Our Guide on How to Remove Something from Google Search: If you’ve ever wondered how to remove something — like a mugshot or negative information — from Google search, we have answers.
Due to the nature of online marketing, Google is a major player when it comes to driving traffic via search engines. For this reason, businesses need to be very careful when it comes to how they present themselves on Google web search.
If a business makes a claim or provides information and then realizes that they made a mistake in presenting this information, it is essential that they can have the incorrect content removed from their listing on Google. This can be so expensive to do with other advertising mediums, but thankfully Google provides a free service for businesses interested in removing unwanted or incorrect data from Google search results.
What if you’re scrolling through Google and you find something negative about your business; how can you go about getting that removed?
The online reputation management experts at NetReputation are here to help. Let’s dive into how you can do this.
First, Why Would You Want to Remove Something From Google?
Anyone has access to the internet. You may be wondering if it’s even worth the hassle to get things removed or push them down in the search engine. Maybe you want to take the chance that your potential customer or current customers won’t even see it. It’s important that you do take care of any negative remarks promptly.
Sure, all businesses can’t have perfect reviews or remarks. All businesses can improve; therefore, you will have an accurate negative review, but what if the remark on Google is worse than that? What if it’s something not true? Or worse yet — what if you have information on there that is not professional, and you wouldn’t want your customers knowing about it?
Unwanted search results on Google can:
- Harm your professional or business reputation
- Harm your personal reputation and relationships
- Can be emotionally taxing and cause stress
- Potentially can cost you significant amounts of money
The first page on Google search is like the first impression people get about you and your business, just as if they met you in person for the first time. When people stumble on all the negative reviews and information on Google, it can turn them away quickly.
How Do You Completely Remove Your Name From Google Search Results?
It can entirely depend on the type of information that is showing up, but what you are trying to do is have Google completely remove it from its results. That means that if someone searches your name or business name, they will not find this content.
Before you can even start removing something from Google search results for good, you must first gather all the information about where this content is coming from. What website was it posted on? Search yourself to find out what other people are saying about you (positive and negative).
Once you’ve gathered all this information, start creating a plan of action. In the end, you want to create a compelling argument that will convince Google to remove the content from Google search results.
To file a request with Google, you can submit the form found via their website. If it’s information about yourself that you want to be removed from Google, make sure to tick the box stating, “It’s personal information about me.”
Google will review your case and determine if they should move forward in removing the remark or information about you from Google search results. They follow specific guidelines, but if they determine that the information is indeed false or incorrect and could negatively impact you by having it remain online, then the content will be removed.
Some other things you can do on your end while waiting for Google:
- Control the amount of information you give out; only promote information you would be comfortable with anyone seeing.
- Participate in online reputation management to suppress the information you don’t want people to see first. The good stuff will push the negative information down farther into the search engine
- Deactivate and delete any unused accounts
- Make sure to set social media accounts to private
- Opt-out of data broker sits such as MyLife
- Be sure to remove your personal information from any websites that you have the authority to such as WHOIS domain information.
Tip: Google has this handy feature called Google Alerts. You can set a Google Alert and put your name and business name in it. When that keyword is mentioned anywhere online, it will alert you. This is beneficial because as soon as something is posted online, you can jump right on it and get it removed a lot faster.
What Types of Google Search Results Should You Consider Removing?
There are many different types of search results that should be removed from Google’s index. This is because once it has been leaked to the Internet, you do not have control over who can find it and how they could leverage this information against you.
Examples of Remarks You Can Request to Be Removed:
- Criminal history
- Arrest records
- Civil or criminal judgments and rulings
- Court records that aren’t part of a public proceeding are only available to the parties involved and their attorneys.
- Any remarks and information about others in your household can be removed such as spouses, children, siblings, family members, roommates, etc. Schooling data include transcripts, disciplinary records, awards, honors, etc.
- Financial records include tax liens, property ownership, bankruptcy proceedings, etc. Personal information like voter registration history, phone numbers, emails, multiple people using the same email address or phone number.
- Any non-personal data that is related to you that has nothing to do with your name can be removed as well, including Businesses you’ve owned or worked for, job positions you’ve held, organizations you belong to, etc.
If the information belongs to a third party and not yourself, then Google will remove that remark as well. This includes:
- Imputations about your character which is based on someone else’s information such as criminal history
- People who may resemble you
- Other people with the same name
The internet has an endless amount of information that you cannot control, unfortunately, even if it may be about your business (depending on what it is). Because of this, anything out there can be linked to you or your personal information. This does not just apply to social media postings but also includes:
- Blog posts from forums Information in a personal blog or on a discussion board
- Digital photo prints A digital photo with geo-location data added to it
- Any media on a third-party website such as Pinterest or Tumblr Reviews of your business posted
- Online Photos or videos
- A tweet from social media Photos taken from private Facebook groups
- And many more
To Improve Your Online Reputation, These Are The Types of Website You Should Consider Removing Your Information From
You can’t control every website that has information about you and your business; however, you have many options to remove some search results that are negative to your digital footprint, or even positive ones that you still don’t want available to the public.
1. Focus on your social media profiles and be in control of what they say about you.
You are in control of what your social media says about you. Be sure to set each profile to private and limit the information you make public like full name, gender, marital status, and age. You can also hide or limit the public view of family, photos, educational and professional history, and posts you create.
2. Remove information from the website you own
If you are the site owner of a web page, you get to choose what content goes out to the public. Edit your content and take out what’s not in a positive reflection of your brand.
3. Remove and opt-out from data broker websites and people search sites
Data broker sites collect your personal information from various sites, including major search engines, and resell it to individuals or other companies. You can request to remove any information these websites have on you.
