Hide from Google

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IanWilson
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Hide from Google

Post by IanWilson »

We have a church website one of the features of which is downloadable PDF editions of our church news bulletin (which I edit).

There is a couple in our church who work in rather sensitive areas and would prefer that Google didn't find their names in a church-related context. (At the moment Googling their names turns up a couple of editions of the news bulletin from last year in the first few hits.)

I am not keen to remove these editions of the bulletin from the site, nor to remove some of the content of the existing bulletins.

I wondered if there was a way of hiding just the page with the bulletins on it from Google, and other search engines? I wouldn't want to hide the whole site, because we want people to be able to find us, and if they have found us there is no problem with them going to download the bulletins, but I'd like it that you didn't find our site just by Googling those names.

Can it be done? If so, what do I ask the site administrator to do?

Ian

PS: And while typing this, it occurs to me that another solution might be to convert the content relating to these people to images of the text, not real text. I suppose Google wouldn't find that.

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StuartR
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by StuartR »

Yes, converting the names to images would prevent Google from indexing them.

You could also use a robots.txt file to tell Google not to index particular pages.
StuartR


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IanWilson
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by IanWilson »

StuartR wrote:Yes, converting the names to images would prevent Google from indexing them.

You could also use a robots.txt file to tell Google not to index particular pages.
Thanks. Having had a quick look at your linked page, it seems to me that converting the images to text might be the best solution.

Ian

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mwolfman
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by mwolfman »

The robots.txt file is a great way to keep out all bots. This will block all bots from the entire site:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /
Mike Wolfman

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IanWilson
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by IanWilson »

mwolfman wrote:The robots.txt file is a great way to keep out all bots. This will block all bots from the entire site:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /
Thanks, Mike

However, we'd quite like people to be able to find content on our site using Google, but I just don't want them to find it by Googling the names of these particular people. I have now produced replacement versions of the PDF files in which their names are replaced by images, and certainly in Foxit Reader and Adobe Reader a search now doesn't find the words. I'm getting these put on the site instead.

Ian

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PaulB
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by PaulB »

I fear that this may be too little, too late. Google has already indexed these names and will always point to your site even if you remove or modify the documents/pages in question. It will also keep a cached version of the original pages available for viewing. The suggestions given here will help prevent it happening in the future but will not correct the situation retroactively (retrospectively).

When it comes to Google, you can run but you can't hide!
Regards,
Paul



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IanWilson
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by IanWilson »

PaulB wrote:I fear that this may be too little, too late. Google has already indexed these names and will always point to your site even if you remove or modify the documents/pages in question. It will also keep a cached version of the original pages available for viewing. The suggestions given here will help prevent it happening in the future but will not correct the situation retroactively (retrospectively).

When it comes to Google, you can run but you can't hide!
Well there is little more we can do about it now. There is no particular point in removing the content from the site, because it's associating their names with the site that they wanted to avoid. If you already know they are members of the church then it does no harm if you read what the news bulletins said about them.

Ian

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HansV
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by HansV »

If the content is hidden from Google, the cached versions will probably disappear in a few weeks, and you can also ask Google to remove them (but you probably have to provide a convincing reason).
Regards,
Hans

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IanWilson
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by IanWilson »

HansV wrote:If the content is hidden from Google, the cached versions will probably disappear in a few weeks, and you can also ask Google to remove them (but you probably have to provide a convincing reason).
That's what I was hoping. I don't think we'll go so far as to contact Google.

Ian

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PaulB
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by PaulB »

I'd be interested in seeing if the cached versions do indeed disappear from Google and, if so, how long it takes. Could you post back with any updates? Thanks.
Regards,
Paul



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IanWilson
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by IanWilson »

PaulB wrote:I'd be interested in seeing if the cached versions do indeed disappear from Google and, if so, how long it takes. Could you post back with any updates? Thanks.
Yes. I imagine I'll have to wait a few weeks.

Ian

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PaulB
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by PaulB »

Thanks, Ian, I appreciate it.
Regards,
Paul



GeoffW
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by GeoffW »

IanWilson wrote:
PaulB wrote:I fear that this may be too little, too late. Google has already indexed these names and will always point to your site even if you remove or modify the documents/pages in question. It will also keep a cached version of the original pages available for viewing. The suggestions given here will help prevent it happening in the future but will not correct the situation retroactively (retrospectively).

When it comes to Google, you can run but you can't hide!
Well there is little more we can do about it now. There is no particular point in removing the content from the site, because it's associating their names with the site that they wanted to avoid. If you already know they are members of the church then it does no harm if you read what the news bulletins said about them.

Ian
There's a possibility that changing the posts which links to the pdf may remove the cached versions.

And I seem to remember there's a way you can tell Google that your site has been updated? Maybe by submitting a site map?

(Sorry for such a late reply. It's probably far too late now. I'd be interested to know how Google is going with your members).

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IanWilson
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by IanWilson »

GeoffW wrote:
(Sorry for such a late reply. It's probably far too late now. I'd be interested to know how Google is going with your members).
Last time I googled the name, our church site still appeared, but not so high up the list.

I have just tried again, and haven't found a hit referring to our site in at least the first few pages of results.

Ian

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HansV
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by HansV »

IanWilson wrote:I have just tried again, and haven't found a hit referring to our site in at least the first few pages of results.
Thanks for the feedback - it's what I expected, but it's good to have it confirmed.
Regards,
Hans

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PaulB
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Re: Hide from Google

Post by PaulB »

IanWilson wrote:
GeoffW wrote: I [snip] haven't found a hit referring to our site in at least the first few pages of results.

Ian
Seems I was wrong... it looks like you can run and hide from Google!
Regards,
Paul