Recently we added Facebook Comments to this blog thinking they would improve engagement among site visitors. But a robots.txt block spoiled the fun.
Facebook users as a rule stay signed in when going to other places on the net. So having FB Comments installed makes it quick and easy to leave a blog comment on an article. Sounded like a win-win scenario.
Unfortunately we discovered today that FB is putting a robots.txt block on our comments url. We found this out when visiting our Google webmaster tools account. Our Facebook page thumbnail was blocked by their robots.txt file.
We also ran into this situation once before after embedding videos from FB. Everything from the social media giant will cost ya – one way or another.. 😥
Google explicitly says that Blocked Resources will effect a websites indexing in their search.
If a site’s robots.txt file disallows crawling these resources, it can affect how well Google renders and indexes the page, which can affect the page’s ranking in Google search.
So if your considering adding Facebook Comments to your external Website Blog or Forums consider this scenario. It will effect your page rank!
Update 04/17/17: There are different opinions on the SEO impact of Facebook comments. One article i read said blocked external resources do not have a negative SEO impact.
Thus considering it’s the Facebook users thumbnail image being blocked, but not the comment url itself, we have enabled our Facebook comments.
Our blocked resources have went from 0 to 10 since enabling comments. Google still is vague on this subject. Will report back if any major SEO changes occur. 😉