If you’re running Facebook ads you may notice that Facebook appends a parameter to their outbound links. A parameter is a piece of code that is appended to the end of a URL. They can do multiple things from tracking to sorting. They play an important part on the internet, however, they can be a real pain.
The commonly annoying Facebook parameter is the “fbclid” parameter. Fbclid stands for “Facebook Click Identifier.” We don’t know much about it, but it can be assumed that it helps Facebook collect data on link clicks. While it’s fairly harmless to users, it can mess up page data in Google Analytics. So a best practice I like to implement is to remove fbclid from Google Analytics.
Why It’s a Pain
A few months ago I ran Facebook ads to a site I own. I was getting all of these messy results for Facebook traffic landing on my home page. Because the fbclid parameter appends a unique code on the Facebook URL, each visit comes in as a unique page. As you can imagine this messes with the data. So it is best to remove fbclid from Google Analytics.
How to remove parameters
You can remove specific parameters by going to the admin panel.
Once in the admin panel click on view settings and scroll down. There will be a box called, “Exclude URL Query Parameters.”
In the “Exclude URL Query Parameters” box input “fbclid.” The scroll down and click save.
That’s all you need to do. After you input fbclid into the field those parameters will be stripped before the data enters Google analytics.
Now obviously this technique works on all parameters. So if a site is attaching things to your URLs that you don’t approve of, you can block them here. But be careful. Some parameters are incredibly useful so make sure you’re blocking the right things.
If you want to learn more about parameters, check out my post about UTM parameters.