FBCLID in Google Analytics: Should You Remove It?
Published June 17th, 2021
What Is FBCLID?
If you’re constantly looking at your Google Analytics, you might have come across a weird series of URLs that seems to pop up a lot. Upon closer inspection, you might have noticed that there is one common thread there.
The letters fbclid right after the last /.
What is it? What does it do? Is it a threat? Does it have any use being there?
Fbclid actually stands for Facebook Click ID. It’s a parameter Facebook attaches to URLs posted or shared on the social media platform. You’ll know that you’re looking at parameters when there is a question mark before it. You can use this information to search for other parameters, other than fbclid, that might wreak havoc with your Google Analytics report.
This tracks visits made to your website when a user clicks on the content you shared. Now Google Analytics will count this as a single visit each time which messes up the accuracy of the report you’re getting.
So, should you remove it? And how do you remove it? That’s what we’re here to discuss today.
What Effect Does Having FBCLID Have On Your Site?
Before we remove the fbclid, does it have any effect on your website as a whole?
Well, to date, there have been no adverse effects of having the tracking parameter attached to your URL save for the fact that it gives an inaccurate reading when you check your Google Analytics.
It won’t affect your site’s popularity or SEO ranking in any way. So, that’s a good thing, right?
But, if you’re the type of person who banks on the accuracy of their reports, the attached fbclid parameter can be annoying.
For example, a person clicks on the URL you shared on Facebook. Let’s say the URL is https://www.home.com/blog/20210529/entry. With the fbclid parameter attached to it, a separate click from a different user would only register that as one click although it would show up as a separate URL on your Google Analytics report.
In order to get the right report, you would have to count each fbclid as a separate URL. Luckily, there is a way to make things easier for you.
So Why Does The FBCLID Exist?
We can only assume that fbclid works in the same manner as Google’s gclid (or Google Click Identifier). The gclid is used to exchange data between Google Analytics and Google Adsense. So, in theory, since it pops up as a URL in your Google Analytics, fbclid exchanges data between Facebook and Google Analytics.
Now you may think that this is similar to Facebook’s Pixel. These two have similarities but they work in completely different ways.
Another assumption is that the fbclid is a way to go around ad blockers or bypass cookies. This might be an accurate explanation of why the fbclid exists but it is still up for speculation.
It could also be used to bypass the Apple 2.0 smart tracking system. Again, this is an assumption.
A logical one.
If for anything else, if we were to base it on its similarity to the gclid, the fbclid parameter is there to improve the company’s insight as to what the user’s preferences are. This could lead to advertising opportunities and focused marketing uniquely set for each user .
Whatever the fbclid parameter is for, we’ll know in the future. You can leave it alone, or go down to the next section and learn how to exclude it from your Google Analytics view.
How Do You Remove FBCLID?
Removing the fbclid from your search query on Google Analytics is easy. All you have to do is exclude “fbclid” from your URL query parameters.
Here’s a step by step instruction of how to do that:
- Click on the Admin gear located at the bottom left side of your screen.
- Select “Master View”
- Click on View Settings
- Find the Exclude URL Query Parameters location and input “fbclid”
Once you’ve finished this procedure, any clicks to your shared URL on Facebook will count as an individual click to the right URL.
And there you go. If you have more questions about the topic discussed above, or you have more information that could lead to more definitive answers, please don’t hesitate to contact us or leave a comment below.
We are open to revising information we’ve released if more factual evidence comes forth regarding the fbclid parameter.
If you regularly check your Google Analytics, you might have noticed the fbclid parameter. What is it and what should you do about it?
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