What Are the Ways To Remove Personal Information From Google?
Knowing the ways to remove personal information from Google has never been more important than it is in today's modern age.
With the popularity of search engines, you can find out relatively anything about anyone if you know what to look for. The options are endless, from finding information about real people to accessing fake or positive reviews of businesses.
With an idea of how you can get your personal information off Google Search, you can maintain more privacy than ever before. In this guide, we'll discuss the steps to take to remove personal information to keep your online presence discreet.
How Does Google Search Work?
Before we get into the steps to take to remove information from Google, it's essential to understand how the platform works.
For legal reasons, Google is often seen as a conglomerate that takes different information from millions of sites online. This information is then compiled in the search engine, meaning Google is not directly responsible for the content that appears in its search results.
Unfortunately, this can mean a massive headache for someone looking for a professional service to remove their information from Google. Instead of talking to the search engine, you need to go directly to the source containing your personal information.
In these instances, you'll need to reach out to their webmaster and request they remove your information from their site.
Once the webmaster has deleted the content and followed their removal policies, Google will be able to get rid of the information from their search ranking. That is because your personal information will no longer be available from the starting source.
The downside is that there's no guarantee when the content will be removed.
You will need to wait for Google Search to perform its regular updating process, which could take weeks or months. Alternatively, there's the option to use the "Outdated Content Removal" tool, which notifies the company of old content that needs to be removed.
Can Google Remove Any Personal Information?
With an understanding of how webmasters control the content on their sites, you might be wondering whether Google controls any personal information.
Fortunately, there are instances where Google can step in and remove content themselves, although it must fit within specific criteria. For example, Google has been known to remove content that includes:
- Data that puts you at risk for financial fraud like credit card numbers or bank account details
- Irrelevant pornography that pops up from a name search
- Images of minors
- Select identifiable information, such as medical records
- Government-issued ID numbers (Social Security Number)
- Non-consensual intimate, explicit, or personal images
If you want to learn more about how Google can help remove specific types of information from a search engine, there are plenty of articles to review. It's best to look at the specific article for your problem via this link to know what steps you must take next.
Other Instances When Google Removes Content
There are two other significant instances where Google can consider removing content, regardless of whether the webmaster agrees or not. If the platform notices images of child sexual abuse, said content will be removed immediately from the search engine results.
Additionally, the platform is committed to following legal guidelines for copyright violations. If a specific link to a site leads to copyrighted content that's being distributed illegally, it will be removed from Google's search engine results.
This will most often appear with a brief explanation describing the site in DMCA violation. If you notice copyrighted content illegally distributed on Google, you can report the sites to be taken down as needed.
How Can I Get My Content Removed From Google?
If you're ready to have personal information removed from Google's relevant search, the steps are simple to follow. If you're a victim of exploitative removal practices, Google is more likely to protect your personal information than any other site online.
Let's get into the steps to follow so you can begin personal information removal.
Step 1: Find the Removal Form
The first thing you'll need to do when submitting a removal article is to find the form.
On the form, you'll then need to select "Remove information you see from Google search." Next, select where the information you want to be removed is located.
For example, you can choose from "In Google's search results and on a website," or "Only in Google's search results."
You would need to answer additional questions depending on which prompt you choose. As mentioned earlier, if you want content removed from a specific site, Google recommends contacting the website owner before going through Google.
However, the process is slightly different if you want your information removed only from Google's search engine results.
Step 2: Fill Out the Request Removal
The next step to removing personal information to maintain your online brand reputation is to submit a removal request. You'll need to enter your personal details and provide information about the page that has the content you want to be removed.
This process is typically only recommended for outdated web pages and helps to ensure deleted content is removed from Google in its entirety.
Step 3: Prevention Is Key
Once you have submitted your removal requests and/or talked to a webpage administrator to remove your content, the next step is to focus on prevention.
With Google's help, you can find some surefire tips to keep your digital presence under wraps, offering a more positive, longstanding reputation online. You'll find tips such as reducing your sharing settings, sharing content privately with friends, and making sure you use sites where you have full control over your privacy settings.
What if I Can't Remove My Content?
Considering Google cannot force site owners to remove content without a legal foundation, getting your personal information removed could be challenging.
One alternative is to threaten legal action against the webmaster yourself, depending on the type of content being hosted through their platform. The other option is to flood Google's search engine results with other content about you.
This is particularly helpful for businesses dealing with negative feedback. You can easily offset the negative feedback by choosing to buy Google reviews, offering genuine customer feedback as a positive embellishment.
This will wind up pushing the harmful content to the bottom of the list, showing only the information you want to be shown.
Take the Steps to Protect Your Online Reputation Today
In today's day and age, there's no longer a difference between the real and digital world, as your impression in both spaces affects one another.
If you need reliable ways to remove personal information from Google, your best bet is to contact the webmaster in hopes they remove the content. Otherwise, your online reputation could affect your real-world reputation, causing irreparable damage to you and your business.
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