If you are a frequent user of Google Analytics, you may have noticed a new parameter in your GA report. Your URLs, which were once clean and trim, are now bogged down by this unsightly addition – “fbclid=[a ridiculously long string of characters and numbers].”
If you are confused by this, you are not alone – this is a relatively new feature. The culprit behind this change is Facebook. The fix is easy, even if the reasons are still murky.
Before we get into the fix, let us answer this question –
What is fbclid?
By now you may have guessed that the “fb” in “fbclid” stands for facebook. The whole acronym stands for “Facebook click id” and it is a new URL tag that facebook is adding to the outbound links shared on its platform.
Essentially, this means that if a link to your page or content is shared through facebook, then facebook adds this tag to your URL, which then appears in all its unsightly manner in your Google Analytics report.
Though there is no officially stated reason why this has been added, many experts believe that it was a preemptive response to the news that Safari would begin blocking 3rd-party cookies.
How To Remove fbclid From Your Google Analytics
As stated previously, the fix is simple, though it is not retroactive. You cannot edit or delete existing data in your GA account, but by following these instructions, you can prevent it from appearing in future Google Analytics reports.
Exclude URL Query Parameters
- Go to “View Settings”
- Find the “Exclude URL Query Parameters”
- Enter “fbclid” into the text box; note that this is a comma-separated list so make sure to separate this entry from others with a comma
Enjoy Clean and Trim Google Analytics Reports
That is all there is to fixing this (mostly aesthetic) problem. It is unknown whether this change is permanent or temporary, but at least you can clean up those reports.
James is an outreach specialist at Sagapixel, as well as the editor of the posts that we write on behalf of our clients. He is also a classically-trained guitarist and musician.