The various ways to edit your Facebook links will be going away very soon. You, along with thousands of others want to know what's going on with Facebook and editing links. As of July 17, 2017, Facebook has stopped letting people edit their links they have posted to their Facebook Pages. That includes not being able to edit your Facebook link, any thumbnail images, the titles and descriptions to boot!
Adding to this nightmare, posting links to Facebook has become a real challenge. Supposedly, this is because Facebook is making many changes. If you have not noticed the changes, you will soon enough. Facebook's changes were supposed to launch in September 2017 but possibly not in some cases. If you posted or scheduled something to Facebook from a third-party tool, you have already discovered the changes.
Who Is Going To Be Affected?
Everyone, one way or another will be affected. If you have always relied on link-editing in the past, you will have to make changes to your site so Facebook will be able to pick up the right information. I'd start reading up on Facebook to find out how you are going to make that happen.
The Rhyme And Reason Behind Facebook's Decision:
Facebook has been targeted as a part of the “fake news” scandal. They have been blamed for many election results throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and many other countries. That said, they are distancing themselves from further attacks regarding this situation. They are working overtime to get rid of “fake news” from everyone's feed. Therefore, if you have fake news links on your account, they will be gone!
How Fake News Channels Operate:
Fake news channels have been notorious for creating enticing click-through link editing. They change the images, titles, and descriptions in order to mask their links behind clickable headlines, descriptions, and images that people enjoy viewing.
Facebook, in turn, has decided to take away the ability for these malicious sites to edit the link preview option and stop what they are doing.
So, You Might Wonder What You Can Do:
There are various ways you can be sure that your website is sending the right information to Facebook. Some are easy, some are difficult, and some are hard to do. Facebook is simply making sure that your links are displayed the way you intended them to.
Yoast is one of the most useful and powerful plug-ins for WordPress sites. It will help you with Facebook link previews. For the record, Yoast also works with Drupal.
Once you have installed it to your site, Yoast will add an interface at the bottom of each page and post. It allows you to choose the image, title, and description you want to be displayed when the link is posted on Facebook.
How It Works:
Go to the bottom of your post and choose the sharing icon from the Yoast Box.
Choose your Facebook link preview using Yoast. Once you have updated your post, you will have to debug your link using the Facebook Debut Tool.
Have Facebook re-scrape your site so you will be able to check that they have picked up the correct information.
Open Graph Markup:
This is a code that tells Facebook what to display from your site. It might sound complicated but actually open graph tagging is not that bad.
Unfortunately, if you are not on WordPress or Drupal, Yoast will not be an option. You will have to add some code to your site in order to tell Facebook what image, description, and link you want displayed.
Adding just 4 lines of code to the head section of your site will give this information to Facebook. It defines:
- The URL
- The Title
- The Description
- The Image
You will have to do a little research to get your hands on this code. Once you have it, replace the links and descriptions for the above info to fit your web page and paste the code into the head section. As Facebook continues to make their changes, they should have information available to help you out.
If this seems too difficult for you, get with your site programmer or provider and see if they can assist you with this coding.
Be A Part Of A Publishers Group:
Publishers are able to edit links from their “Publishing” tab on their Facebook Page. This is hard to do as access to this tool is very limited and only allowed if Facebook says so. In the future, hopefully, Facebook will have a way to verify smaller websites.
Some of these codes can be complicated and if this is not for you, it's highly recommended you use Facebook's debug tool. This tool should be able to flag any issues on your page. Also, try updating your post or page, this can make a difference as well.
As with everything else on the Internet, changes are constant. As difficult as it might seem, Facebook is doing what they have to in order to get rid of malicious sites that are linked to everyone's sites when posted on Facebook. Hopefully, over time Facebook will have alternatives to help blog and website owners get their information posted correctly. In the meantime, read up on what changes are taking place and how you can ensure your links, images, and descriptions are being displayed correctly.