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Is it even possible to prevent my username to be searchable by google? If it is possible can anyone please explain to me how can I achieve that - i.e. hide my username from being searchable by google?

EDIT:

Here's a column someone will find interesting:

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/violetblue/how-to-remove-yourself-from-people-search-websites/612

ANOTHER EDIT - FURTHER RESEARCH:

To anyone that is interested.

It seems that it is however possible to prevent a page to appear in google web search results. You can issue a request to google directly on:

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=1663688

then you can use this tool to report it:

http://www.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=ts.cs&ts=1114905

but even then it applies only to google, and it the fact that several answers suggest that if we don't want something to be public we shouldn't publish it still stands :)

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16  
Simple rule of thumb: If you don't want stuff to be public, don't post it on the internet. A big part of this side is that it is easily indexed by Google, limiting this in any way would only do harm. –  Time Traveling Bobby Nov 4 '11 at 12:04
    
I don't know why the downvotes...it's a perfectly legal question and there are several decent answers as well...going trough questions and just downvoting for no reason is just lame –  Bojan Skrchevski Nov 4 '11 at 12:17
6  
People disagree with the overall idea, because for the most part it seems like nonsense. –  Time Traveling Bobby Nov 4 '11 at 12:19
    
@bojanskr: The rules are slightly different on Meta: here, a downvote on a functionality request could also mean "I don't think this idea should be implemented". –  Piskvor Nov 4 '11 at 12:38
    
@Piskvor'sSemifiniteMonkeys - This isn't a functionality request. It's a simple question whether it is possible or not, and if it is then how to do it!!! –  Bojan Skrchevski Nov 4 '11 at 12:40
    
@bojanskr: Ah, okay. I have misread it as such, sorry. –  Piskvor Nov 4 '11 at 12:43
1  
    
Note that it's not only search engines that show your name, and you'll not easily erase history by changing your name on these sites. –  Arjan Nov 4 '11 at 13:46

5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

No, there's not.

If you don't want your username to be associated to this site, change it.

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will this affect the network profile also(the whole stackexchange)? –  Bojan Skrchevski Nov 4 '11 at 12:00
2  
@bojanskr: On the page I linked to, you can either click "Save Profile" to only change it on your current site, or "Copy profile to all Stack Exchange network accounts" to go worldwide. –  Matt Nov 4 '11 at 12:02

I agree with the other answers; if you don't want to be found on the internet you shouldn't be here, or at least change your name so that you're not found by that term.

Investigating the situtation further:

However, let's dig a little deeper. Why do you want this? A Google search for your username does turn up some...interesting results:

https://www.google.com/search?q=bojanskr

  1. User bojanskr - Stack Overflow
  2. Meta Stack Overflow - Prevent my username to be searchable by google <- This question. Streisand effect!
  3. User bojanskr - Meta Stack Overflow
  4. Bojan Skrchevski (bojanskr) on Twitter <- You probably want people to see this
  5. bojanskr | Freelancer.com - C C++ NET C# Java ASP <- You probably want people to see this
  6. bojanskr's Channel - YouTube
  7. User bojanskr - Skeptics - Stack Exchange
  8. User bojanskr - Programmers Meta - Stack Exchange
  9. User bojanskr - Programmers - Stack Exchange

    + Show more results from stackexchange.com (Homebrew, Area 51, IT Security, global Stack Exchange profile)

  10. ein-sof.com/recruit ::

    Next page of Google results, no one sees these:

  11. bojanskr, Kumanovo, Macedonia, Software Developer, Web Program... (guru.com/freelancers)

  12. bojanskr - Freelancer.com
  13. bojanskr's Lensmaster Page
  14. bojanskr - Bytes
  15. User bojanskr - Area 51 - Stack Exchange
  16. bojanskr - Macedonian .NET User Group
  17. Go4Expert - View Profile: bojanskr
  18. bojanskr - open Freelancer.sg projects
  19. bojanskr - Freelancer.com.au
  20. bojanskr - bigger

After that, we're on the third page, which is pretty meaningless. Some more freelancer sites (Gosh, you're registered everywhere!), a Scribd profile, and a Server Fault account.

So what's the problem here?

I'm guessing that you want a search for your username to turn up useful results, such as links to your freelancer pages where you can be hired, and links to pages which validate your reputation. However, the problem isn't that your reputation-validating profile on Stack Overflow doesn't appear on Google, it's that your profile on Stack Exchange Inc. sites overwhelms the search results.

What should Stack Exchange do?

I'm no SEO expert, but I think that the search results should return a Stack Exchange users' n network profile, for example http://stackexchange.com/users/143562/bojanskr. It should not fill the first pages with profiles on every...site...on...the...network.

However, they can't really control this.

What should you do to make searches for bojanskr better?

You could do a few things to improve your appearance in Google search results:

  1. Cause your Stack Exchange network profile and one Stack Exchange profile to be the only pages that Google returns for a bojanskr query. Your Stack Overflow profile is the most impressive and relevant, so change your name to something like bojanskr_network, and "Copy profile to all Stack Exchange network accounts" so that your profiles no longer appear in the search. Then, change your name on Stack Overflow back to bojanskr, and sync your network profile with this account. Tada! Only 2 results from Google for Stack Exchange pages.
  2. Sign up for fewer freelancing sites, and edit/delete accounts you don't use anymore. No offense, but you look a little desperate on those pages.
  3. Post some stuff to the blog you link in your profile. Having the domain bojanskr.blogspot.com is some serious Google juice, but you've not posted anything there and it's currently on page 6. Write a post about something you fixed or built this week, and do it again next week. It's not that hard.
  4. Register http://bojanskr.com/. It's available. Do it now before Popular Demand starts squatting on it. With a tiny amount of SEO, that page will rocket to the top of search results for bojanskr. You have even more control of what appears there than you do on your blog.
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1  
Nice answer. Hold on, I'll upvote you just as soon as I'm done squatting on bojanskr.com. –  Pops Nov 4 '11 at 15:10

There is no option to hide your profile from search engines. The only option is to change your username into something that nobody will search for (this won't affect @notifications in comments though).

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2  
Even better, change your username to something so common that you'll blend into the crowd (e.g. Joe or whatnot). A unique username is still trivial to search for, once you find out what it is. –  Piskvor Nov 4 '11 at 12:44

I think not, Google's engine scans a lot of sites and all the informations on them. Just write your own nickname. (Google knows all.)

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You can't hide your name, but if you use a very common name (names are not unique), the search results contain the other names to, so its a lot harder to link anythink to you.

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3  
That's not obfuscating, that's using a pseudonym. –  Time Traveling Bobby Nov 4 '11 at 12:24

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