Ethan A. Huff
Sunday, November 6, 2011
For many years, Googlebot “web spiders” have been tracking and archiving websites. This is how the Google search engine is able to pull up webpage results when users input various search queries. But the technology has been expanded to include the capture of content made through third-party comment systems as well, which today include comments made directly under a real name.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after it was discovered that Facebook directly tracks user activity on the internet, even after a person is logged out of the social networking site:
While the comment indexing system has the potential to improve the quality and integrity of comments made on websites — after all, who wants his real name permanently attached to a potentially inflammatory or inappropriate comment that is searchable by anyone? — it may also discourage some individuals from making comments at all.
A major concern centers around the fact that comments made through such portals will now be easily searchable simply by typing a person’s name into a search engine. Anything a person has said on the web using his or her real name will be instantly retrievable. And websites that use these comment systems, for example NaturalNews now uses Facebook comments will be identified in searches based on user comment as well.
In other words, if you make comments with Facebook using your real name, anyone can Google search your name and title, and everything you have ever written in a comment section under that name and title will be instantly accessible.
The new indexing system only applies to comment systems linked to third-party websites. Private Facebook comments made on someone’s “Wall,” for instance, are not traceable by Googlebots, at least not yet.
This article was posted: Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 5:54 am