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Block user profiles from Google search results


John Carrier

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Could be a n00b settings question, but here goes...

A member complained that people were able to find her Community profile through Google. Clicking through her profile, people (not signed-in users) can find posts she made in what we thought was private community about a sensitive topic.

How can I prevent member profiles and community posts from showing up in Google search results?

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3 hours ago, John Carrier said:

Learning how to use a robots.txt file to block Google from indexing member content in the first place...

Those files don't actually block Google or anyone else from indexing. They're the equivalent of setting up "do not trespass" signs. But... it would be awfully bad publicity for Google if they were found not to be respecting the site owner's expressed wishes and went trespassing anyway, so I think you're safe 🙂

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Yep. Don’t rely on robots.txt. If your community needs places for non-public discussions, set up forums that are not accessible to guests. And it is useful to clearly communicate this to your users, both in the forum descriptions/categories as well as your terms of use. 

Same is true for user profiles. You might also want to block guest access here. 

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