Step-by-Step Guide

Step 5: Harden your Web site against Google hacks

Hopefully, after doing a lot of Google searches, you have found that no sensitive data is revealed through Google. What if data is exposed though? Unfortunately, I can't tell you exactly what to do, because every Web site is different. You should call the problem to the attention of whoever built your Web site immediately though.

If you have to fix the problem yourself, you can sometimes correct the issue through the use of HTML meta tags. For example, if you have pages that the public should never see, then you don't want Google (or other search engines) to index that page. You can prevent the page from being indexed by adding this meta tag to the page:

META HTTP-EQUIV="robots" CONTENT="noindex"

If you have pages that link to pages that you don't want exposed, you can use HTML meta tags to tell the search engine to index the current page, but to not index any of the links that the page contains. The code for this is:

META HTTP-EQUIV="robots" CONTENT="nofollow"

As you can see, Google hacking your own site can be a little bit tedious. If your Web application contains sensitive information though, it is well worth the effort.


Google hacking to test your security

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Identify what could be Google hacked
 Step 2: Understand your Web applications
 Step 3: Queries to Google hack your site -- Simple stuff
 Step 4: More complicated Google queries
 Step 5: Harden your Web site against Google hacks


More information from SearchWindowsSecurity.com

  • Learning Center: Google hack Windows servers
  • Tip: Google your Windows security vulnerabilities

  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
    Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Windows 2000 Server and IIS. He has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once in charge of IT security for Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, he has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit his personal Web site at www.brienposey.com.
    Copyright 2005 TechTarget

    This was first published in October 2005

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