Open Graph tags are more important than the Like button. Much more…
Some people who add Open Graph tags and the Like button to their site see an uplift in traffic from Facebook. They see lots of Likes appearing on their Like buttons and think the Like button is great.
However the number displayed on the Like button is actually the total number of shares in Facebook and the new Facebook Insights shows us the number of Like button clicks is often very small compared to the overall number of natural shares in Facebook.
You can start to see that Like button clicks often contribute very little compared to the viral nature of social sharing.
It’s actually the Open Graph tags that are driving most of the benefits, not the Like button.
This opening paragraph from the Open Graph explains it.
The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page.
Adding Open Graph tags to a page allows Facebook to start aggregating data about all the sharing within the Facebook network and understand its overall importance. Facebook can begin to understand who else might be interested in the page and it gains additional exposure such as in search results which drives additional traffic.
Without the Open Graph tags, any time the URL is shared it doesn’t add to the overall importance of the page and it won’t appear in certain places.
The Like button does contribute to the importance of the page but not as much as everybody thinks and is not as important.
Here’s the guide to implementing Open Graph
You can use this URL linter to check to see if your pages Open Graph tags are working properly.