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I thought I heard a while back that Google cannot crawl Facebook pages. I'm guessing that this is affected by the privacy settings someone has, but if I have a page that allows anonymous users to see my wall will Google be able to crawl this page and return relevant results?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Google can only see what non-logged in users see. Facebook does not allow Google access to private profiles. You can test this by setting your user agent to be Googlebot and then trying to crawl Facebook (make sure you're logged out, too).

One thing to note is Google apparently can crawl Facebook comments.

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I just searched google for facebook obama and I clicked the >> on the first result, and got the a preview of Obamas page. So yes google can, but as stated - privacy settings can (and should) prevent that.

  • Here is that preview, notice the sign in log in buttons. So as stated - everything appears like it would appear for a not logged in user, and is indexed just like that.

enter image description here enter image description here

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Google can crawl facebook profile pages if user'setting is set to allow public search. Fan pages are automatically crawlable.

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The robots.txt file of Facebook.com also matters, which has following entry for Google:

User-agent: Googlebot  
Disallow: /ac.php  
Disallow: /ae.php  
Disallow: /album.php  
Disallow: /ap.php  
Disallow: /autologin.php  
Disallow: /checkpoint/  
Disallow: /feeds/  
Disallow: /l.php  
Disallow: /o.php  
Disallow: /p.php  
Disallow: /photo.php  
Disallow: /photo_comments.php  
Disallow: /photo_search.php  
Disallow: /photos.php

So atleast Google can't access and crawl those files.

Additionally Facebook also says:

Email sitemaps@lists.facebook.com if you are authorized to access these and are getting denied.

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Minor addition to answer, robots.txt has nothing to do with access. Search engine bots respect the robots.txt, but they are perfectly able to ignore it if they chose to. –  Moulde Mar 13 '13 at 9:00
    
Question is about Google, and googlebot is know to be in good category of bot which respects to robots.txt. –  Santosh Kumar Mar 13 '13 at 11:15

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