Why can't I hide from Google?
November 17, 2008 7:24 AM   Subscribe

Help me hide my blog from the Googlebots.

I blogged professionally from 2002-2007, when the project ended. I decided to start a personal Wordpress blog, and linked to the new blog from the old site before it was taken down.

Unfortunately, because of the link to the old site, the personal blog is now the first Google result when you search under my name. The new blog doesn't use my name or identifying details, but the Googlebots must know it's connected to my name anyway.

I'm starting a new job soon and expect that clients will search for me by name, so the old blog has to go. I'd like to continue blogging for the sake of old fans who still read me, but it would need to be "secret" and not associated with my name in any way.

I don't have email addresses for most of my readers, so I'd like to post the new blog on the old site... but will that just lead the bots to the new home? Can I do something like writing out the new site's address in a way that doesn't link and wouldn't search?

Thanks in advance for your help!
posted by hamster to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think there is a way to tell Google et al not to index a page for specific terms (e.g., your name) only. But you can tell bots not to index certain pages and/or directories with a robots.txt file. Not all bots will respect that, but Google does.
posted by bricoleur at 7:35 AM on November 17, 2008

You could use their Webmaster Tools to tell them to reindex those pages (if you still have access and can validate the site as your own). If the links are no longer there this should work.

There's probably other options in there.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:52 AM on November 17, 2008

"The new blog doesn't use my name or identifying details, but the Googlebots must know it's connected to my name anyway."
Perhaps a few people have linked to it using your name as the link text? That tends to strongly associate a site with a phrase, but there's not a lot you can do about it unless you want to track down those links, try to get people to remove them, then wait for Google to reassess things. Or you could exclude the whole site from Google and lose a load of traffic.

The problem you've got is that you say you want it to be 'secret' and not associated with you... yet you want to keep your fans with you. The two aims aren't very compatible.
Would setting up a professional site and ensuring it climbs above the existing site in search results help?
posted by malevolent at 8:11 AM on November 17, 2008

posted by damn dirty ape at 9:16 AM on November 17, 2008

yeah, seems to me the nofollow attribute should work here.
posted by Chris4d at 1:37 PM on November 17, 2008

For what it's worth, Google once linked my blog to my real name. After I scrubbed it for any mentions of my real name and made sure no links were referencing it, either, Google forgot the link.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:16 PM on November 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

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