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protecting privacy

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In progress protecting privacy

Post by afm on June 25th 2012, 4:20 am

I started a board 6 weeks ago. We need it to be completely private and not appear in search engines. From Day 1, I've had each of the forums set to members only, and that has not been a problem. However, in addition, from Day 1, under General --> Search engines --> Additional tags, I've had <meta name="Robots" content="noindex, nofollow" /> entered (as described in multiple help topics here). I have been searching Google at regular intervals, even though I was confident we were safe, and indeed nothing had been coming up until now. Now the board appears under Google. No one can access our actual posts via Google, but Google links straight to our log in page which we don't want anyone to know about, plus that page links to the group's header (which we don't want public) as well as to the list of members.

First, why is this happening? What can I do to stop the board from showing up in web searches completely? We had been a group for years elsewhere, but the lack of privacy became too much which is why we moved.

Second, what can I do such that when a guest is on the log in page (hopefully not via Google!), they cannot access the full member list with avatars? We discovered this issue right away, and though it's not related to search engines per se, it is a big concern. Can the "members" button be disabled on the log in page, i.e. to guests?

Thank you!

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by SLGray on June 25th 2012, 4:24 am

For the memberlist:
Administration Panel > Users & Groups > Special Rights
Memberlist: Members


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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by afm on June 25th 2012, 4:29 am

Thank you, slg! That worked for my second question. I appreciate your quick help!

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by SLGray on June 25th 2012, 4:35 am

You're welcome.

So your forum is listed on Google, but all of them lead to the log in page?


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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by afm on June 25th 2012, 4:42 am

Yes, the log in page/advanced search page show up on Google, but we don't want our Forumotion URL to show up in search engines at all, and it hadn't until now. We've come to trust Forumotion as our new safe home over these last 6 weeks. Thanks!

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by SLGray on June 25th 2012, 4:44 am

I do not know if there is a way to completely hide your forum from search engines.


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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by afm on June 25th 2012, 4:55 am

Hmm. My understanding was that the meta tag would do that. I trusted that guests could see only the log in page (this has worked great), and that meanwhile the meta tag would make even the log in page inaccessible via web searches.

By the way, it seems that the internal search function works only to search post *topics* and not post *content*. Is there any way to allow us to search for post content on our page given that our content is not available via Google? Obviously threads contain a lot more words than do topics, and topic titles are often vague, so it would be helpful to be able to search content too. Alas, when searching this help site, the internal search function brings up the words in titles only, and I have to go to Google to search content, so I'm guessing that's always going to be the case, though I did find a couple closed threads where people mentioned being able to search content at some point so I thought I'd ask.

Thank you for any additional assistance with these questions!

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by afm on June 26th 2012, 6:46 am

Bump @ preventing search engines from listing our log in page! Shouldn't the meta tag be preventing that? This is very important to us -- thanks!

I'm curious about the related search question too, though I'm thinking that our privacy settings restrict our search options, even internally? Privacy is more important than search capability, but searching posts would be helpful.

Thank you!

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by SLGray on June 26th 2012, 6:51 am

Forumotion search is based on keywords in topic titles.


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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by afm on June 26th 2012, 3:20 pm

OK, that's what it was looking like, although I did see a couple references in the help forum of people having been able to search within posts too. It was worth asking if there was a way, so too bad but thank you again!

I'm still wondering my main question if anyone can help -- why is Google now listing my board when I have the meta tag? Forum content is hidden to guests so that isn't a concern, but the meta tag was intended to prevent search engines from listing our URL. Thanks!

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by afm on June 29th 2012, 12:25 am

Bump to ask for help with my initial question! Thank you!

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by Darren1 on June 29th 2012, 12:42 am

Hi,

Thanks for choosing ForuMotion!

To have your site removed you will have to get in contact with each individual Search Engine since it has already been indexed. There is no way that anyone external of the Search engine can remove it for you.
When you ask them to remove your site, ask them to put a rule to disallow your site entirely, and see what their response is.

With that meta tag in place they wont be able to follow into your site, however if you were to place your link somewhere publicly viewable on another site that Bots can access they will follow it and re-index you. This you cannot stop, as it relies on the other sites Bots Rules.

If you still wish to have 2 banners, none for guests, and 1 for logged in members, let us know and hopefully one of our scriptwriters should be able to help out Smile

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by afm on June 29th 2012, 1:31 am

Thank you so much, but I don't understand why it was indexed since I've had the meta tag in place from the start, and that was 7 weeks ago? How does Google know about us when the meta tag has been in place? Do I not understand what the meta tag is for, perhaps?

How would I contact search engines?

The link isn't listed anywhere publicly, I'm confident. We've shared it in just one private place which definitely doesn't show up on Google. Until now someone would have had to have been told the URL privately, unless they were a very good guesser! I've been Googling to be sure of the privacy I've promised our members from the start, and neither our URL nor board name are listed anywhere other than (now) as a direct Google link to us. My next fear would be that someone would be able to search for the title of the board and Google would pull up our URL, since the title wouldn't be hard to guess if one were looking. Right now one would have to search for the title + Forumotion (or the abbreviation + Forumotion) for it to come up as a search result, at least through the first 4 result pages which is as far as I looked. But even that is a shock since I didn't think Google could see us at all...if it can, we might be at risk for more general Google searches finding our log in page too.

The idea of two banners is interesting! The current banner just has our title and an additional line, however, so it doesn't reveal anything specific that someone wouldn't already know by the time they found our page. (The main goal is that we don't want people we didn't invite to find our page in the first place, even though the forums are all private and the member list is now hidden.) I'd be curious to find out more though. Thanks!

Thanks again!

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In progress Re: protecting privacy

Post by afm on July 2nd 2012, 8:37 pm

Bump! A second banner isn't a necessity since the current banner doesn't reveal anything private as it is, although it is an interesting idea. I'm MUCH more concerned with finding out more about why the meta tag didn't prevent Google from finding us and how to make sure it doesn't continue. The URL is listed in just one place and that's definitely not available to search engines. Thank you!

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