Can I stop Google etc. finding a specific blogpost when a name is searched for?
I wrote a blogpost a few years ago, which was (and remains) accurate, and fair. I want to be as vague as I can about it. But it was fairly important, together with what other bloggers wrote, in drawing attention to the behaviour of a group of people – you might call them activists – which was causing concern.
At about the same time, official authorities did something to stop them. What happened is recorded not just in blogs but in public documents accessible on the web.
One of the people who was involved with that group has told me he’s now worried that whenever anyone “Googles” him, that blogpost comes up, and that he’ll never be free of association with these events. It’s true that, even though his name is a pretty common one, my blogpost comes up on the first page of a Google search for his name.
To be completely clear, I’m not sure how much this is a case of him regretting what he did, and how much he just regrets it being public.
Also, to be clear, this is not about his personal, private or sex life. It’s about a kind of activism he was involved in, and which during a period of a couple of months he spoke out in defence of in a public forum.
I’d like to help this person, if he’s trying to put that stuff behind him and move on (though I’m not sure that is quite what he wants). At the same time, I’m reluctant to suppress a blogpost which is true and fair. And part of me worries that, if I did suppress it, and if he’s not really regretful of what he did, I could in a small way be helping this activism start up again. That (rather than a desire to judge the guy; that’s not for me) is why I’m a bit concerned about his true motivation. Also, it’s possible others could start it up again without him, if what happened before is just forgotten. So there is a reason for this stuff not to be just wiped off the web.
I hope that explains how I’m wresting with truth and kindness here. I can work out the moral issues myself, with help from other bloggers. What I’d very much like help with, though, is whether there is some technical way of achieving both truth and kindness.
Obviously, I like my blog to do well on search engines. But is there any way I can stop this one specific blogpost from being found against a search of this name – without damaging the search ratings of my blog generally, and without removing this (on a small scale) important blog record of what happened historically?
I’d really appreciate any advice.
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