Posted on November 2, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer

A story is making the rounds this week which is being pushed as "new" news, but actually isn't.  Well, sort of.  Let's start at the beginning.


I long time ago in a land far, far away (ok, it was about ten years ago, and this all happened in the Internet)...Google and other started crawling blogs and every started figuring out ways to get their own blogs to the top of the search engines in a field of study that would become known as "SEO (Search Engine Optimization)."  One of the techniques for gaining "points" on the search engines was to get people to link to your website, and eventually bloggers figured out they could trick the search engines into thinking other websites were linking to their own site by going on other blogs and posting links back to their own blogs.


So Google, which by then had become the mother of all search engines, and industry standard, changed its "algorithm" to not read javascript or AJAX script, which rendered most blog and website comments useless for search engine marketing.  Over time, Google has continued to fine-tune its algorithm to be able to read and index blog and website comments without counting the back-links to the blogs, giving an unfair advantage to bloggers who are just trying to "game" the system by linking all over the web to their own blogs rather than writing quality content that other people want to link to.


The big news of the week (so far) occurred when Digital Inspiration happened to discover that Google is now indexing Facebook comments, and then Google software engineer Matt Cutts confirmed the change on Twitter.  It is unknown right now whether there is a window of opportunity for SEO aficionados to grab some back-link "juice" by linking to their own blogs on Facebook.  If so, it will only be a "brief" window, as Google is pretty good at quickly recognizing this sort of tactic and shutting it down.


Now, more than ever, it is important to be aware that literally everything you do online is likely to show up in a Google search - even commenting on a friend's Facebook page.  So don't post anything online that you wouldn't want the world to know.  Also, now more than ever, it is important to realize that what your friends post on your blog and your website and your social networking profile (even as a comment) could reflect as much on you as it does on them, so moderating comments may no longer be an optional activity.  In fact, it's now more important than ever.



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