If you see this message for all article pages in your Real-Time Dashboard, it may be due to an issue with the code on your site responsible for sending our servers page URLs (paths), which need to meet certain requirements for the CrowdTangle integration to work.
Integration Requirements: Offsite Social
For some background, the social post data you see in the Offsite Social section in our Dashboard is pulled in via CrowdTangle APIs. When your team posts a link on your Facebook page to one of your articles, CrowdTangle collects both the URL used in the post, and the fully expanded URL for that article which tends to be the page's canonical URL, but only once. If the URL for that article changes after it was posted to Facebook, CrowdTangle does not collect the updated URL after the page is initially posted.
Our own tracking script on your website collects page paths (URLs) from each page as well. We expect these paths to be the page's canonical path, and we pass these values through CrowdTangle's API to return social posts for a particular webpage. So based on the details outlined above, there are two requirements to ensure Offsite Social works correctly:
- Your Chartbeat code is configured to ping our servers with the canonical URL for each unique page.
- The canonical URLs in your site HTML remain unchanged even as your editors update page headlines on your site.
Ensuring these two requirements are met in your Chartbeat configuration should ensure optimal functionality for our CrowdTangle integration. Continue reading for more details on how our Chartbeat tracking code can be configured to collect canonical URLs from your site, and we recommend sharing this article with the team that owns implementation of your analytics code if you are currently experiencing this issue and would like to implement our solution.
Our default page tracking code includes the following configuration variable, which tells our tracking script to use the URL set in your page's HTML in the rel="canonical" link element for the collected path:
_sf_async_config.useCanonical = true;
Your code may instead make use of our custom path configuration variable, which allows you to assign a custom URL of your choosing for our system to use as the unique page identifier. For example:
_sf_async_config.path = 'domain.com/section/article-title-1234567.html';
It's possible to use our custom path variable in a way that is compatible with the Offsite Social integration requirements as long as this variable is assigned to an unchanging URL value that is equivalent to the page's canonical URL. However, most frequently the cause for this issue is related to assigning the custom path variable to a path value which is not the page's canonical URL-- for example, using article or post IDs as the path identifier for your Chartbeat configuration. This implementation may resemble the following article ID & custom path set up:
_sf_async_config.path = 'domain.com/post/1234567';
If your team needs assistance to update the Chartbeat code on your site to be compatible with our integration requirements for Offsite Social, get in touch with us as email@example.com.