What is FBCLID, why are we seeing it in our Google Analytics All Pages report, and can we fix it? Find out all the answers in this post!
What exactly is FBCLID? And how do I remove it from my URLs in Google Analytics?
In October 2018, we started seeing some strange-looking URLs when we looked at the Site Content All Pages report in Google Analytics. They looked something like this:
What they all had in common was “?fbclid=” right after the last /.
What is FBCLID?
Turns out, this is a Facebook tracking parameter. So, if you share a link to your site on Facebook and someone clicks that link, Facebook adds the parameter.
There is speculation that Facebook added it because some browsers may block third-party tracking cookies.
Google Analytics interprets each of these as a separate page. So instead of counting all of these as visits to https://CubScoutIdeas.com/10031/sew-on-patches-easily/, they are each counted as a single visit to:
To get an accurate number of pageviews for that post, you would have to count all of these individual URLs. As bloggers, we’re busy enough! We don’t need that extra chore.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix this. You simply exclude URL query parameters.
Now, you may be thinking that you need to leave the parameter in there so that you’ll know how much traffic you’re getting from Facebook.
You don’t. You can find out where your traffic is coming from by looking at your traffic source. Let me show you how.
I added a secondary dimension to my Site Content All Pages report. See how they’re all showing Facebook as the source? That means that they’ll all be counted as traffic from Facebook, so there’s no need to leave the oarameter in the URL.
How to Exclude FBCLID from URLs
Here’s how to exclude it.
First, click the Admin gear icon on the bottom left side of your screen.
Make sure you’re in the correct view.
The view I work from the most is my Master view. It has filters applied such as excluding my own visits to my site.
I also have a Raw Data view. This view doesn’t have any configurations such as filters. It serves as a back-up. I rarely look at it, but it’s there if I need it.
I only want to make changes to my Master view, so I need to make sure that’s the view I’m in.
Click View Settings, then look for Exclude URL Query Parameters.
That’s where you’ll enter “fbclid.” Scroll to the bottom, and click save.
Going forward, any click to /10031/sew-on-patches-easily/?fbclid=IwAR2vEpcOm5HM3gj3-5qrc4M1rmKvrgkuMSV1hISx1rFWoYFW1SGCrRL5S4M will be recorded as a click to /10031/sew-on-patches-easily/.
You’ll notice that I have both FBCLID and fbclid. When I first set up the parameter exclusion, I used FBCLID. I checked my data a few days later and saw that URLs still had that parameter in them.
I knew I had excluded them, so at first, I couldn’t figure out why they were still showing up. Then I realized that they are case-sensitive.
I added fbclid in lower case, and the problem was solved!
You’ll notice that I’ve also excluded the parameter, epik. This is some sort of Pinterest parameter that works like fbclid does for Facebook. If you’re seeing it in your Analytics, you might want to exclude it too.
One note. This will only fix your pageviews going forward. It won’t take care of pageviews that Google has already recorded.
I added the exclusions at the beginning of 2019. Any traffic in 2018 will still show the URLs that have fbclid in them.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in a comment, and I’ll do my best to answer them.