Removing a search result from Google can be a daunting task. But with our six-step guide, you can do it yourself and get back some control over what others can find about you online.
Follow our guide to learn how to remove online search results from Google safely and effectively.
Ask the Website Owner to Remove the Content
Asking the website owner to remove the problematic search results should be your first step.
This is the most direct way to remove a search result from Google.
The website owner can either remove the content, deny your request, or completely ignore you. Once you have the answer, you can respond accordingly.
Add a Meta Tag or Page Blocker to the Webpage.
An effective way to remove a search result from Google is to add a “noindex” meta tag or page blocker to the webpage you’d like removed. This will block Google bots from indexing the page, meaning that anyone searching for the page won’t find it in the search results listing.
This method requires some technical knowledge and is best used when you have access to edit HTML or coding on your website.
Timely Removal Request from Google.
If your webpage isn’t eligible to be removed from Google search results with a “noindex”, you can make a timely removal request directly from Google. You can file this type of request if the page in question violates their webmaster guidelines or contains private information such as a phone number, an address, or bank account details.
Personal information that Google will remove
If you are unable to have a website owner remove the content from the site, Google may remove personal information that creates significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, or other specific harms. The following articles provide details on the types of removals that are available:
- Remove non-consensual explicit or intimate personal images from Google
- Remove involuntary fake pornography from Google
- Remove content about me on sites with exploitative removal practices from Google
- Remove select personally identifiable information (PII) or doxxing content from Google Search
- Remove images of minors from Google search results
- Remove irrelevant pornography from Google search results for my name
Make sure to provide detailed information on the content you want to be removed so that it is reviewed quickly and accurately.
Google shows information gathered from websites across the web. Even if they remove a result from Google Search, it may still exist on the web. This means someone might still find the content on the page that hosts it, through social media, on other search engines, or in other ways. This is why you may wish to contact the website owner and ask them to remove the content.
Use the URL Removal Tool.
If you own the website or have access to edit the website, you can submit the altered page to Google Outdated removal tool.
Google provides a URL removal tool that enables you to submit up to 500 URLs/per year. To use the URL removal tool, enter the entire web address (URL) of the page containing the information that you want to be removed and then click “Continue”.
After clicking continue, your request will be processed and reviewed by Google within 48 hours or less.
Submit a DMCA Notice and Takedown Request for Content Infringement.
Other contents that Google may remove include content for specific legal reasons, such as DMCA copyright violation reports and child sexual abuse imagery.
To remove a search result caused by content infringement, you can submit a DMCA notice and takedown request to the hosting site. Different web hosting sites might have different policies for submitting take-down requests.
Once a valid take-down request is submitted, the web hosting site should remove the infringing content from their server.
A removal notice will be sent within 48 hours and information about the removal process or status can be found in your Google Search Console dashboard.
There are many reasons why you might want to remove a search result from Google. However, many find getting approval few and far between.
You might benefit from hiring a content removal service that specializes in removing search results. These companies usually have the knowledge and resources to effectively file take-down reports with search engines.
If your colleague, friend, or family member is making an impact in their career, industry, or community, we want to hear about it.