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Google Starts Indexing Facebook Comments

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the permanent-record dept.

Facebook 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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derp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923566)

derp

Re:derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924470)

Narf?

Dilute the results (5, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923578)

Hey guys, where else can we find more drivel to dilute our search results?

Re:Dilute the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923654)

+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.

Re:Dilute the results (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.)

Re:Dilute the results (4, Informative)

powerslave12r (1389937) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923806)

There still exists the cached link, albeit in a more discreet, harder to reach location. When you see the preview for a result, you'll see the 'Cached' link in that window.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924184)

There still exists the cached link, albeit in a more discreet, harder to reach location. When you see the preview for a result, you'll see the 'Cached' link in that window.

So, in order to use a feature I find useful, I must first enable a feature I hate? Thanks, Google!

Speaking of features I hate, I see they're pushing out a new look for GMail.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924458)

I wasn't aware you could DISABLE that feature.

Re:Dilute the results (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923980)

hahahaha. The irony of +1 to this is great. well done.

In reality, it's a public comment, so there isn't a whole lot to be said there.

Re:Dilute the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923720)

I get what you're saying, but a search engine is supposed to search the web, not a subset of the web. I don't think I like the idea of someone at Google having the authority to decide what is and isn't "worthy" of being indexed. That being said, hopefully PageRank will at least to some extent recognize that Facebook comments probably do not deserve a high ranking for most search queries.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923802)

I get what you're saying, but a search engine is supposed to search the web, not a subset of the web.

A search engine is supposed to provide useful results, not fifteen million Facebook comments about the latest funny thing that your cat did.

Google is becoming increasingly useless because they seem to believe that more results are better than a few good results. Even Bling seems to be better than Google for technical queries these days.

Re:Dilute the results (4, Funny)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924020)

A search engine is supposed to provide useful results, not fifteen million Facebook comments about the latest funny thing that your cat did.

You seriously underestimate the hilarity of my cat.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924094)

> Even Bling seems to be better than Google for technical queries these days.

Hehe, he said Bling.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924498)

Sounds like an improvement to me.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924590)

While we're on the subject, anybody have a problem with Bing/Bling's color choice for SERPs?

The Google green is nice. Bing green seems kind of dirty. The choice of blue for links also seems odd, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Sort of like Uncanny Valley.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924460)

15 million? Try 1,115,376,424 results returned for: facebook cat funny

Re:Dilute the results (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923840)

I get what you're saying, but a search engine is supposed to search the web, not a subset of the web.

A USEFUL search engine presents a subset of the web as a result - said subset determined by your search criteria. Otherwise you might as well crawl it yourself. Nothing is stopping you.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924066)

So you're claim is that no Facebook post ever made has any relevance to any possible search query? What if my search query is "John Smith Facebook posts"? As I said, hopefully page rank will deal with this data accordingly. If it doesn't I'll be as pissed as anyone. But I fail to see how anyone could be opposed to the indexing (except for morons who thought their public Facebook posts where somehow private because they think Google is the web).

Re:Dilute the results (5, Interesting)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924278)

Google has a separate search page for images; why not a separate one for social sites? I do agree that I might want Facebook comments in my search, but most of the time I certainly do not.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924516)

+1 to this "Social sites" search tab idea.

Re:Dilute the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924746)

I had ~sex with * -wife -"your mom|mum|sister" site:facebook.com Throw a date range in there to make it more specific.

Re:Dilute the results (4, Informative)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924702)

With Google, you should be able to eliminate the Facebook posts by adding -facebook to your search query. This is likely what the parent post was referring to as Google allows you to eliminate terms from your search. Here is Google's page on commands to better control your search queries [google.com] .

Re:Dilute the results (2)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924758)

Sorry to reply to my own post but, I found another page with even more search commands on it. It even includes a command to search for cached pages [searchcommands.com] for those that complained that the feature was missing unless you use the preview option.

Re:Dilute the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924312)

A search engine is to help you find something you are looking for, not blaket search and report on everything. A search engine CAN at its will decide what to and not to index. The users will eventually stick with the search engine that has the results that they are most looking for.

Do you know what happens when search engines search and post results without manipulation? Most of your search results will end up dead ending on ExpertsExchange, Fix-Ya or parked domains with keywords stuffed in them. The search engine that does that is not one I'm going to use.

Re:Dilute the results (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924276)

Does Google index Slashdot comments?

Re:Dilute the results (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924432)

Turn off Javascript and you (and google) will see only the highly moderated ones in full, with others abbreviated or hidden.

A sensible approach.

Re:Dilute the results (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924544)

It sure does.