4. Delete posts and comments on public forums
If you signed up for public forums years ago and now you regret what you had said, or even got in an argument back then, and it’s still showing up online, you can remove it. You may not be able to delete the thread, based on who started it or the website it was on, but you can log in, see if you can change your name to anonymous if it can’t be deleted. It’s beneficial to make sure the comments can’t be linked back to you.
5. Remove old pictures and YouTube videos
If you have old content on the web or even YouTube videos that may seem embarrassing to you now or could jeopardize the business, you can go back and delete them. Another option is logging into YouTube and changing the privacy settings if you do want to leave them up, but not for customers to see.
What Types of Information Should You Not Remove from Google Search Results?
You cannot remove negative information listed on a site you have no control over. For example, if the information is coming from another site, such as another person’s blog or a review site listed on Google search results, there is nothing you can do about it. Paid advertisements that appear in Google search results will not be removed.
Company listings such as your business name, contact information, and website URL cannot be removed from Google’s index either. This is because these are considered legitimate companies and businesses, and therefore you have no authority to request them to be removed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What happens to the information that I remove from Google search results?
Google will review your request and remove any listings that violate their policies. This information is then removed from Google’s search result index so nobody can find it or see it. The data itself is not deleted, only the result listing is removed.
What if I don’t notice the remark or information until later?
If you find out about this remark or information when you are filling out a job application, applying to university, etc. try to remove any pages with your personal details by using Google’s search form. Then follow the steps provided by Google to have them removed from their search engine.
What if I submitted a removal request for something that wasn’t supposed to be removed?
You can check what information has been removed by following these steps:
1) Go to Google’s removal page via their website.
2) Click on “Remove info about me from online content” it is under the “More” tab.
3) Type in your name, country, and reason for the request. You can also submit another email address if you want to be notified about the process of your request.
4) Submit the removal request form by clicking on the blue box that says “Submit.”
5) After submitting it will ask you to sign in with your Google account or Facebook account. Once submitted, it can take some time for the request to go through.
What if I didn’t make a mistake and want my information removed?
If it wasn’t you who published the remark or information in the first place, there is nothing you can do about having it removed.
What if my information is incorrect?
If you have just recently found out that some of your personal details are wrong, you can go to the specific page on Google.
In the right corner, there will be a blue box that says, “Make a correction.”
Enter your name or whatever information needs to be changed and submit it. Google will then verify your claim and correct the mistake within 90 days.
What Can You Do if the Webmaster Refuses to Remove Content Pertaining to you?
Depending on what information you find about yourself or your business on someone else’s website, you may have the right to get them to take it down. Not everyone will be successful at getting someone to take the negative content down.
Here are some tactics you can use if you experience a webmaster who refuses to cooperate with you and remove the content:
First, you should remember to be patient, and then continue with these two steps:
1. Suppress the negative content in Google’s search results
Most online reputation management companies will use reverse SEO to help suppress the negative content. If you’re wondering what reverse SEO is all about, it’s basically what it sounds like. For example, traditional SEO will focus on creating content that is optimized for ranking high on Google. Reverse SEO is set in place to make it possible to bury the information you don’t want customers to see in the search history.
Reverse SEO is all about creating exceptional content and then optimizing it to rank high in the Google search engine. You can do this by:
- Creating a blog and focusing on traffic building
- Follow SEO on each of your company’s current website
- Be more active on social media and create new content
- Guest post and get backlinks to your website
- Start a podcast, YouTube channel, or come up with another strategy for content marketing
2. You may need to pursue legal action if you want content removed
If a search engine or site owner refuses to remove any content that defames or is damaging to you or your business, you may be entitled to legal assistance. You have the right to file a lawsuit and even potentially get a court order to get the content removed.
If you go this route, make sure you choose a lawyer who is experienced in content removal so you can get the best possible outcome.
The methods used to remove content will depend on the type of content. The lawyer will know just what steps to take next, depending on your unwanted content.
If you don’t have the time to do all of this, that’s okay, but you should consider working with an online reputation management company to achieve the results.
What to Keep in Mind During this Removal Process
Give Google time to review your request. It can take up to a few weeks before you start experiencing results.
The process works best if you have more positive content about yourself or your business across the web. You should focus on having this type of content naturally created rather than trying to bury the negative information by spamming Google with links only to your website or social media profiles.
Keep in mind that if you have done one of the following things, it will be harder for your request to be processed:
- Made a mistake and published information about yourself without meaning to
- Tried to bury positive information by spamming Google with links only to your website
- Published defamatory content about someone else
Once you have successfully removed the negative information from the search engine, remember that this process isn’t permanent. You need to keep engaging in positive actions to maintain your company’s online presence and keep the negative search results to a minimum.
Google Search Console is another place where you can submit a request for Google to remove content for you. It will only affect the specific page or post you see in the search results. If Google has indexed a page with negative information about you, but it’s not showing up when someone searches for your name, that is because it doesn’t show up on any of your Google properties. However, if the content shows up on other third-party websites and Google indexes those pages as well, it means you have to remove the content manually.
Wrapping It Up
Google search results can be a powerful tool to help your business flourish, but they can also hurt you if the proper steps aren’t taken. What matters most is how you take control of your online reputation on both Google and other search engines and make sure that negative content about your company disappears for good.
If you need help taking the proper steps, contact a company that specializes in online reputation management. You can also go through the process outlined above and remove any negative content yourself on Google searches by following the above practical tips to take back your reputation so your business life can be as successful as possible.
Contact NetReputation for Negative Information Removal Services
At NetReputation, our team of reputation management experts knows that negative search results can stand in the way of achieving your personal and professional goals. Ready to improve your online reputation or restore one damaged by negative information appearing on Google or other popular search engines? Give our team a call at (844) 461-3632 or complete the form below for a free consultation.