Google Buzz and Public Search Results
By James Kwak
Some law school friends and I had trouble figuring this out two nights ago when Buzz was apparently rolled out, so I thought this might be helpful. I think I got it right, but no guarantees. Note that this post is about including your profile in public search results; there is another more important privacy issue discussed here.
In the process of using Buzz, at various points Google asks you to create a public profile. The Edit Profile screen looks like this:
If you uncheck the upper-right box, then your profile will not be included in public search results. When you save your edited profile, you’ll get a message including this text: “Your profile is currently not findable via search on Google because we don’t have permission to display your name.” Sounds good — except the next time you try to comment on anything on Buzz, you will get a dialog box saying “How do you want to appear to others?” In order to successfully comment, you have to click the “Save profile and continue” button.
The next time you look at your profile, you’ll notice that that upper-right box — “Display my full name so I can be found in search” — is now checked. That’s what happened when you clicked “Save profile and continue.” So it seems like in order to use Buzz, you have to have a public profile.
However, there seems to be a loophole. My profile contains only my first name, last name, nickname, and photo. (OK, my late dog’s photo.) When I save my profile, even with the upper-right box checked, I get this message: “Your profile is not yet eligible to be featured in Google search results.To have your profile featured, add more information about yourself.” So it seems like you can use Buzz (although I’m still not sure why I would) and keep your profile out of Google search results, simply by not providing much information about yourself.
Your mileage may vary.