Searching for "Does Google index Slashdot comments?" already gives me this page as the first result.

Re:Dilute the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924580)

Yes, almost instantaneously in fact.

Funny Summary! (5, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923582)

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.

Re:Funny Summary! (2)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923808)

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

As far as Facebook is concerned, ALL privacy is "extra", meaning unnecessary.

Google does evil? (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923586)

Google just tanked a few hundred thousand people's job applications. Corporations will be the only ones thanking them for this feature. Now since they've become a massive bank of information that knows no limits, I suppose this is only fair...

#occupygoogle

Re:Google does evil? (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923596)

Yes, it couldn't possibly be useful to anyone else for any reason. (rolls eyes)

Re:Google does evil? (4, Insightful)

nomel (244635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923804)

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:Google does evil? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923904)

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

Re:Google does evil? (3, Interesting)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924046)

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

This failed analogy underscores that people do not understand privacy and demonstrates why Facebook thrives.

Re:Google does evil? (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924482)

I'm honestly sick of analogies like this. Google isn't writing it down. You wrote it down, and a Google-bot walked by, noticed it, and made a mental note of where to find it later, in case anyone asked.

Google is less of a shady private investigator and more of a shady information broker--only instead of hanging out in a creepy back alley and only dealing with scumbags, they hang out front and center in the middle of town and make it much easier for pretty much everyone to lead their lives.

Re:Google does evil? (2)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923924)

Maybe it's more like having a casual conversation with a friend at a bar which is heard by someone miles away and years in the future.

Re:Google does evil? (1)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924262)

If you have your casual conversation over unencrypted, megawatt-boosted ham radios.

Re:Google does evil? (2)

nomel (244635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924368)

Well yeah, if you record that conversation, and knowingly sprinkling the tapes all across the world for, *literally* anyone to access, forever.

You don't have to post *publicly*...if you do post *publicly* then know that what you post is *public*.

Seriously man?

Re:Google does evil? (4, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923820)

If you're posting publically about things that future employers might feel would make you unsuitable for a position in their company, then you deserve anything you get.

Re:Google does evil? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Google does evil? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924238)

This becoming more and more of a problem for the traditional social views of those who still believe some activities are sinful and harmful to society, but which are now politically correct to such an extent that being known to have such views, even without expressing them in the workplace, can be grounds for sanctions. I have stopped using FB for sharing deep beliefs with others who think similarly because of this - I have no idea where the postings will show up. Yes, this is a persecution complex that this "new Age" fosters - enjoy your ascendancy.

Re:Google does evil? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924736)

Amen. I once posted on Facebook, without mentioning my employer by name, how annoyed I was to be shafted for overtime. Not just overtime, I wasn't getting paid at all. "Private" post, but my employer had cornered a friend into showing them my wall.
My employer was going to fire me for disparaging the workplace and insubordination.
I mentioned I was surprised they were so upset, and how I was glad how I hadn't posted anything about how they talk about niggers and play grabass all day.

Still have a job. Don't like it, but you gotta do what you can these days. Doing much more anonymous posting now.

Re:Google does evil? (2)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924246)

Yeah how dare anyone do anything or have views on issues contrary to what the corporate overlords approves of. That's downright treasonous and more than worthy of you getting a lifetime blacklist.

Or, you know, these employers could just get their noses out of people's affairs that have nothing to do with their job?

Re:Google does evil? (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924624)

If you (1) intentionally post something online in a way that the entire world can see and (2) also expect portions of the world to disregard it in making a decision about you, the problem is with you.

Re:Google does evil? (2)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924710)

If you're posting publically about things that future employers might feel would make you unsuitable for a position in their company, then you deserve anything you get.

Problem is, what is to determine the tastes of future employers for public speech. Say, for example, I post negative things about a proprietary technology that then becomes ubiquitous (ie, skype, twitter, twilio, etc). What about political speech?

Sure you can post anonymously or pseudonymously, but speech/text can easily be analyzed for patterns to match against a known good source.

Re:Google does evil? (1)

steevven1 (1045978) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923828)

Maybe those people shouldn't have publicly posted information that would tank their job applications if read by potential employers. I have never understood the mindset that what you post on Facebook is Facebook's (or Google's) fault.

Re:Google does evil? (2)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923922)

Historically, Facebook hasn't had any problem deciding that was once private is now public. Lots of people have posted stuff that was private, but is now public.

On top of that, Facebook hasn't exactly tried very hard to make their privacy settings understandable or accessible. I'm sure lots of normal people (ie those not reading Slashdot) would be surprised just how public their lives are.

