How to Hide Content or Data from the Search Engines

Prevent Search Engines from Indexing Some Content and Displaying it in the Results

How to Hide Content or Data from the Search Engines

by Christopher Heng,

I was asked by a visitor how he could hide certain content (or "data" in his words) from the search engines. This article addresses that question.

Some Ways to Prevent the Search Engines from Indexing Certain Content on Your Site

The visitor didn't give any reason why he wanted to prevent the search engines from indexing some of his content, but from experience with other people who have asked similar questions, it is probably because he wants some way to share information (eg photos and updates) privately with family and close friends.

In order of decreasing effectiveness, here are some ways.

There are other ways as well, such as to install some sort of content management system and creating a private area that is accessible only by people who have an account. However, that requires far more work and technical knowledge than simply password-protecting a directory.

Another thing to note is that the above methods will only prevent the search engines from indexing content that is hosted on your own website. They do not prevent them from getting it from elsewhere. So if your parents create a website, and proudly display your photos there, Google and Bing will happily index them from that source.

Copyright © 2017 Christopher Heng. All rights reserved.
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