Google to Index Third-Party Comments

It is common for bloggers and website owners to use third-party comment systems, including Disqus, IntenseDebate, Facebook Comments, and LiveFyre. The benefits include reducing spam, increasing interaction on blogs, and reducing the bandwidth load on high traffic blogs and sites. Google has started indexing JavaScript and AJAX content, which includes these third-party comments. Will this have an impact on SEO efforts? In the past, Google’s search spider has not indexed Java and

AJAX content, which is the format of third-party comments. Matt Cutts, the head of the Webspam Team at Google, tweeted, “Googlebot keeps getting smarter. Now has the ability to execute AJAX/FS to index some dynamic content.” Comments now appear in regular Google searches. The question is will your readers’ comments affect your page rank?

Google is placing a greater emphasis on user-generated content, and SEO campaigns will indeed benefit if visitors leave comments that use certain keywords. On the flip side, however, comments containing spam, inappropriate language, or bad links could see more negative results. It will become even more important that sites and blogs moderate their comments carefully.

Some speculate that Google is trying to find a way to access Facebook’s data. According to eConsultancy, “[C]omments left via Facebook Comments give Google a back-door opportunity to tear down Facebook’s wall…now that Google is actually indexing [comments], you can be sure more than a few users may be surprised to learn that their online commenting activities are now a part of their Google track record.” Perhaps Facebook users will also have to work on comment moderation.

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