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I am getting lots of traffic from Facebook, but the referrer looks like

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?url=http://www.example.com/mypage.html

I've also had this problem before with another page. Again with the referral links from Facebook not showing what post is linking to my site.

Is there any way to find out where that might originate from inside Facebook?

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3 Answers 3

If the referrer isn't a private page, you could try a Google search with:

link:http://www.facebook.com/l.php?url=http://www.example.com/mypage.html

This will find pages linking to that redirect page, if they're indexed.

Edit: Nevermind, this doesn't seem to work at all. I tried a link search of a few of different links from various public facebook pages, and they all return nothing. Google is indexing these pages, but for some reason the link: operator doesn't return them.

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I got the following result: "Your search - link:facebook.com/l.php?... - did not match any documents." Looks like it is not visible or something. –  delete Nov 2 '10 at 8:32
    
The link: operator finds links pointing to that page so link:example.com would not return example.com it would return pages that link to example.com –  Joshak Nov 2 '10 at 11:34
    
@Joshak: I know what link: does. I mean that the facebook pages containing those links are indexed by Google, but when you do a link: search for those links, the facebook pages aren't returned. –  Lèse majesté Nov 2 '10 at 11:40
    
I didn't mean to offend. It was in response to your comment of "Google is indexing these pages, but for some reason the link: operator doesn't return them." Your example link:facebook.com/l.php?url=http://www.example.com/mypage.html would return links pointing to facebook.com/l.php?url=http://www.example.com/mypage.html and not the page itself, which is why the Link: operator is not returning them. –  Joshak Nov 2 '10 at 13:47

The redirect behavior is FaceBook acting as intended - you could try searching within the FaceBook application for the link to your content or you could run a search to the effect of site:facebook.com link:example.com but, as FaceBook privacy settings may apply to the link, there's no guarantee you'll be able to see who's linking to you.

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I'm not interested in whether it is acting as intended or not - I am only interested in where the link comes from. –  delete Nov 2 '10 at 8:30
    
@Kinopiko - My apologies ... I figured you might want to know why your goal would be difficult to accommodate (which is also why I provided a workaround - albeit limited - in the rest of my answer) –  danlefree Nov 2 '10 at 10:39
    
@danlee: Have you tried that query? I'm unable to combine the link: and site: operators. If I use them by themselves, they work, but if I use both, then the link: just gets treated as a search term. I've found that the backlink search syntax on Yahoo and Bing have been handicapped as well or disabled altogether. –  Lèse majesté Nov 2 '10 at 12:59
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@Lèse_majesté Yes, it does appear as though the link: and site: operators are mutually-exclusive - FaceBook search still works (insofar as posts are not marked private) so I'll leave that much of my reply as-is. –  danlefree Nov 2 '10 at 15:29

You might try searching Google real time: http://www.google.com/realtime?hl=en&tab=wY

If it's a public status update in theory it would show up there. (Google realtime in my experience isn't that reliable but it's worth a shot).

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