Hiding Content from Search Engines
There are three steps you need to take in order to hide web pages and other content from search engines.
- Create a special directory or directories in which to place content you do not want indexed. One example might be a directory called 'draft' for content under development, and a directory called 'backup' for the files. Move the content you want hidden into the appropriate directory(ies).
- Contact the Office of Innovation and Information Technology and provide them with the names and exact paths of all directories you want hidden (this can include old directories; just keep in mind that it should not contain any content you do want seen). This applies to all university sites, including those maintained on servers housed outside of main campus. This information is used to tell the NSU search engine not to index any content in the directories in question. If this information is not provided, or the information provided is incorrect, OIIT cannot guarantee that your content will not be seen in NSU search engine results.
- Contact your web administrator and provide him/her with the names and exact paths of all directories you want hidden. The main web developer/administrator for a web server can create a document called a 'robots.txt' file. This file instructs visiting search engines which directories are off limits. The file must be placed, and is valid only when located in, the root directory of a web site ( Example: www.mysite.nova.edu/robots.txt would be valid, but www.mysite.nova.edu/subdirectory/robots.txt would not be). For this reason, the main web developer/web administrator of a site must create and maintain the file for all sub sites. Note: This is an important step. If you follow steps 1 and 2, but your site does not maintain a robots.txt file, outside (non-NSU) search engines may index the content you want hidden.