For Google Docs, published equals public

Received today from the Google Apps team:

We wanted to let you know about some important changes around published documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

In a few weeks, documents, spreadsheets and presentations that have been explicitly published outside your organization and are linked to from a public website will be crawled and indexed, which means they can appear in search results you see on Google.com and other search engines. There is no change for documents published inside your organization or shared privately.

If you wish to prevent users from publishing documents to the public internet, we now offer an admin control in the Google Apps Control Panel that allows users to continue to ‘share documents outside the domain’ without allowing them to publish the files to the public Internet.  To change this setting, follow these steps:

- Login to your admin control panel
- Select Service Settings > Docs
- Un-check the option ‘Users can publish documents to the public internet’

If a user does not want their published Docs to be crawled, then the user must unpublish them by doing the following:

- Go to the ‘Share tab’
- For documents and spreadsheets, choose ‘Publish as web page’. For presentations choose ‘Publish/embed’
- Click on the button that says ‘Stop publishing’

For more details, please see this Help Center article: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60781

This is a very exciting change as your published docs linked to from public websites will reach a much wider audience of people!

 

My initial reaction was WTF?, but I suppose it’s not that outrageous. It’s like putting a note on your front door for the package delivery guy – do you somehow thing the rest of the world won’t be able to read it? At least they give you the option to hide the docs from crawlers.

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