This is just a general question. How can I avoid an academic question (that I’ve posted in this forum) form turning up on google and similar search engines? I would think that if I code the text then it would be impossible to get it from a google (or similar search engine search)?

Thanks for answering.

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    You may want to edit your question to indicate why you want that. StackExchange is expressly built to facilitate later people coming along and finding an answer to their question by searching. Jul 9, 2015 at 12:02
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    Yes, unless you have an exceptionally good reason, attempts to keep a question here from being indexed by search engines would be considered vandalism (and would be undone). If you don't want a question to be found via search engines, then this site isn't the right place for it. Jul 9, 2015 at 12:06
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    What do you mean by "code the text"?
    – Flyto
    Jul 9, 2015 at 16:10
  • @SimonW OP probably means writing search engine disallow rules into the body of the question to prevent them from indexing the content. However, that's not how search engines work, so OP is out of luck even if StackEx. allowed something like that in the first place. Jul 11, 2015 at 6:03

3 Answers 3


You can't, other than by deleting or editing the question. If you edit, the text will still be publicly available, but unlikely to rank highly on a search engine. However, in this case you should ensure the text remains viable as a question (ie, you should remove the specific information you don't want found by a search engine, rather than the entire question). Deleting a question may not be possible, but in these cases you can flag for moderator attention and explain why you would like it to be deleted.

  • Deleting a question is highly looked down upon unless it includes personal information, confidential information, and so on. Typically, SE staff must become involved if actual scrubbing is required.
    – Compass
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:50

When you write a post here, you grant Stack Exchange a permanent and irrevocable licence to use that material. That material should be indexable by a search engine, so don't code it and don't hide it in any way that would hinder that.

If those conditions aren't acceptable to you for some specific material, then don't post that material anywhere on Stack Exchange.


Why do you want this? I can only think of a few reasons:

  1. You're a student and you want to get some kind of help but don't want your professor to know that you asked the internet. I doubt your professor is googling your work to find that out. And either way I doubt it would reflect poorly on you as long as it looks like you're honestly trying to figure something out.

  2. You're asking a question about your research and don't want anyone to steal your ideas. Asking about research is a two way street. You can't expect to keep your a research a secret if you're asking for help. And that's the ironic reason why it's not a great idea to work in secret in a vacuum. You usually take so long to figure everything out that you're sure to get scooped, and you'll probably have an error. Whereas if you collaborate you're more likely to finish faster and be correct.

  • I can think of a third reason: 3) You are the victim of a particular type of harassment or problem and you need a solution without alerting the perpetrator.
    – RoboKaren
    Jul 19, 2015 at 13:49

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