Has Google found you?
So you type “RRC Heritage Group” for a Google image search. Holy cow! Top of the results is that photo of you picking your nose at the 1992 HG windup! One of our members recently stumbled across a photo of himself in such a Google search. Though not caught picking his nose, he was nonetheless flabbergasted that someone would upload his image without permission. How did it get there?
Simply put, Google employs automated software (aka bots) to scour the Internet for content, including our own HG blog. Google then stores and indexes that content on its servers, somewhere “out there”. And when you finally type in a search, sophisticated algorithms mine what Google considers to be the most relevant nuggets to serve up in response your queries.
Perhaps you are not wild about Google sharing your mug with the world either. Is there anything you can do about it?
“I never gave permission to upload my photo! Please Mr. Google, take it down.”
Deleting a photo (or any content, for that matter) from a Google search is not a simple task. Remember, automated bots upload content to those Google servers, not real people. So one can’t simply click delete on a Google image to remove it. No real individual “owns” it.
How to get unfound
There are two ways to prevent HG content from appearing in Google search results. Require a password for blog access, or make our site “invisible” to Google bots. To preserve easy access for HG members, we have chosen to do the latter, and have reconfigured our blog software to discourage search engine indexing. It is still up to search engines to honour this request, but at least Google’s does.
However, though our site may now be hidden from trolling bots, it doesn’t mean that whatever Google has previously uploaded to its servers will magically disappear.
If there is a HG photo you wish deleted from Google search results, contact your blog editor at HG-Editor@rrc.ca.
There is a grain of truth to the maxim that what’s online stays online forever. But we can ask Google to permanently remove specific HG images from its servers, though it requires a separate request for each photo. Nonetheless, should your photos have found their way to some other Website, say through Facebook or Twitter, those pesky Google bots will likely still find you there.
We have changed our HG blog’s settings to discourage bots from indexing our site. Any content posted after September 13th, 2019, should not appear in future Google searches.
However, be aware that any photo uploaded before September 13th will not disappear without an individual request to Google for it to be deleted.
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