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Thanks to the rise of the social web, some of the most valuable content on many websites isn't created by their owners - it's created by the users in the form of comments.

When it comes to providing the functionality that enables users to comment, third parties often play a key role.

That's because instead of rolling their own commenting functionality, many website owners turn to companies like Facebook and Disqus, which have carved out a niche for themselves by offering commenting functionality that can be enabled with a few lines of code.

The prominence of these third parties has created some headaches for the world's leading search engine. For obvious reasons, Google wants as much content as it can get it hands on, but because many of the third party comment solutions are JavaScript-based, it was initially unable to index them.

That changed late last year, but apparently indexing comments posted using Facebook and Disqus isn't enough.

With Google putting all of its weight behind Google+ and social, the search giant is reportedly prepping its own commenting platform that website owners can use to power comments on their sites.

According to TheNextWeb's Nancy Messieh:

Google is about to launch a new commenting system that will tie into the search giant’s Google+ platform, web services and web search.

While Google hasn't yet made an official announcement, Messieh says her source is involved with the commenting platform's development and that it is being designed to "rival that of Facebook".

For website owners looking to ensure that their user-generated content is easily accessed by Google, the company's new offering may be very appealing as it "will have deep links to Google’s network of services and websites, indexing comments in Google Search".

Though it's unlikely that Google will stop indexing comments posted on websites using rival platforms, the companies move may raise concerns similar to those raised when it announced Search, plus Your World.

Could, for instance, Google give greater prominence in the SERPs to comments posted using its comments platform?

And will it provide search functionality that makes it easier to search and browse the comments it handles, leaving website owners using rival offerings at a disadvantage?

If TheNextWeb's source is correct, we may soon have answers to these questions. In the meantime, website owners can only assume that in its effort to crack social, Google will continue to make aggressive moves that involve both carrots and sticks.

Patricio Robles

Published 28 March, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2429 more posts from this author

Comments (30)

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Michael Cropper

Nice way for Google to link this in with Google+ to try and get more uptake. It is also another step towards getting more social data about different signed in users.

Whether this will take off or not will be interesting to see...

over 4 years ago

Michael Rolfe

Michael Rolfe, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai Ltd

It's been said that the best ideas are so simple you wonder how we got by without them. I can see this rapidly becoming quite normal - the interesting thought is where this leads to...

Perhaps in a few years, users will be able to 'mark-up' a participating website - not just with text comments at the bottom of a blog, but with annotations, embeds - all kinds of content all over a page.

Webmasters would be free to approve/disapprove these rich media, UGC contributions. A dynamic web indeed!

over 4 years ago

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Robert

We all need to watch this development closely especially if comments submitted to sites that use Google's commenting system are favored when it comes to organic search results.

Certainly I can see a future where search results are skewed especially if someone is logged in to Google.

Will we all have to add Google's commenting system to our blogs? I can see Wordpress plugins for this everywhere!

over 4 years ago

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over 4 years ago

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Kerry Dye

@Robert - search results are already really skewed if you are logged in. Even without Google+ membership (or a Google Profile), Google customises the results based on location and sites you like using.

over 4 years ago

Ian Miller

Ian Miller, Search Director at Crafted

This is a great move for Google+, and might make me actually use it.

Also allows them to get Google+ content by proxy, with updates from comments posting automatically, increasing perceived usage.

over 4 years ago

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Sandra - Diseño Web

One thing I would say against Disqus is that you canno write HTML code on it, but the user interface is just great!

over 4 years ago

Panos Ladas

Panos Ladas, Digital Marketing Manager at Piece of Cake

So, we had to choose between facebook comments, our own website/cms comments, disqus and now we have to put Google in the game as well?

I see another headache coming up...

over 4 years ago

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Webmeester.eu

Google is growing day by day.Good news Google to launch comment platform to rival Disqus and Facebook .

over 4 years ago

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Google is the King of search engines. The idea of Google trying to launch comment platform is exciting. Disqus and Facebook have a wonderful comment platform and I am sure Google has to work hard in order to compete with them.

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Disqus could definitely use a facelift so hopefully this will cause them to step it into gear- but Facebook comments are so ubiquitous I don't see how they're going to be able to compete against that.

almost 4 years ago

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