Recently I have been struggling with an issue where links to my website do not generate previews in Google+. Instead, the user gets the error “Could not load website. - Retry”. When they try and retry, the error does not go away. Needless to say, although my readership is pretty low, that isn’t helping much.
When I started poking around, I found that Google+ uses Google’s “Rich Snippet” system. Google has released a Rich Snippet Testing Tool. The tool is great, and it helps you tweak your HTML so you get the correct snippet content.
…Except in my case, where the tool just reported “Could not fetch web page.”. Not helpful. Why a better error descriptor isn’t given, I don’t know.
This article will explain how I got to the bottom of the problem (despite Google’s useless error messages) and how you can look for similar issues.Continue reading