site’s .htaccess file to block them. Then there are ways you can apply filters to GA so you don’t see the spam referrals in your reports.

The easiest way I’ve found to block spammers is this WordPress plugin: The GM Block Bots plugin.

It claims to block and remove known spammers from your GA account. And the best thing about it – it works!

Spam Removal in Google Analytics

Just take a look at this screen shot above. One week it’s all spam, spam, spam. The next week after having installed the Block Bots plugin – BAM! 100% reduction rate. You can’t ask for better than that!

Simply download and install the file or find and install the plugin from your dashboard. It then works in the background like your own little team of ninjas, fighting off the spammers as they attack.

If you’re not a WordPress user then you’ll have to block/remove the spam referrals manually. It’s not too difficult once you get your head around it. I’ve listed below the best posts I’ve come across that tell you how to do this:

I’d love to know if you have any alternative methods in dealing with referral spam. Especially for other blogging platforms where there may be an easier way I’ve not come across. Or are you not bothered about the extra referrals and include them in your stats? Let me know in the comments below!