Posted November 1, 2011 12:19 pm by with 10 comments

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So Google doesn’t have a relationship with Facebook. Now, however, they can say that they are at least indexing comments on blogs that use the Facebook commments functionality.

Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration has brought this to everyone’s attention

Googlebots, or the spiders that crawl web pages, are now reading Facebook comments on websites just like any other text content and the more interesting part is that you can also search the text of these comments using regular Google search.

The implications are obvious in that now what people are commenting on a blog (or wherever) it has the potential to now become much more public than just that blog. This will likely inspire more comment spam as well which is an unwelcome offshoot of this development. In the Internet space though that just rates another “Oh well. Time to move on. Nothing to see here.” response. It’s expected.

Econsultancy reports

After all, Google’s access to Facebook member information is limited when users apply the appropriate privacy settings to their Facebook Profiles. But comments left via Facebook Comments give Google a back-door opportunity to tear down Facebook’s wall.

In the end, it’s going to be another SEO issue that may be needed because of concerns about other areas of search being off limits to scrutiny like the encrypted results that don’t hit Google Analytics like they used to.

The cat and mouse game continues to evolve. It will never end. It will only morph. So while this is news today don’t be surprised if something happens to change it or to move it to the back burner as quickly as it made it to the front.

Your thoughts?

  • Louis Slade

    I’m sure Facebook is working on something to combat this situation. If Google is able to penetrate and index the millions of comments left on Facebook each day, the ranks in Google will fluctuate – this will hurt all markets. However, it also has the potential to hurt Google as well.

    Louis Slade

    • @Luis – Curious as to how you feel could this hurt Google?

      The results will still be found based on their relevancy & context. Another question to ask is what the shelf-life will be for these comments?

  • More indexing followed by more spam. I admire your ability to moderate comments as I have had to shut off this feature a long time ago. I wish comments passed on no link juice, this would stop the endless “great blog, keep up the good work” spammers

  • Facebook won’t do anything to try and “fix” this.

    They already make these comments available through an API so that developers can integrate them within their pages as standard HTML.

    Facebook aren’t short sighted and they know that more people using comments widget = more traffic back to Facebook = more ad impressions = more money.

  • I’m still a little confused; will this have any implications on link building?

    • Possibly comment spammers using FB accounts to spam you with.

  • Im not sure how I feel about google indexing the Facebook comments. I think it could be more bad then good for the over all market place.

  • Interesting post. Google has already indexed 5.1 billion pages of FB content just not the comments. I wouldn’t have thought users would have expected privacy when commenting on an external site to FB

  • I was wondering. If I implement FB Comment in my website and asking the reader to comment free to help to increase and refresh the content of my website. Will it really in terms of pageranking and the SEO effect ?

  • James McAllister

    My thoughts? Facebook comments aren’t considered valuable content (or at least valuable in terms of relevance to whatever you need SEO for) so Google isn’t going to rank them too highly. If you’re doing a campaign for public speaking coaches in Boston, for example, the comments will appear more like spam than knowledgable contributions, which is what google looks for I think.