| Blockbuster sites, amazing reunions

Share Tips

New Topic Subscription Options  

Advice on resolving a Google Search issue

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 05/27/23 03:27 PM Views: 328 Replies: 10
Saturday, May 27, 2023 at 3:27 PM

I have a classmate who had left her profile viewable when not logged in. she has now changed this for more privacy, but since Google had already scraped that url it still shows up in search results. the link now takes you to a login prompt since the page is now password protected but there is still a search result with classmates name and current city (since that is in the meta data). My classmate would prefer that the search result not appear at all.

It seems like one work around would be to delete this classmate and add her back again manually. I am assuming this would result in a new url (new member id) so the old Google page will no longer exist (and you can request Google to remove a non-existent page).

Is there anything I am not seeing here about this strategy? Any downside? I see just one post by this classmate which I could have her repost, and I could manually add her yearbook photo.

Thanks for any advice!

George Wyner
Brookline High School Class of 1976

Saturday, May 27, 2023 at 4:22 PM - Response #1

The results are cached as part of their search results on the Google search servers so they will have to reindex the page for it to clear up. When they return to index the page they will find the information is locked/gone.

If they don't want to appear in the search results at all you might need to add them as a non-displaying guest because even if their data is not visible their name would still appear on the profile page list so their name may still appear in the results even if it links to a locked page.

If you do delete them they will need to rejoin and their prior post would be gone.

Class Creator Support

Saturday, May 27, 2023 at 5:25 PM - Response #2

Thank you Jessica!

Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 2:59 PM - Response #3

Hi George,

What is the link to the classmates profile page? Google has a form where I can submit a request for them to update their cache. It doesn't guarantee they will, however, it might help move the process along.


Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 2:01 PM - Response #4

I have a similiar issue - a member who no longer wants her city/state visible on Google. I can delete her and she can create another profile, but from I can tell, Google's cache will still show her old profile with city/state. Suggestions?

Friday, June 2, 2023 at 10:39 AM - Response #5

Just edit their existing profile and Google will update their cache when they see new content.

Deleting and creating a new profile isn't necessary.


Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 5:31 PM - Response #6

Hi Jessica,

I tried submitting the request and it was denied. My classmate also submitted a request with no luck.

I just went ahead and did the delete /create (should have checked here first... hectic few weeks) and now when you go to the link:

you get a page with no content (rather than a missing page).

I went back to Google again to submit a request to remove outdated material and, again, it still thinks the page is there, so asking me to include a word that is not on the new page (which I once again did).

It seems like they would honor this request, but they denied the request when the change was from a page with my classmate's info to a page with a login prompt.

Any advice?

It seems like my classmate is not concerned about people clicking through, since there is no content on the page, but with the fact that Google has the basic info (name and address) on the search results page even without clicking.

Thank you!

Edited 06/08/23 5:33 PM
Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 6:08 PM - Response #7

It will clear on it's own. I had already submitted the page for removal so it might have denied because the request was already made.


Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 4:54 PM - Response #8

Hi Jessica, Can you check if your request was honored? The page is still showing. If your request comes back as denied that would indicate more needs to be done.

I saw that Google offers site administrators other ways to remove outdated content, but it requires some setup. Have not pursued this yet, and not sure it works in this context, but that could be a backup.

Finally, not sure if this should be a separate post, but I see two changes that would help with this kind of issue:

First, when a member has been deleted, I suggest that the old URL should return a 404 error. This would make it easier to request removal since Google would see the page no longer exists. At the moment an empty page is returned. I would argue that a 404 error better reflects the situation.

Second, if a member has set their page to not be viewable publicly, the title tag in the page header should not include the member's name and town but instead something like "Login Required". That way if the URL exists somewhere already (including on Google) the login page no longer includes member info in the title.

Thanks for your help with all this!


Thursday, June 15, 2023 at 9:52 PM - Response #9

I'm not seeing it in the Google searches.

I did submit it to their outdated content - I verified the domain with them and submitted the request above. Here is what it shows if I try to submit it again

Outdated content not in index
The text or image that you described in your cache removal request does not seem to be present in the Google's cached copy, so it seems that the outdated content is already gone from our index and results. No need to do anything more.

I have a way to turn off title bars for the entire site - I don't have it on an individual level.


Friday, June 16, 2023 at 3:31 PM - Response #10

Thank you! I still can bring it up if I search for the member's name and Brookline, however I see that now the url goes to a 404 error, which is perfect since when I just requested removal again it did not prompt me to describe how page had changed. Hopefully that means the 404 registers as non-existent page.

I am hopeful this resolves it. And understand about the title bar issue. That would only ever arise if Google caches the page and then member decides to go private and then does not want the title showing in SERP, which is what happened this time but seems like an unusual scenario.

Thank you again for all of this! -- George

New Topic  
Subscription Options: Have all new forum posts sent directly to your email.
Subscription options are available after you log in.