Are Facebook Comments Worth the SEO Trade-off?

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Facebook is all about new discoveries and creativity whether it’s related to posting statuses or introducing new features to the users. If you notice your timeline on Facebook, you will find that commenting on a blog post has limited options and some blogs can disable commenting. The default comment systems like word press are widely used along with Akismet which is a spam filter for comments. Using Disqus is also in trend as it dynamically loads comments but most of the Facebook users use Facebook comments plugin for posting.

Advantages of using Facebook’s comment plugin

Facebook is a vast world where you can promote your blogs using the Facebook comment plugin and enjoy some of the benefits like it’s easy to install and you don’t have to worry about using it in your blog. The Facebook integrates the comments so the users who use your blog will definitely be commenting on your Facebook page. The plugin is a kind of bridge between your blog and Facebook.

This works like this; when a user comment on your blog posts, this comment is shown on their Facebook wall, this helps in generating new organic traffic as their friends also comment on the post which is actually connected back to your blog. This is an automatic feature of Facebook and people have choice to turn it off; but most of the users don’t bother and keep using Facebook as it is.

Another benefit of using Facebook comment plugin is that it is a spam filter and while using it, you can be sure that there are lesser chances of spam and trolling comments. Facebook tracks spam comments and remove spam accounts from their database using their high technology computers. The way trolling comments is handled is also very interesting as people don’t post provocative comments on blogs using their Facebook profile as their name can be displayed to everyone out there on web.

If you are a blogger, using Facebook comments plugin can give you an advantage of configuration options. You can use the replica newsfeed of Facebook for analyzing your timeline and arranging your comments and posts according to relevance and popularity of any post. There are several options for arranging posts on Facebook so you can use this feature for success of your blog.

Facebook comments plugin and SEO

The one thing that is notable about Facebook is the SEO aspect of user comments. This plugin loads with your blog or website and it automatically synchronizes. The settings of your Facebook account allow the comments to appear or hide from the point of view of Facebook users but from search engine optimization point of view, it has no benefits.

But you should know that all of the comments that are posted on Facebook are visible to Google and this search engine works by restricting indexing in an iframe. The reason for this restriction is that basically an iframe loads different contents from different sites. Facebook is a reputable social media website but in case of other websites, iframe usage is more abused than used!

So if people are commenting on your blog using the plugin, the Google will index only few of them so as far as SEO is concerned, these comments are just blank board.

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Comment reputation was one of the issues that were brought up by a 5 year old blind person in the past. Facebook automatically analyze the comments of the users and draw sentiments and meanings which can trace the topic of the sites where you made that specific comment. It has authority to delete or label the comment as spam and can also collect the relevant data about the organic public websites that work in different niches and have been using Facebook comments plugin.

Well for use and for abuse, Facebook comments plugin has a lot of potential and information which will be revealed in near future possibly.

The resolution of the SEO problem

Just take an example of Disqus for an experiment here. You might find that when you go for an online search for the comments left using Disqus, you will notice that the comments are perfectly Google indexed and they link back to the page where originally those comments were posted and not to the Disqus hub. The Disqus loads just like Facebook; using an iframe but what’s making it special and unique and restricting Facebook from doing so?

The explanation of this confusion is that Disqus is a third party which doesn’t use Facebook comments plugin and its database is in their full control. When any user comment via Disqus, it’s saved in their database and even when it gets displayed on Facebook, it still creates an invisible hidden div behind that plugin. This div is full of text and information about your post. That information is displayed only for the specific search engines.

But this hidden information is bad for Google and it is among the black hat techniques used for SEO. It can make your website earn a penalty for using wrong ways of search engine optimization. In case of Facebook, the content displayed is different and hidden is different but for Disqus, the content is exactly the same for the users in the iframe and for search engines. Google is so intelligent that it can recognize the attempts which different plugins use to play this game.

Well in case of Facebook, it doesn’t do something like this unless you force it to do!

Solving Problems using PHP

When this concept originated first, some Facebook engineer claimed himself to be a part of the social media website and he released an anonymous PHP code without any direction. You can simply use the code to draw a new database of data found in the comments of the Facebook. Including the display picture, name, and time of the comment posted and the content written in the comment, you can see that sample of data. This PHP code compiles the data of the comment by using the test which that Facebook engineer started.

Before you throw this code on your side and use it, make sure you have set-up the code to display using a hidden div. that’s how Disqus works.

But beware of the risks associated with those scripts as its one of the black hat techniques of SEO and if you intend to do anything more than just helping the Google, it will apply penalty on your site.

So in the end, is the Facebook comment plugin really worth of trading off SEO? According to the above discussion, the answer will be positive but it comes with a warning that think before you act and never let your rapport get ruined by any of the black hat techniques that are not legit. No doubt Facebook has a lot of benefits and social integration but it also needs to be configured as compared to Disqus.