How to Retain Facebook Likes After Change in Domain
Published on March 8, 2016 • by Nishant Updated on April 14, 2023 • 9 min Read
Although, it is not always advisable to change a domain name of an established website, but still sometimes you can not help changing domain name. The major impact of this change in domain may wipe off your Facebook Like numbers received on your old domain.
Usually, Facebook counts its page likes associated with a particular domain only. Therefore, if domain name has changed then all the Facebook like counts will also be wiped off and ultimately there will not be much you can do to retain your previous social media marketing information.
However, you can do some smart workaround to retain Facebook Likes back. If you want to retain Facebook likes after change in domain, then it can not be moved automatically to the new domain. You have to use your old domain as a canonical source to transfer its data i.e likes, shares or comments etc at the new domain. Facebook usually resolve the canonical link for the new domain to be loaded, while resolving the old domain’s like or share action is attributed for.
Here, we are sharing some of tricks with you, although it may not work in all cases.
When a new domain is loaded, The Facebook crawler will look for:
Redirect for HTTP 301 or 302
og:url open graph tag in the page.
rel=canonical (Facebook’s crawler supports content only and not HTTP headers)
So, you can perform any of following tricks to retain Facebook Likes and Shares:
1. Exempting Facebook Crawler From Your HTTP Redirect.
2. Using the old Facebook page as the canonical URL for the new page.
1. Exempting Facebook Crawler From Your HTTP Redirect. You can apply HTTP 301 or 302 redirect on your old domain for sending visitors to a new domain.
The Facebook crawler’s user agent needs to be exempted from the redirect and also allowed to access the old domain page. You should send a HTTP redirect to non-Facebook crawler clients only.
Whenever crawler loads the old domain, the HTML of this old domain should carry open graph tags (along-with og:url tag) and return with a HTTP 200 response.
2. Using The Old Facebook Page As The Canonical URL For The New Page. Add following tag to the new Domain HTML:
Above tag guides Facebook crawler that the canonical URL is at the old location, and the crawler will use it to generate the number of Likes on the page. Moreover, all new likes at the either location will be aggregated in both places.
Although the preferred tag remains og:url,still this trick will work with rel=canonical also.
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