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Private posts appearing on Google

  1. If you publicly post items and then later mark them private, yes, it was your original posting of these items that put them into the public sphere. Marking them private later does not delete them from the caches of the search engines or readers who saw them during the public time. It's closing the barn door after the horse has bolted.

  2. Most people believe that private means private, even on the Internet. I should have known better, because I have IT qualifications and 16 years experience of using the 'net, and even I made a gross error in judgement here.

    Most Internet users just don't know that something marked "private" could be available for public consumption. That's why I didn't want this debate just to be about me and my mistakes.

    It isn't unreasonable for an idiot like me, or an inexperienced user, to mark a previously public post private and expect that it will now be private. It used to be public, now it isn't, see?

    I don't have anything useful to say about this anymore, other than it will crop up again with other people and many thanks to all of you for helping me out here. I feel like sitting here with a double duvet over my head for the next six weeks.

  3. I know how you feel. If you've been around on the Internet for any length of time you've had an experience like this. I agree that this thread will be useful for others; it has real universality.

    I compare the whole thing to sending out a television broadcast. You can never reach into people's TIVOs and VCRs and make sure they delete it, even if you decide to pull the show from the repeat schedule in the future.

  4. As soon as you publish a post, your blog pings pingomatic.
    That tells several services you have a new post and they come and get it almost straightaway.
    As soon as you publish a post it becomes available in your feed and that cannot be removed for anyone getting your feed before that who updates their feed.
    And if you publish your post as a search bot is crawling the domain it too can get your information.

    So if you do not mark it as Private before clicking Publish then all the above happens.
    It's how it is and for the majority of bloggers it is expected behaviour.

    If you later mark it as Private you cannot stop the other services as your post in now inside their system. (which is very useful if you ever delete a post by mistake as they may have a copy).

  5. I got listed as a mature blog and also take the url link off my site off my profile page so my name isn't clickable here on the forum or on comments that I leave.

    They also crawl very fast. I finally had an idea of how to finally get my ProBoards site listed on Google when for months I had failed to. So I posted the link on my blogroll here and the next day, my ProBoards site was finally on Google. So anything you post that wasn't marked private at first, gets crawled very quickly by the spiders.

  6. Actually had a thread recently on the wp.org boards where some guy was wondering how his test setup of wordpress sitting off of his cable modem got spidered by the google spiders within 30 minutes of setup.

    Turns out he had made a post, it sent out the pings and Google picked up on them.

    They spider fairly quickly. Getting the pages spidered into the database anytime soon is the issue.

  7. @Timethief,

    If you have downloaded a Google Desktop then be aware that the Google spiders will be crawling your blog regardless of the wordpress privacy setting

    When you download Google Desktop you can choose how much you want Google to index, eg. emails (gmail), blogs (Blogger only - I think), documents, external disks, and so on, and if you want your computer to be accessible from other computers (shared indexing). I would not allow the last.

    Don't be naive. There is a reason you are getting a free application or doodad and that reason is to spy on you. All information gained about you and your preferences feeds into consumer databases and is sold to companies with products and services they want to sell to you and other people like you.

    Not that the consequences bother me in the short term. In fact, I often find the discrete gmail ads relevant, hence useful - and that is prabably because Google has indexed all of my X GB of private emails, search history, offline and online documents. Irrelevant ads are annoying, relevant ads are helpful.

    However, that said, it is scary to philosophise about it. Billions of people are having their habits and personal interests mapped by relentless web spiders. I do not know if this really happens, though (Google also has some privacy terms)... but it is possible, and will eventually make Google the most powerful firm on Earth, business wise. Who knows how that fairy tail will end.

  8. I have recently noticed that after I did an edit of a post that I had published last night, It showed up on my site as Private: I do not remember clicking anything that would place this in front of my post As the Pendulum Swings. Any ideas how this happened and how I can remove the Private: ? Thanks.

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