Who linked to my site on Facebook?
July 25, 2011 8:58 AM   Subscribe

Who on Facebook has linked to my blog?

When checking my blog's stats this morning, I noticed that there were many visitors coming in from a Facebook link to my blog. When I click on the link my stat service provides, it takes me to a Facebook page that warns me that I am leaving Facebook for an external site. I understand why I'm getting that message - the person who referenced (linked) my site may have a private page.

Is there a way to determine who has linked to my site? I have a baking blog and in the past, I was linked to by Betty Crocker's Facebook fan page. I got a great spike in visitors for several days afterwards. I was able to figure out it was the Betty Crocker site because someone left a comment on my blog indicating they had seen my recipe on Betty Crocker's page. No such luck this time...no comments yet with any clue.

I've done a search on Facebook of my blog's name, but no luck (except to find my own fan page). Is there any other way I can find out who has linked to me?

Something tells me there's an easy way to do this...!
posted by aelish to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
aelish, I wouldn't be surprised if there were no way to do this. Just because someone linked to your page doesn't mean that their post or identity should be auto-shared with you. Many people on Facebook have some or all of their profile set to private, and if that's the case here I think you won't be able to identify them.

And I think that's a good thing, in the grand scheme of social network privacy...
posted by telegraph at 9:03 AM on July 25, 2011

I don't know how often the google spider updates from facebook but searching: link:theurlofthewebsite.com (See this example) will return results for any website that links to you.
posted by fizzix at 9:03 AM on July 25, 2011

link in my post is borked,

this was the example
posted by fizzix at 9:04 AM on July 25, 2011

I've had this happen before; I couldn't find a way of finding out who was responsible. Like telegraph I think this is by design. Same goes for StumbleUpon and a few other similar services.
posted by alby at 9:18 AM on July 25, 2011

"Welcome new readers! Please leave a quick comment and let me know how you found my blog!"
posted by bluedaisy at 9:21 AM on July 25, 2011 [2 favorites]

@telegraph: I don't disagree with you - privacy is a good thing. Curiosity has gotten the better of me! I was actually thinking the link may have been posted on a public fan page, but perhaps not.
posted by aelish at 9:22 AM on July 25, 2011

Can you post the link? Is it something like "http://www.facebook.com/share.php?l=[SOME_OTHER_URL]"?
posted by mkultra at 10:40 AM on July 25, 2011

You could try a third-party Facebook search site like Social mention (click the "or select social media sources" link below the search box) which might show something if the original post wasn't set to private.
posted by asterisk at 10:45 AM on July 25, 2011

Don't know if it'll be possible to find this out for sure. But a couple of ideas for further clues:

Assuming the blog you're talking about is the one linked in your profile, is it possible to differentiate between these hits you're getting and ones that would come from someone clicking the link on the Facebook fan page about your blog. That is, are you sure that someone has linked directly to your blog, and not just to the Facebook page? A popular person merely 'liking' that page could see your referrals spike.

Also, are the visitors arriving at the front page of your blog, or are they coming to a particular entry/page? If the latter, you could at least narrow down your search on Facebook, or investigate recent 'likes'.

A final idea: where are the visitor ip addresses from? If a majority were from a similar location, that would help you to track down who it was, perhaps again by cross-referencing with 'likes'.
posted by cincinnatus c at 11:37 AM on July 25, 2011

aelish: "When I click on the link my stat service provides, it takes me to a Facebook page that warns me that I am leaving Facebook for an external site. I understand why I'm getting that message - the person who referenced (linked) my site may have a private page. "

I don't think it's anything to do with that - probably all external links are sent through a redirect like that. In any case, as others have said, if this is all you get in your referral logs, there's not much else you can do to backtrack to the original URL that links to you.
posted by turkeyphant at 2:19 PM on July 25, 2011

@fizzix - tried doing a Google search of the link my stat service gives, but no matches.

@bluedaisy - great idea...may just do that!

@mcultra - http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http[numbers and % symbols] www.weekitchen.com[numbers and % symbols]rainbow-cupcakes.html&h=UAQCZTefs

@asterisk - didn't know about this resource, thanks. Didn't find an answer on initial tries, but am going to read further & try some more.

@cincinnatus -

It doesn't appear to be the same link as the URL of my page which is: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wee-Kitchen/195889370433262 while the referring link structure is listed above (in my response to @mcultra)

It appears they are all visiting the rainbow cupcakes page. Not the main page. I am surmising this from the link above. (in my response to @mcultra)

This is interesting, and I noticed it this morning when I was first looking into this. All of the visitors that came via the link are from Australia - with no exception. But I haven't gotten any new likes today (or yesterday) with whom to cross reference.

thanks to all for the feedback...it's become a bit of a mystery... thanks for helping me think through it!
posted by aelish at 4:43 PM on July 25, 2011

Does your page have a FB like box on it? If so, it's likely traffic from that- when someone clicks Like, it posts a news story to their feed with a link to your site that looks like that. If not, someone just manually posted your page to their feed. Either way, there's no way of knowing which specific user did it.
posted by mkultra at 5:12 AM on July 26, 2011

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