Google Indexing Change
Affects SEO & Privacy
Google has announced that no longer will the most common “commenting system replacements” live in the SEO void!
While WordPress’ default commenting system is without a doubt strongly SEO optimized, alternative systems were formerly not being indexed Google at all!
Facebook Comments (confirmed), Disqus Comments (rumored) & LiveFyre Comments & Intense Debate Comments all will potentially be impacted.
Now, depending on how you look at it, that could be a good or bad thing but it’s important to realize that a change has occurred and it may impact your traffic numbers.
More indexable content on a site is usually a good thing. This tends to lead to more interesting search results and more chances of getting found. It’s one (of several) reasons many bloggers refused to install these alternate systems prior.
Now though, through an update to “Googlebot”, Google is able to read the code of the comment… thus enabling them to “see” and index it.
For those that liked the “privacy” of these systems (with your comments not at risk of showing up in Google directly linked to you)… those days are gone. Individuals will eventually become more sensitive to the fact that the comments they leave in the FB comment box will not only be tied to them but also reveal their profile URL in the search results.
What’s also gone, and I think isn’t being stressed enough, is the ability to force users to use those systems as a way to prevent comments from diluting the keyword density. Now, with comments factored into the total words on page, these systems will see the same dilution effect that the lovely native commenting system sees.
(That means that some posts that were using those systems, and ranking well, and had a ton of comments, could theoretically see a drop in ranking.)
Of course, none of this is enough enticement to persuade me to give up the benefits of offering the native WP comment system. I’m one of the many blog readers who hates being forced to use alternative systems that want logins, obscure fields and won’t auto-fill for me (browser add-on).
There’s an interesting survey by Sire over at WassUp Blog on Disqus comments and the results are definitely in line with my feeling of being “greeted” by a disqus/ID/LF system on a blog.
Which commenting system are YOU most fond of leaving a reply in? Which one(s) are you offering to your readers on your blog? Do you chose a system based around your users needs or yours as a blog owner? Share your thoughts below!
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