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On my quiz site, I have been allowing people to share the quizzes with their friends using the Facebook sharer popup.

At first I just let them share the quiz on it's own, but I decided it would be nice to have a query string that passes data so that the previous person's result would be visible to the sharer, like this: http://example.com/oJXp7r?t=5QMCCQ

Now, I want to give the content the best visibility possible on Facebook. I have a canonical URL set up in the header for each quiz, which I was hoping would allow Facebook to realised the preferred URL.

I wanted to know if adding the query string to each sharer should affect the sharability or visibility of the content on Facebook.

I know, for instance, that if more than one of your friends shares the same link, it will come up prominently and say '3 of your friends shared X content'.... if I have the query string will it stop this kind of thing from happening or will it realise it's the same URL?

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Using the default Facebook sharer, it would see URL's with different query parameters as completely separate URL's so subsequently, not detecting that 3 other Facebook user's have shared the same content. You'd have to come up with a workaround to this.

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  • Is this true, even if the content has a canonical URL specified?
    – Luke
    Mar 31 '14 at 15:45
  • Yes. It's still a different URL being shared.
    – zigojacko
    Mar 31 '14 at 16:08
  • I wonder if this would be affecting my share rate then, just because it's different urls
    – Luke
    Mar 31 '14 at 16:21
  • You could write a custom widget in PHP that catches the URL minus the query parameters and then uses Facebook's API to see which of their friends has shared that URL instead.
    – zigojacko
    Apr 1 '14 at 8:01
  • What I'm really concerned about is that having everyone share a different URL (a different query string) is affecting the amount the people that see the post on Facebook. I introduced the query strings to the share buttons on my website on the 25th March and my hits have been declining ever since... I removed the query string code last night so that I could see what happens to see if the hits go back up again. Either it was the query strings hampering the virility on Facebook, or the content has just come to it's natural end... any thoughts?
    – Luke
    Apr 1 '14 at 9:06

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