Re:Google does evil? (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924136)

Historically people who trust Facebook deserve what they get.
Especially people here. Fuck people. You all know that Facebook is gonna do what Facebook is gonna do.
Give them your info and trusting them to keep it private is the very essence of stupidity.

Good luck with that.

Re:Google does evil? (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924514)

If it is on the PUBLIC internet, then it is PUBLIC, regardless of what you or anyone else says.

If you remember this, then there is no problem with privacy as you understand that the INTERNET is not PRIVATE ... ever.

Re:Google does evil? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924364)

Do you think that it is always obvious what information will hurt your chances of employment? You are probably thinking of photo albums of binge drinking and nudity, but what about views on social policy that the employer may not agree with? What about one poorly thought-out post, rethought and deleted a couple of days later, but cached forever? What about having a hobby that the employer views as frivolous? Not all information is parsed in an objective manner, even when people are trying to arrive at an objective result (e.g., who is the best candidate for this position?)

Nobody is blaming Facebook or Google for what they posted. What they blame Google and Facebook for doing is publishing it in unexpected ways.

"Extra Privacy" ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923598)

I hope no one ever considered anything they posted on Facebook Connect to be even remotely private.

I was upset at first, but... (3, Insightful)

ThisIsSaei (2397758) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923602)

The fact that it's only "public comments" killed that emotion.

Re:I was upset at first, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923952)

Yeah, but you know what the anti-Google crowd will say. "ZOMG it's a veeeeerrrrrrrry slippery slope to Google hacking our account passwords to index all our private comments! And you know they'll do it! Here's an incoherently-linked tangent that proves it!"

Facebook will react (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923620)

This is Facebook's robots.txt currently for Googlebot

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /ac.php
Disallow: /ae.php
Disallow: /album.php
Disallow: /ap.php
Disallow: /feeds/
Disallow: /l.php
Disallow: /o.php
Disallow: /p.php
Disallow: /photo.php
Disallow: /photo_comments.php
Disallow: /photo_search.php
Disallow: /photos.php

It wouldn't take much effort to include the comments pages in there as well, since facebook and google are at war with each other.

Re:Facebook will react (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924558)

robots.txt means nothing. The bot CAN ignore it.

Re:Facebook will react (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924718)

If the robots.txt suggests that bots NOT read the comments pages, and Google ignores it anyway,
Facebook would reconfigure their servers to not fetch the comments, if a Googlebot user-agent is detected.

I've seen this behaviour on other sites when pretending to be Googlebot

Privacy? (4, Funny)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923624)

I hate it when the information I post on a publicly readable service isn't private.

Re:Privacy? (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923750)

Maybe there should be a seperate security option to allow Facebook users to decide whether they want their comments indexed or not.

Personally I don't have an issue with it. A lot of people post some pretty interesting viewpoints to Facebook, treating it almost like a blog.

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923854)

If you don't want your comments/information to be shared with other people, then don't post them on facebook. It really is that simple. You can't make any assumptions about what will be shared tomorrow based on how the platform works today. Why would you trust any private information to a platform like that?

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924052)

We're talking about Facebook. There won't be a new option, there'll be fifteen new options, all with overlapping and conflicting functionality.

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923768)

I'd certainly be upset if somebody decided to make every conversation I've ever had in public places available to anybody who types in my name.

dom

Re:Privacy? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923800)

I see why you call yourself anonymous coward.

Re:Privacy? (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Privacy? (2)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924004)

I certainly wouldn't expect my conversation in a crowd at the mall to be recorded and searchable, but if I spray paint a message somewhere that I know the StreetView car drives by regularly, and sign my name on it, I don't think the same expectation exists. When you post on Facebook, privately or publicly, you are both recording it in writing and signing your name to it--I don't think you can argue that it deserves the same ephemeral presence as spoken words lost on the wind, regardless of the inanity of the contents. In essence, they are just announcing a new route for the StreetView car, so you better put up some curtains if you don't want your naked bum to show up on the Internet, since apparently you were fine letting it hang out for the neighbors as long as it wasn't recorded for posterity (pun intended).

Re:Privacy? (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924106)

I'd certainly be upset if somebody decided to make every conversation I've ever had in public places available to anybody who types in my name.

dom

Including a public place where you knew you were being recorded and published?

Seriously, getting mad at Facebook because your public posts are public is like getting mad at the pool because you got wet swimming.

Re:Privacy? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924508)

I'd certainly be upset if somebody decided to make every conversation I've ever had in public places available to anybody who types in my name.

dom

Then you shoud learn to not have such conversations in _PUBLIC_ places. If you want something to stay private then don't write it publicly!

