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Facebook and Intense Debaters beware, Googlebots now index Ajax/JavaScript

spider-web-1a via photohomeGoogle has leveled-up its index capabilities and can now deal with AJAX/JavaScript. What that can mean is you may have to watch what you write in public forums. Websites that use a third-party commenting system, such as Intense Debate or Facebook Comments implemented using AJAX/ JavaScript programming, will now show up in Google search results.

The new development was first caught by digital inspiration and later confirmed by Matt Cutts who tweeted, “Googlebot keeps getting smarter. Now has the ability to execute AJAX/JS to index some dynamic comments.”

This does not mean that the Googlebot has made its way into Facebook and can now read and index comments on your private Wall; however, if you use your Facebook to log in and comment on a favorite website, or on one of Facebook’s public pages, that comment can be traced back to you through a Google search. Besides Facebook Comments, services such as Intense Debate, Disqus and Livefyre can be indexed.

Digital inspiration illustrates the implications of this, using search queries such as “commenter name * commenter title”, which will hunt down all the comments made by a user who signed in using Facebook comments.

Privacy-wise, you probably needn’t worry as you’ve just read this handy little warning (warn your friends), and the plus side is comment trolls may have to do a different dance. It’s not certain how Google will approach older comment content though.

Besides privacy, more searchable content means new SEO concerns and strategies. Ajax JavaScript comment engines may soon boost the traffic a site is seeing. However, those habituated to lax management of comments due to Googlebot indexing limitations may need to pay more attention. Hate speech and spam may violate webmaster guidelines and hurt ranking or reputation.