Google Starts Indexing Facebook Comments
By on November 2nd, 2011

Facebook launched the commenting system for websites and blogs few months back, which allows websites owners to add a commenting system to their blog posts. This enables Facebook users to post comments on blogs and website using their Facebook account.

Similar third-party comment management systems, like Disqus and IntenseDebate make it easier for visitors to post their comments and point-of-view. However, these commenting engines are implemented in JavaScript and hence comments may not be indexed by search engine sites.

According to Digital Inspiration, it is now known that comments added using the Facebook commenting system or equivalent services are searchable, giving website owners the additional SEO juice from the added content, which could play an important role in a website’s search ranking.

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.

This means that – just like the web content, the comments on your blog/website will be indexed by Google. Queries like “commenter name and commenter title” will display all the comments the commenter may have written on different websites using Facebook or Disqus comments or other services.

This comment by Robert Scoble posted on a TechCrunch page using the Facebook comments system appears to be indexed on Google -

Google Indexes Facebook Comments

Well, the same was confirmed by Google’s Matt Cutts in a tweet – “Googlebot keeps getting smarter. Now has the ability to execute AJAX/JavaScript to index some dynamic comments.”

Although this may help blogs and website to rank better, the owner of the site must be extra careful and must consider moderating comments before they are published. Since comments will now be considered as a part of the content, website owners must take care of foul language, spam, hate speech or the like, which would directly violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This might negatively affect the site’s search ranking.

Prior to this Google’s tweak, Facebook gave website owners an option to pull comments using the Facebook Graph API and render them in the body of the blog post behind the comments box. This, on the other hand, resulted in the creation of a WordPress plugin – “SEO Facebook Comment” which inserts all Facebook comments in your WordPress Database based on the Open Graph Tags.

Many website owners avoided the use of Facebook Comment Box because of the SEO factor, however, after this little “tweak”, I’m sure they will reconsider their decision.

How to Add Facebook Comment Box?

Adding a Facebook Comment Box is pretty easy. Just head to the Facebook’s Social Plugin page and provide the URL of your site. Enter the number of posts to display and the width of the comment box. Once done, hit the “Get Code” button. Copy the generated code and place it appropriately on your website.

Facebook Comment Box

You can also moderate comments, blacklist words and ban users. To moderate the comments, you need to list yourself as an admin. To do this, simply include open graph Meta tags on the URL specified as the href parameter of the plugin.

<meta property="fb:admins" content="{YOUR_FACEBOOK_USER_ID}"/>

You can moderate all comments at https://developers.facebook.com/tools/comments

 

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Author: Joel Fernandes Google Profile for Joel Fernandes
Joel Fernandes (G+) is a tech enthusiast and a social media blogger. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking photographs, and photography is one of his most loved hobbies. You can find some of his photos on Flickr. He does a little of web coding, and maintains a tech blog of his own - Techo Latte. Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Application from Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on Twitter - @joelfernandes, or visit his Facebook Profile for more information.

Joel Fernandes has written and can be contacted at joel@techie-buzz.com.

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