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Google Starts Indexing Facebook Comments 167

First time accepted submitter SharkLaser writes "Users of Facebook Connect have previously enjoyed extra privacy as it was harder for Google to index comments made on the platform. Google, which also runs the competing service Google+, has now started indexing Facebook's public comments as well as comments made on platforms Disqus and Intense Debate, which all used programming that was hard for Google to read. Public comments and links made on those platforms will now be directly visible and searchable in Google."
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Google Starts Indexing Facebook Comments

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  • Funny Summary! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TaoPhoenix ( 980487 ) <> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:33PM (#37923582) Journal

    Forget TFA, I stopped reading the summary after "Users of Facebook Connect have previously enjoyed extra privacy..."

    The Slaves of Corporate Big Brother have also enjoyed extra silent company.

  • by ThisIsSaei ( 2397758 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:35PM (#37923602)
    The fact that it's only "public comments" killed that emotion.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:47PM (#37923770)

    +1 to this. Seriously the quality of Google's search results has plummeted ever since they started including 'social' results, twitter, recent blog chatter, and now Facebook, above all else.

    +2 since they started dropping the "Cached" link. A Wall (or even some chunks of blogs/fora) is impermanent.

    Knowing that a desired bit of information (whether it be a LOLcat or a link to a file on some media-sharing site) was posted and indexed by Google three months ago on somebody's wall doesn't give me the ability to see it unless I can get Google's cache of the wall as it existed three months ago.

    (And in the case of less-than-reputable sites, I'd vastly prefer to disable Javashit and view Google's cache of the content, than to give the asshats in question the actual hit/traffic.)

  • by nomel ( 244635 ) <(moc.tibroni) (ta) (drut)> on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:49PM (#37923804) Homepage Journal

    Posting a comment publicly means you have no problem with who sees it or how it's used. "Available to all" is the definition of "public". This is like shouting on a street corner and getting mad at someone listening!

  • Re:Privacy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:53PM (#37923876)

    attacking a person for WANTING privacy is a low blow.

    you should feel ashamed.

    there is NEVER a reason to justify wanting privacy or wanting the conversation that was intended for audience A to be expanded simply due to it being technically possible.

    a lot of things are technically possible but that surely does not suffice in making them Good Ideas(tm).

    never ask someone to defend why they want their privacy. please see this.

  • by carou ( 88501 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:55PM (#37923888) Homepage Journal

    Google starts to index an additional source of publicly available content.

    or in other words,
    nothing at all has happened.

    This should be tagged !story.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:56PM (#37923904)

    This is more like having a discussion in a coffee shop and having 1000 random people write it down everything you said.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:02PM (#37923990)

    Yes. Like religious and political leanings, your position on right to work, and worker's rights - anyone who reveals things an employer might not agree with deserves to get fired and never ever work again.

  • by liquidweaver ( 1988660 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:13PM (#37924160)
    1.) Google indexes Facebook comments 2.) Facebook comments become #1 target for spammers worldwide 3.) Facebook becomes a diluted, email-esque spam haven.... 4.) ...driving all users to Google+, since they - conspicuously - don't index their comments.
  • by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:17PM (#37924218) Homepage

    The "programming" mentioned in the Telegraph is that these comment service providers base their systems on JavaScript, which didn't used to be executed by Googlebot for comments.

    Now it will.

    People have privacy fears because these commenting systems use one login for the entire Web vs. having one for /., one for, one for Used to be you could be nutty on Slashdot, serious on, etc., without anybody being the wiser. The more websites move to Facebook comments, the more problems of this sort. Combine that with "real name" policies, and it's a privacy mess. More about it here []

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:30PM (#37924378) Homepage

    From the article:

    "The update means links featured in comments will also enhance websites' standing.

    Social is bad for search, and search is bad for social. Every attempt by a major search engine to use social signals has been heavily spammed. Social spamming is cheaper and easier than creating link farms - the social sites host the spam for free.

    Google Places was hit hard starting in October 2010, when Places results were mixed in with web search results. It happened fast - within two months, Google Places was choked with spam, with both phony locations and phony reviews. This was so bad that the mainstream press picked up on it, and Google had to deemphasize "places" results. You don't hear Google talking about "local" as much as they did a year ago.

    Citysearch and Yelp are choked with spam reviews. Google +"1"s are for sale for about $0.15 to $0.25 each. [] Facebook fans cost about $0-05 each. [] Google's "real names" policy was an attempt to crack down on phony accounts, but it didn't work. You can buy phone and email verified Google accounts in bulk. [] There are rogue phone services that help with the fake phone numbers. []

    Using social signals for search has reduced search quality and jammed social sites with junk that's only read by search spiders. Facebook (which has to allow Google to do this) just set themselves up for an influx of junk. And Google just reduced their search quality again.

    There are useful social signals for search, but they come from systems that see transactions and actually know who bought something, like Amazon, eBay, and Visa International. Even those can be spammed; you can buy an old eBay account, change the name, and inherit the old reputation. []

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller