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Comments Off on Google crawler not allowed to index Facebook Page Plugin images

We learned something interesting recently when fixing crawler errors in Google Search Console for a client’s website, specifically, that the Google crawler is blocked from indexing images shown in a Facebook Page Plugin. Does this affect your site’s search ranking?

A Facebook Page Plugin is the successor to the classic Facebook Like Box*, a tool that you can use to promote synergy between the core of your brand – your website – and your page on Facebook. The Page Plugin allows visitors to like your Facebook page right from your website.

When fetching and rendering a page as Google in the Search Console/Webmaster Tools, Google will return a status of complete or partial (or a few other responses). You want your status to be complete, not partial, so that Google can crawl your entire URL and related links and have all of your content indexed appropriately. This is just one of the ways you can give your site a good chance of maintaining and/or enhancing your search engine presence.

Well, when running the crawler, we encountered a few blocked resources – specifically images that were part of the Facebook Page Plugin, such as the thumbnail for the Facebook Page’s cover image, and thumbnails of a few people who had liked the page. So our fetch and render status was partial, not complete, which of course was not ideal.

To complete a 100% crawl, we removed the Facebook Page Plugin, crawled again, submitted the URL and linked pages to Google’s index, and, after getting the green checkmark to show all is good, we added the Facebook Page Plugin back to the website so our human visitors would be able to like the Facebook Page if they so desired.

Are blocked resources such as thumbnail images from related social media sites responsible for any negative hit on your website’s SEO? Probably not – adding fresh content consistently to your website with targeted keywords and phrases that real people will enjoy reading and watching is much more important.

But candidly, we don’t know how much partial crawls vs. completed crawls matters to your overall ranking. We need to test further to find out. We know from experience that being on good terms with Google has always worked out for our SEO campaigns in the past, so we think it’s a good idea to shoot for a crawl goal of 100% completion.

What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

*The Facebook Like Box was deprecated with the release of the Facebook API Graph 2.3.

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