Why is my full name still attached to a Blogger post when all obvious traces of my name have been deleted?
February 26, 2012 2:18 AM   Subscribe

My last name got attached to a blog post. I asked my friend to delete it. She did, but the blog post still shows up in Google with my full name attached. What is going on?

My friends and I have an internet book club. Since we all live far apart, we read books and then gmail chat about them every couple of months. My friend posts our chats on a blog (with Blogger) so that we can read the discussions that we missed. Since the chats are all through gmail, our last names are originally part of the chats. Because that makes the blog posts pop up in Google, I asked my friend to get rid of our last names, and she did. However, my full name still pops up in a Google search with one blog post, and since my name is fairly unusual, it shows up in the first couple of pages of search results.

For some reason I have sort-of admin privileges on the blog, so although I am not deeply knowledgeable about computers, I did manage to check the html code for the blog entry. My last name was in the code, so I deleted my name. But that hasn't changed the Google search results. What is going on? How do I eliminate my name from the blog post when there is no more name to eliminate? Can you make blogs private (I'm guessing yes?) Would that be a simpler solution?
posted by colfax to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I'm guessing your name still in there when Google indexed that page. I think if you wait a few days/weeks it will disappear.
posted by like_neon at 2:51 AM on February 26, 2012

According to Google's support forum, you can request that the page be removed from their cache:

"If the page in question still exists but has been updated—for example, by removing your name or phone number—request removal of Google's cached copy of that page."

Unfortunately they don't make it clear in the forum post exactly how to do this, and I've never tried it myself, so you'll have to dig some more.
posted by mr vino at 3:04 AM on February 26, 2012

Best answer: If this really is such a private blog (just for members of the book club) it might indeed be simplest just to remove it from search engine results entirely.

On Blogger you'd need Settings > Basic > Privacy. Privacy will probably say "Listed on Blogger. Visible to search engines. Edit". Click on edit and edit that to "Add your blog to our listings? No"
"Let search engines find your blog? No." It'll all disappear on the next bot sweep, but you'll need to manually pass people the URL for them to view the site.

The even more secure option (since you all have Google accounts) is to go to Settings > Basic > Blog Readers, which will probably say "Blog Readers Anybody Edit". You may then add the user accounts of the people you are in the group with, who'd need to be logged in to look at the chats. The public search engine returns will also disappear on the next sweep with this method. This is slightly more work but more secure, and I'd recommend this option.
posted by jaduncan at 3:56 AM on February 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Request to delete the cached page. If you have admin privileges in the blog you should probably use the 'your own site' option as chances are it'll be faster.
posted by Memo at 6:28 AM on February 26, 2012

You could add a robots.txt file to your blog set to disallow all to keep this from happening in the future. Or is that possible with their Blogger platform?
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:24 AM on February 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

How long ago was this? How popular is this blog? Google rescans sites based on how popular they are and how often the content changes. Big popular sites are indexed almost instantly while tiny little sites that get 2-3 visits a day easily go weeks between indexing.

Google will eventually get around to it. It doesn't want out of date info in there any more than you do, buy they do have a lot more data to deal with than you do.
posted by Ookseer at 8:04 PM on February 26, 2012

It must be the cache. Remember that Google makes a copy of your site when it crawls it so sometimes it will take a bit for the SERPS to have the change.
posted by jseon at 8:16 PM on February 26, 2012

Response by poster: Hi, thanks for the answers. I forgot that Google caches things for a while. I talked to my friend and we set up the privacy controls like jaduncan said. It's not that it's a super popular blog or anything; it's just that a search for my name turns up a grand total of ~200 results (counting people who are not me but who also have my name). And somehow our book discussions always turn into discussions about race and/or gender, and that's the kind of discussion I enjoy having with good friends, but wouldn't want a random potential date, etc, coming across it if they googled me. Anyway, thanks.
posted by colfax at 5:52 AM on February 27, 2012

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