From another question related to the use of the Google search engine in combination with Stack Exchange, I found the following.

I have some accounts I solely use for flagging. Those profiles are set to hidden in my network profile. However, the user profiles do pop up in the search results in Google. And even worse, all those profiles put my actual contribution to page 17...

I know the sites hidden in your profile aren't really hidden, although this seems an unwanted side effect.

Can SE prevent the hidden profiles from popping up in Google? And if so, should they?

  • 2
    The problem is that your network profile is linked to from every site profile, and contains all your accounts. If they put rel="nofollow" on the network profile link it will solve what you describe, but would be "overkill' for those who do want their network profile to be indexed. So, not sure what I feel about it. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:52
  • Indeed. That is why I tagged it discussion. I am not sure if there are caveats I missed. This is one I guess. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:52
  • 5
    True. Another solution would be adding the rel="nofollow" in the network profile Accounts tab, on any sites you hide. Now this one sounds ideal, and quite easy to implement. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:54
  • But would that solve the problem? Isn't it linked from a lot of other places, like user lists? Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:55
  • 4
    The /users page has <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> tag thus not indexed. As long as you don't post anything on those accounts, you should be safe. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:57
  • 4
    This just confirms that the current implementation of the feature is entirely useless, there are too many trivial ways to circumvent it. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 14:21
  • @MadScientist It's not promising complete privacy. I appreciate the ability to have people only see a few primary communities when they view my profile, as a way of controlling how I present myself.
    – Jeremy
    Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 16:10


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