Is it really that hard to comprehend?

public comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923646)

Jep, I think people deserve it. Lets hope they will be slightly less eager to share anything they don't want the whole world to see next time.

of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923660)

you are an ID10T if you use your real name, birthday, birthplace, family member names, occupation and hometown on FB...

of course, 90 percent of FB users do that anyway...

as for me, online i'm always a blind, handicapped 80-year-old Afghan woman living at knob end of Buzzards Point in Washington, DC

Re:of course... (1)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924112)

The problem is not that you use your real info on FaceBook. That was the intent of the customers. It was a way to walk easily with friends, family and other relationships. Have an account for that sort of thing and have one for a public face. You just need to remember that you are being watched online now. Gone is the anonymous for the average user. It was always a false sense of security.

The problem is that we had grown use to an anonymous community. The digital era is being driven back to small rural community level Jante Law by corporations and governments wanting to know what is up for various motives. This brings me.... bah.

Screw it, my real name brings up two pages of Google results of some fifty year old hobo and his series of alcohol fueled. You have to go five pages down to find a single image of my in a Google Search. Any public Facebook comment I make would likely only improve my reputation at this point.

It is all coming up roses. (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923706)

Looks like I picked a good time to quit facebook. :)

Re:It is all coming up roses. (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923838)

Or, you don't understand the definition of "public". One of the two. Probably the later.

Re:It is all coming up roses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923846)

Pick a good time to quit idiocy and start realizing that public comments being indexed and made available isn't a bad thing.

Re:It is all coming up roses. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923882)

No, a good time to quit was about 4 years ago before they started pulling all this shit.

So, let me get this straight... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923862)

It sounds like Facebook, Disqus, etc., used to use "programming" that made it hard for Google to index them. Apparently, that has changed. So... is this a change by Google or by the comment platforms? It sounds like it's the comment platform that changed, not Google.

Why blame Google, again?

For that matter... if you post something publically (public comments, not private/friends-only)... why should you expect that it won't be indexed?

I'm just not seeing the reason for rage here.

Re:So, let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924070)

What about if you post something privately and the corporation that claims ownership on it(you did read the tos, right?) decides to make it public at a later date?

What if you forget to logout immediately and your friend/roommate/guest doesn't notice, or doesn't care, that they are posting under you name?

What if you post something that make sense only in context, or that is acceptable at the time, but not when a search engine spits it back out to someone years later?

Re:So, let me get this straight... (3, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924218)

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 nytimes.com, one for example.com. Used to be you could be nutty on Slashdot, serious on nytimes.com, 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 [digitivity.org]

Google indexes some public content (4, Insightful)

carou (88501) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923888)

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.

It's their job. (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923906)

Google's job is to analyze the content of a web page to make it as relevant as possible to people searching for that information. The fact that the public facebook comments are rendered in javascript shouldn't mean anything to that mission. If there is information publicly available and that information is relevant to someone search, Google aims to lead the searcher to the information.

No one ever said that a search engine should merely parse html. That's how it started, because that's the easiest way to get at the content. It's up to google to get that content and then figure out how important it is for a given query. A little innovation doesn't make this sinister.

If the content were private and google were circumventing securities to get at it, I would share in the outrage for sure. This is just technology catching up in a fast changing environment.

Re:It's their job. (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924322)

From a general nerd perspective, JavaScript==bad.

It's the same sort of thing that nerds feel about Flash (Flash==bad).

HTML==open==good.

I'm not giving a argument for that feeling here, merely noting it.

Here's a list of other Slashdot prejudices:
Java bad
Oracle bad
Google good
Apple good(?)
Android good (depending on your perspective)
C good
C++ bad
Unity/Gnome3 bad
M$ bad
WIndows bad/Linux good
JavaScript bad (unnecessary use of)
Flash bad
Facebook bad

Re:It's their job. (1)

santosh.k83 (2442182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924686)

From a general nerd perspective, JavaScript==bad.

It's the same sort of thing that nerds feel about Flash (Flash==bad).

HTML==open==good.

I'm not giving a argument for that feeling here, merely noting it.

Here's a list of other Slashdot prejudices: Java bad Oracle bad Google good Apple good(?) Android good (depending on your perspective) C good C++ bad Unity/Gnome3 bad M$ bad WIndows bad/Linux good JavaScript bad (unnecessary use of) Flash bad Facebook bad

For Facebook replace bad with Evil and for M$ replace bad with Devil, and you've summed-up perfectly...

Re:It's their job. (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924720)

Java bad? I've not really gotten that impression, at least as a language. Post-Oracle takeover... I guess you have a point.

Also: Python good, Ruby good, HTML5 good, IE Bad (even though, I must say it's improved a lot, just too little too late), Sony bad.

