Disqus Comments and Google Indexing Challenges:

By Glenn Gabe

What is Disqus?

Disqus is a popular commenting platform used by millions of publishers across the web. It’s a third-party commenting system that is published using JavaScript.

Disqus Boasts Some Impressive Stats:

Does Google index Disqus?

Google explained that comments count towards page quality. Having high quality comments can help, while having low quality comments can hurt.

Google has gotten much better at rendering and indexing JavaScript-based content. If the content is in the rendered html, it can (typically) be indexed. That said, something wasn't right with Disqus comments...

Disqus comments are in the rendered html, but indexing Disqus comments has not been foolproof. Some pages had their comments indexed, while others did not.

Google Bug Confirmed: In June 2020, Google confirmed it was having problems rendering Disqus comments and explained a fix would be rolling out soon.

Google Bug Fixed:

On June 20, 2020, the fix rolled out. Disqus comments were being indexed after being recrawled by Google. But unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story…

Hold the celebration!

After heavily reviewing indexed Disqus comments, and requesting indexing again, some pages suddenly had comments deindexed. Was the bug back?? Not exactly…

Crawl rate problems:

Google’s Martin Splitt said third-party scripts can run into crawl rate issues. If those resources were flooded with requests, Google could time out and render the page without Disqus comments.

Summary: Disqus Indexing

In summary, you can't guarantee that Disqus comments will be indexed by Google. They could be indexed & contribute to overall page quality, but then disappear after the next crawl.

"That's the downside..."

As Google’s Martin Splitt said, “that’s the downside of external dependencies…” This is ultra-important for publishers to be aware of if they run Disqus for comments.

More information from Glenn Gabe:

Blog comments, indexing, and SEO.

More about the Disqus indexing bug.

Learn more about Glenn Gabe of GSQi.