Wikipedia:Talk pages not indexed by Google

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Problem[edit]

With Wikipedia's increasingly high Google ranking for searches across all namespaces, Wikipedia's archives, talk pages and so forth, which were never intended for widespread public broadcast, are routinely becoming the top-ranked page on Google for people's real names. Editors who've edited under their real names are among those affected, as are people biographied or involved in events recorded here. While our policies for the mainspace are increasingly tightened, talkpages, especially archived ones, simply do not measure up to the same standards. Old WP:AN/I reports, arbitration cases and the like show up high where they cause needless embarrassment and reputation damage to those involved, while not serving our goal of providing encyclopaedic information to the public.

Solution[edit]

A solution already exists for this problem. The LocalSettings.php file for English Wikipedia can be amended by the developers to add a "noindex" clause for robots, taking various namespaces out of Google searches. As a test of concept, it is proposed that the Talk, User Talk and Wikipedia Talk namespaces be noindexed. The same change has already been made on the German Wikipedia in 2006, following a community poll and Bug 4937.