Facebook’s Attached Links and Page Previews – Why’s my site showing up with that image and text?

A white, rounded square logo with an abstract S-shaped design on a gradient blue and purple background.

Facebook has a cool bit of JavaScript that automatically loads your link as an attachment when you type a URL in the message input box. It has a title, description, and thumbnail:

Screenshot of an email draft showing a subject, message with a URL, and an attached website preview for PaperStreet Web Design for Law Firms, complete with a brief site description and logo. This setup mirrors Facebook's Attached Links and Page Previews feature.

Facebook link preview embed screenshot

One of our clients who is using Facebook as a part of their business, mentioned that when they were adding their website’s URL, it was popping up with the wrong text description. The text was specific to a certain part of the site, and misrepresented what the site was as a whole. Not good! Although you can easily click the text and edit it before you send your message, this could get annoying if you are including your business’ URL a lot.

How to change that description and thumbnail

Facebook reads the META description and <title> tag’s that are on the page to generate this information. If you do not have a Meta description (or a Meta description content equal to nothing), this will probably be taken from the first blurb of text that shows up in the HTML code, whether you like it or not. In the case above with one of our law firm clients, it was actually from the sidebar (not that we would leave out the Meta description tag of course! It was not loading correctly from our database at the time).
Add these HTML tags inside <head> in your HTML. The meta title may not be necessary as the title should be pulled from the regular <title> tag:

<meta name="title" content="Name of your page" />
<meta name="description" content="Page summary" />

It’s very likely that the first thumbnail image that shows up won’t be the one you want. The good news is that you can easily add a tag that Facebooks reads to choose this image.

<link rel="image_src" href="http://www.website.com/images/logo.jpg " />

Just give it some time…

The Crawler/Scraper/Bot or whatever you’d like to call it, doesn’t grab this information immediately; it seems there is some kind of cacheing used. So be aware, that your changes won’t show up right away. In our experience it showed up within a few hours. You may want to give it a day; I’m not sure how often they update their cached versions.

For more official information, and information about adding Audio and Video links, see:

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