How to Hide Your Facebook Profile From Google

by Aaron Parson

Google creates its search listings by scanning publicly available websites. If you have public content posted on Facebook, this information can appear in Google searches, even if the person searching isn't your friend on Facebook. For example, if someone searches Google for your full name, he could find a link to your Facebook Timeline. To hide from searches, you can block Google from indexing your Timeline and avoid sharing other information publicly.

Disabling Search Indexing

To keep your Timeline from appearing on Google, log in to Facebook and click the gear icon. Click "Privacy Settings" and locate the option titled "Do you want other search engines to link to your Tmeline?" Click the "Edit" link for the option and uncheck the box. The next time Google's scans look at Facebook, Facebook's server will tell the search engine not to include your page in the index.

Other Facebook Posts

The search setting on Facebook will not affect content you post outside your own Timeline. For example, if you comment on a public Page, Google users could find this comment by searching for your name or a part of the comment's text. The only way to completely guarantee privacy is by not making public comments. If you want an existing public comment hidden, you should delete it from where you posted it on Facebook.

Getting Off of Google

Google links will not immediately disappear when you change your search or privacy settings. Links to content that you've hidden or protected will no longer work, but Google may still have cached copies or display a sample in its search results. The next time Google happens to index your content, it will notice the link no longer works and remove it from the search results. To request Google completely remove content related to legal cases, you will need to contact Google directly.

Speeding Up Your Settings

If you want your profile removed from Google's cache faster, you can use the Content Removal tool. This tool informs Google that you've changed your site -- in this case, to hide it. Using the tool requires a Google account. For the tool to work, you first need to update your Facebook settings. Afterwards, open the tool and click "Create a new removal request." Enter the exact address to your profile as found on Google and click "Continue." Type a word that appears on your now-hidden profile for Google to verify the change, and click "Remove cached version of this page."

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About the Author

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.

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