Open Graph Tagging: Does It Really Work?

By Sarah Wyland | Jun 17, 2013
More Articles by Sarah

Several of our clients have great, flashy websites. All the bells and whistles are there, from navigation to music playing upon landing on the home page. They are also loaded with video content that users love. And as you may have guessed, they’re built in JavaScript, making indexing tricky.

Enter open graph tagging.

We recommend open graph tagging to clients in order to get their great video content not only indexed properly, but also ranking higher in search results. Additionally, these tags aid with the appearance of a video thumbnail next to search results. According to Econsultancy, sites can more than double their Google traffic when a video thumbnail appears in search rankings.

But does open graph tagging actually work?

As with any (relatively) new process, there have been discussions among search marketers on whether or not open graph tagging lives up to its billing, leading to the question: Is it worth my time? In my opinion, YES.

Open graph tagging tells the bot “hey, there’s a video here! And here’s the image that goes along with it!” On a JavaScript site which already has hurdles when it comes to indexing, this signal is valuable. Search engines not only know there is a video on the site, but also, based on the tagging, they know what image to associate with it, what title to display and a description to associate with it and share.

In addition to improving how videos are displayed in search, open graph tagging is also useful for social sharing. Think about how many times you’ve had to click “no thumbnail” when sharing a really great article or video on Facebook because the image options are poor, at best. With open graph tagging, your content will be shared in the most ideal form.

Let’s use our own content as an example:

Our recent webinar, The Convergence of PR and SEO: Harnessing the Power of Content, Social and Search, is marked up with open graph tagging which looks like this:


Because of open graph tagging, a Google search for “Search Mojo Webinars” causes this particular webinar to appear with a thumbnail included in the search results:


When shared on Facebook, it comes across like this:


The overall jury may still be out on how effective open graph tagging is, but I’m a supporter. It’s not difficult to add to your site and can be used for marking up more than just video content.

What are your thoughts on open graph tagging? Is it worth the added time to mark up content? Leave a comment or tweet me with your thoughts!

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