How do I get Google off of my Twitter account's trail?
March 31, 2014 11:16 AM   Subscribe

At some point in the past 9 months Google results for my full name started including my mostly pseudonymous Twitter account as a top result. I discovered this a couple months ago and fixed the two things that might have caused Google to make the connection [details inside], but so far it's had no effect. Is changing the Twitter account's ID the only/best way to release it from Google's clutches?

I'd been careful never to use my name -- first or last -- anywhere on my Twitter profile or within any Tweets (nor had anyone used it while tweeting to me), but the profile description did link to my IMDB page (via a link), which -- I realized after discovering this problem -- has my name in the Title of the page. I've since removed the link.

Likewise, there was one page on the internet that linked to this Twitter account using my full name as anchor text, which I didn't mind existing as such, but which I've since had changed.

But after two months of waiting (and having made my Twitter account "Protected" in the interim), it still shows up as the second result in a google search for my realname.

As far as I can tell, Twitter users have no control over the robots.txt for their account pages (please let me know if I'm wrong about this!), so I've been assuming at this point that my only recourse is to change the Twitter account's ID?

Ideally the page Google currently links to would end up with a 404 and get dropped from their results, but it's crossed my mind that it might be prudent to create a dummy Twitter account just to squat on that old ID/address to make sure someone else doesn't snatch it up and end up inadvertently having control over something that shows up so prominently in my realname search results?

(I work freelance and I've started teaching a grad school class, so the chances of having my name searched for by curious students or potential clients is not insignificant. The Twitter account is used for topics unrelated to my career stuff. I'd decided I didn't mind it being a few clicks away from a search for my name, but being an actual top search result is more than I can handle. Thanks for your help!)

Is there any simpler option I might be overlooking? Or anything I'm overlooking about the implications of changing my account name?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It can take many months for little things like that to work their way out of Google's system. All you can do is wait it out, I'm afraid.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:46 AM on March 31, 2014

Have you tried "How and when to send Google a request to remove the information"? (bottom half of the page)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:47 AM on March 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would also suggest you create and maintain a twitter account for your real name. Sometimes the best defense is a good offence. Link all your professional sites to that twitter, put google onto that scent then any other incidental links in the future will get bumped lower in the results.
posted by j03 at 12:04 PM on March 31, 2014 [8 favorites]

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