Ignoring robots.txt?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923928)

Does Facebook have any recourse if Google explicitly ignores the robots.txt for their site as well as the site scraping TOS, http://www.facebook.com/apps/site_scraping_tos_terms.php?

Re:Ignoring robots.txt?? (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924134)

Does Facebook have any recourse if Google explicitly ignores the robots.txt for their site as well as the site scraping TOS, http://www.facebook.com/apps/site_scraping_tos_terms.php [facebook.com] ?

Yes. Facebook suspended Google's account.

Re:Ignoring robots.txt?? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924398)

Yes, they make it public that google is doing it.
 
Yeah, thats their recourse. It should be enough to stop google from doing it. If they still dont stop, facebook can start throttling request per IP, block all known google address spaces, etc.

Filtering (1)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37923944)

As long as this drivel isn't included in my search results by default, I don't really mind it at all.

Re:Filtering (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924088)

As long as this drivel isn't included in my search results by default, I don't really mind it at all.

Google Blocked Sites [google.com]

You can always just block results from the Facebook.com domain from appearing in your results. I'm not sure I buy the idea that comments on Facebook are somehow different than the billions of comments Google already indexes from other sites, in a way that would "pollute" your search results.

oh noes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923962)

The goog will see all the rofls and lols! Wtf r u 2 do?

Private vs. Public - some missing the point (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37923968)

This effectively makes semi-private posts (those set to viewable by friends only (or certain groups)) to completely public. That is the breach.

There should be a reasonable expectation that those are not indexed and given to people they were not meant for.

Re:Private vs. Public - some missing the point (2)

James Carnley (789899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924594)

If you friend Googlebot on Facebook then your private to friends posts will be indexed by Google.

If you don't friend Googlebot on Facebook then your private to friends posts stay private to your friends.

How this concept eluded you we will never know.

Re:Private vs. Public - some missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37924628)

If you think this is the case, complain to Facebook for 1) not implementing proper security and 2) not even preventing this with a robots.txt.

Re:Private vs. Public - some missing the point (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924708)

That would be awesome if they could search the comments available to you while you are logged in and subsequently cache them! Not illegal.

Nothing new here (1)

optimism (2183618) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924124)

From TFA:

Previously, search engines were unable to read comments because Facebook, Disqus and Intense Debate used programming that was not easy to read automatically.

The comments appear as human-readable HTML.

If a person can read the comments, a search engine can also easily read & index them.

TFA provides no sources or references to support their claim that this comment-indexing is something new.

Google's servers have been indexing Facebook comments from the beginning of Facebook. Whether those comments played a significant role in the pageranking algorithm is another matter.

Google: Please Copy our Social Network! (3, Funny)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924140)

Here's what's funny. Everyone said, "Facebook will crush Google+ by copying its public posting ability!"

Yet, Google was sitting there the whole time going, "Please copy us! Please! Please! Please!"

Ah, I see wahts going on... (4, Insightful)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

PageRank no longer works (1)

hessian (467078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924188)

PageRank worked for almost a decade because it lists results from popular sites before obscure sites.

The internet has changed.

Nowadays, Google is great if you're looking for popular stuff like lolcats, memes, angry blogs, discussion forums full of questions and no answers, or corporate propaganda from the 10,000 websites owned by the 10 largest companies in the world.

But for anything else, you can search for days without finding the good stuff. Google is less useful to me at this point than IRC, because if you find someone who knows your topic area, you can find the expert-level sites from that person.

View your posts when search for your name (1)

RalphTheWonderLlama (927434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924210)

So this is just for Facebook Connect? Like if you post a comment to an article on a 3rd party site that allows you to post via your Facebook account?

I figured it was search engine usable, after all it is public. But it is good for people to be aware all the same that someone searching your name on Google will be seeing your posted comments very quickly if you used Facebook to post it (depending on your name). Using Facebook Connect to do that does a lot more than just let you post a comment.

Good. Now maybe someone will read my comments. (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924272)

I use fb as a basic blog and make my Notes public. I have no problem with them being searchable. After all, only people with a fb account can comment.

SEO spam, starting in 3,2,1... (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924378)

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. [googleplus1supply.com] Facebook fans cost about $0-05 each. [bulkfans.com] 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. [freelancer.com] There are rogue phone services that help with the fake phone numbers. [attlines.com]

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. [ebay.com]

Re:SEO spam, starting in 3,2,1... (1)

janeil (548335) | more than 2 years ago | (#37924732)

+5 for a relevant informative post, I find that info amazing but easy to believe. This is the free market at its best, right?
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