Privacy from Google searches

+2 votes
117 views
I was on Google and went on a Wikitree search for Jillson. When I went on my profile I found that my bio was visible to the general public. So I went into Wikitree and changed my privacy level to Red. Then I went back out to Google, did a search for myself, when it came up I could still see my bio. Is that because I was still logged into Wikitree?
WikiTree profile: Cheryl Cunningham
in WikiTree Tech by Cheryl Cunningham G2G6 (8.4k points)
When I look at your profile, it is Red Private and I cannot see your biography. But you can see it when you are logged in, regardless of where you navigated from to reach your profile.
Thank you so much for checking. The reason I ask is because I got an email from a person I don't know, she wanted information about my tree and I was a little hesitant.
People do send us messages sometimes after seeing our names and message links on profiles that we manage.

1 Answer

+2 votes
So before you changed it, your biography was also visible to anyone on WikiTree. Google copies pages from all over the internet to its own servers to search through, so that they don't have to go to every website on the internet when someone does a search query.

So they copied your biography in before you changed it to private on WikiTree and it still will be visible on Google. Google is generally quite quick (i.e. couple of days) to update the copies on their servers. So it will eventually not be accessible anymore through Google.
by Koen van Hoof G2G6 Mach 4 (46.7k points)
WOW, I had no idea they did that!!!  That is kind of scary... God knows where else it might be, China?!!
This is how search engines work since the 1990s and probably the only way to make them work. If Google would go to all websites in the world, get the text of all webpages and try to match your search query with text on those pages, a simple search would take hours or maybe even days.
Thank you for that insight. I never thought about how a search worked, but that makes sense.

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