In this blog we will discuss the benefits and history of traditional comments on WordPress. With easy implementation, we document this simple process of adding Facebook Comments to Posts on WordPress, so you can follow the likes of VICE Magazine and other big brands saving on comment moderation.

Adding Facebook Comments to Posts

The Benefits

Traditionally comments on blogs have been useful pre-social media days, when the words SEO were not a trending search on Google. They allow for a user to continue the discussion beyond the blog and engage the author. In theory this is a great way to grow an audience. It should show the human elements of the blog or discussion, welcoming healthy comments, guiding future content, thanking an author, etc. The comments should be related to the content, perhaps sharing similar websites related to the topic that may be of interest to other readers.

The Reality (and Costs)

The result was link spam, comments that had nothing to do with content, arguments behind alias’ or ads for vitamins, penis enlargement pills, or fat burning beans. The reality of allowing comments means more overhead in security efforts, time, moderation and engagement. Settling disputes in comments, or identifying what links are toxic. Blog comments became a mess, and Google implemented the nofollow tag to combat the first generation of spammy, lazy, comment posting SEO. Until Web.20, this was an expensive feature to moderate with human eyes.

spider web lion eater

Comment Moderation using WEB 2.0

This takes the load off your WP database and allows integration of Facebook’s API into any webpage. The concerns of comment spam take care of themselves when adding Facebook comments to posts with a full team of developers at Facebook, and it helps their brand gain virtual real estate in the comment section on large sites throughout the web. Considering the costs associated with running a comments section, it’s a pretty fair trade to let Facebook take the burden on their end. Setting up the API and sorting through the technical details is a bit of a headache, but if you have the time and are willing to learn, this article is for you.

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The WordPress Plugin Library

If you are like 25% of the web running on WordPress, then this is probably the first stop you are going to make. One of the coolest features of WordPress is how accessible plugins are when trying to solve a problem like this. The caution is that WordPress plugins are not always easy to use. Even worse, some plugins can cause more harm than good in the hands of a novice. In our experience, even intermediate users can get burned in the process of installing multiple plugins searching for the keyword “adding Facebook comment posts” before finding something appropriate. This can be a serious cost on time (or cause of future SEO problems). So if you’re an SEO intern reading this post, you might want to pay extra attention. We’ll be saving you a bunch of headache in the next 5 minutes.

What you need to do:

  1. Create a Facebook APP
  2. Disable comments on your WordPress site
  3. Install the Facebook Comments Plugin
  4. Activate the Plugin for all Posts

 

wordpress plugins facebook comments keyword search screenshot

Disable Comments First

While a lot of these plugins gloat that they are easy to install, there is a bit of complication in setting this up. We don’t recommend going and adding Facebook comments to posts without disabling comments first. Well, you can- but it will run into problems. We recommend commenting out comment functionality because it’s extra ironic. If that is outside your scope, there are plugins for that too. The recommended plugin “Disable Comments” available here. Noobies beware, sometimes it doesn’t work without some technical knowledge of how plugins work.

If you are going to implement Facebook comments on a post-to-post basis, you won’t need a plugin and there are simple instructions here. If you are looking to achieve what VICE or other big websites do, we suggest hiring an SEO to implement it properly.

disabling pingbacks lion eater

Creating a Facebook APP

In order to start adding Facebook comments to posts, you will have to create an APP on Facebook. If you do not have a Facebook account, then this post is probably not for you.

 

Creating an APP on Facebook is easy. They provide a great Step-By-Step guide for registering a Developers account and creating an API key to install the Facebook Comments plugin.

facebook developers step by step guide

 

After you have created your APP, you will have to name it. For testing purposes, we called our client’s APP the brand name + “Comment Buster”. Once you have an APP Id, you can enter it into the plugin and activate the comment features. Now users can use Facebook to add comments to any post! This is also a great way to tactfully confront users from abusing Pingbacks.

screenshot facebook for developers API

Saving Resources, Time, Security

By implementing Facebook Comments into Posts you can decrease the amount of time required for comment moderation. This also encourages reliable sources of comments, and gives Facebook the responsibility of dealing with spam.

comment spam seo tips

Dealing with spammy comments is a real headache. Once the Facebook Comments plugin is setup with an App ID, the developer portal in Facebook will allow for comment moderation.

Set One to Four Hours aside, depending on technical ability.

This is an easy to use interface that takes the load off of your server. The initial setup can take anywhere from 1-4 hours depending on experience, but the time it will save from comment spam is well worth the investment.

facebook moderation

Identifying SEO Value of Link Spam

The Facebook Comments Plugin helps save time and effort. Link Spam is annoying. There are several opportunities to check if a comment is likely to contain spam. By looking at the area (1) below, you can see that the username contains a link for a website. More often then not these websites are just opportunities for bad SEO practices to plug a link in without anyone noticing. If you catch these too late, it can be a real pain to remove them all. In this case, the user has even obfuscated the link. These SEO spam tactics will no longer be an issue if you are adding Facebook comments to posts.

Another clear way to identify link spam is to check the relevancy of the comment. By looking at the area (2) below, the subject “Las Vegas Hotels” has nothing to do with the comment subject matter, which is the treatment of alcoholism. A vague robot must have found this blog and spammed around to plant some links.

examples of spammy comments

Key Takeaways from Adding Facebook Comments to Posts

With the web continuing its move to mobile its a no brainer to enable Facebook comments on a website. It saves time, energy, and resources that can be better spent creating and sharing content. While the debate on whether or not Social Signals play a key role in SEO is still on the table, we believe that Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter integration play a bigger role in influencing the web. This will be the next level SEO. By using these tools, SEO improvement is likely because people will recognize your brand. The less hoops they have to jump through to post a comment, engage with other users and share customer experiences the better for SEO. The only downside, Facebook owns the comment content (and everything else you post).

Have a question about setting up Facebook comments? Contact us on Twitter, or fill out the form below.

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