The Name Redactor offer increased control over personal data by redacting personal names from the content if the visitor is a search engine robot.
Note: This plugin requires at least version 3.3 of WordPress.
The Name Redactor is a WordPress plugin which allows WordPress users to hide personal data from search engines. As the name of the plugin implies, the type of content we are talking about in this context are personal names. The plugin works by checking whether the visitor to the site is human or a search engine robot. If the visitor is a search engine robot, the plugin will redact any personal names before delivering the content, replacing them with the text [redacted]. To human visitors, the names will appear as normal.
The web is full of personal names, which is usually attached to some contextual data (e.g. utterances, images, etc.). If these personal names are indexed by search engines, along with the contextual data attached to them, both will be discoverable by anyone searching for a specific name. While some such discoveries may be beneficial to the subject, others may be harmful. The purpose of the Name Redactor is not to block search engines from accessing your WordPress site or indexing your content. The purpose is to avoid having personal names being indexed along with contextual data attached to those names.
The Name Redactor plugin works by detecting if a visitor to the site is a
search engine robot, and if so, the plugin will redact any personal names
(which have been tagged with
<redact content="name"></redact>) before
delivering the content, replacing them with the text
The tagging can either be done manually by the publisher, or automatically
by the program.
When you install the plugin for the first time, it is set by default to only redact names that have been manually tagged. If you go to add a new post, page, or comment (or edit already existing content) and select the Text Editor, you will see that a new button has been added to the pre-existing ones. This button, labeled redact, allows you to tag a name in the text. Simply select the name you want to tag, and press the redact button. Alternatively, place the cursor before a name, press the redact button to add the name redact tag, place the cursor after the name, and press the redact button again to close the tag. Note that these tags will only be visible in the page source of the website. Before publishing something, you can view the text from a bot's point of view by pressing the 'Preview' button (note that you first need to select this option from the plugin settings menu).
Also note that when uninstalling the plugin, any manually tagged names will remain tagged. If you want to remove the tags, you will have to remove them manually as well, by going back and editing the content.
You can also set the plugin to automatically try to detect personal names, and redact them accordingly. This automatic name detection is accomplished by using a simple set of rules, written as regular expressions: 1. It will match a single word with the first letter capitalized, as long as that word is not at the beginning of the sentence. 2. It will match two or more consecutive words starting with the first letter capitalized, as long as the first word is not at the beginning of the sentence.
Names that have been tagged manually will continue to be tagged until the tags are manually removed (so if you at a later date should wish to remove tags from a name, you will have to go back and edit the post, comment or page in question). Automatic tagging is done on the spot whenever the content is requested by a search engine bot. This means that the content in the database is left unchanged, and no tags are saved along with the text.
Detecting whether or not a visitor to the site is a web crawler, is done by checking the "User-Agent" header of the client software originating the request (see the Wikipedia page for more information on this). Whenever a visitor requests to view the content, be it a page, comment, or post, the plugin will check the user-agent string up against a list containing a set of known search engine bot names. If the User-Agent matches a name in the list, the plugin will redact any tagged content before returning it to the bot. Upon installation, the plugin will add a default set of bot names to the list. The user can then freely add or delete names to or from the list.
Note that while the plugin is primarily meant as a way of preventing search engines from indexing personal names, it can, in theory, also be used to prevent disclosure of other types of personal data, by manually tagging it in the same manner as you would do names.
You can change the settings for the plugin in the 'Name Redactor Settings' sub menu, located in the 'Tools' menu in the admin panel. The Name Redactor settings menu is organized into three different options pages, with tabs to make navigation easier. The option pages are organized as follows: Options, Opt-in/opt-out, and Bots.
The original idea for this plugin comes from Gisle Hannemyr http://hannemyr.com/index.php.