How to Get Negative Content Removed from Search Engine Results
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Remove Negative Information from Google, Bing, Yahoo and the Internet
When harmful content is published about you online it will likely surface on search engine results for your name. In turn, negative content populating the first Search Engine Results Page (SERP) of an individual's name has been shown to steer away from potential employers, put strains on personal relationships, and make dating feel like a lost cause. Likewise, negative items showing up on search engine results when a brand or business is searched online have been shown to steer away from potential customers and adversely impact the bottom line.
Fortunately for those businesses and individuals that have had the unfortunate experience of finding their online reputation ruined by negative articles, reputation-damaging internet posts, bad reviews, or defamatory comments appearing on the first page of search results, there are a number of strategies that can be executed even by those with a very limited, beginners knowledge of online content removal, reputation management, SEO and/or digital branding.
Below you'll find the top strategies used by professional online reputation management companies to erase unwanted search results from Google, Bing and other web search engines, and remove negative internet posts from Google Search, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and other conventional internet search engines.
How to Remove Negative Results and Unwanted Content from Search Engines
Below you'll find a beginner's guide to getting stuff removed from search engine results. If you have questions or need assistance using the form above to get in touch with a company that specializes in removing harmful information from the internet.
Strategies For Eliminating Negative Items from Google Search Results for your name
Remove the Content Yourself, then De-Index the URL to get the negative link off of Google Search Results
If you own the website on which the private information or negative content you want to be removed is published, then removing it from Google Search is quite easy. All you need to do is delete the content or webpage from your site. Once you've done this you can use Google's Outdated Content Removal tool to notify Google that the content is no longer present and the link is dead.
Once Google has confirmed that the content in question is indeed gone, the link will typically disappear from search results within 72 hours but could take as long as one month.
Note: This solution will only work to remove content from a website that you own.
If you are not the owner of the website from which you're hoping to remove negative content or private information, the website removal process may be a bit more tricky and time-consuming.
Nonetheless, there is still hope for those who've been negatively posted about, slandered, or had private information exposed by another person and on a website that they do not own or control. If this applies to you, keep reading for alternative solutions to remove negative internet posts and private information showing up on search engine results from a website that you don't own and cannot edit.
Contact a Website to Get Posts Removed and Information Off Search Results
Having content removed from a website you do not own, typically requires that you reach out to the webmaster of the site, i.e. the person who owns the website or is responsible for managing it. Even if you found the content using Google Search, Google has no control over the web page's content.
Why Contacting the Website is the Best Way to Remove Information from Search Results
Even if the content is deleted from Google search results, the page will still be present on the site. This means it can be found through the URL to the site, social media sharing, or other search engines.
Reaching out to the website's webmaster is the best way to remove information because the webmaster can remove the page and its content entirely by deleting it from the server where he or she is hosting the site. This will remove the unwanted content from the results of all search engines, social media sites, and other places it might appear online.
How to ask a webmaster to remove unfavorable content from a site
There are several ways to contact the owner of a site:
Contact us page: Find a “Contact us” link or an email address for the webmaster. This information is often on the site's homepage.
Use Whois to find contact information: You can perform a Whois ("who is?") search for the site owner using Google. Go to google.com and search for whois www.example.com. The email address to contact the webmaster can often be found under "Registrant Email" or "Administrative Contact."
Contact the site's hosting company: The Whois search result usually includes information about who hosts the website. If you're unable to reach the webmaster, try contacting the site's hosting company.
After the webmaster has removed or changed the content in question, you can get Google to remove the outdated information by sending a removal request here.
Use Copyright Law to Remove Negative Content from Google Search
The first website removal strategy used to delete content on a web page you do not own or control involves invoking copyright laws to get the website to remove a webpage or article. If the website does not remove the web page after receiving a copyright infringement notice and cease and deisit letter, you may still be able to get the web page taken off major search engines like Google and Bing, by using the Copyright Reporing and Removal tools provided by Google, Bing and alike.
This means that the negative content may still appear on the website that published it, but it will not be included in search engine indexes, and therefore will not show up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) of the major web search engines.
How do you report copyright infringement to Google?
The requirements to have copyrighted content removed from Google Search Results is fairly straight forward. It starts with letting Google know about the copyright infringement using the these four simple steps:
Create a request here.
Select the Google product that you are requesting the content be removed from (in many cases this will be Google Search [for search results and image results] or YouTube [for videos])
On the next page, you may be asked to further specify the Google product that the infringing content appears on and is to be removed from - e.g. Google Web Search or Google Images. Select the option that best applies to your website removal situation.
Next, you will be asked why you are requesting that the content be removed from search results, and presented with 6 or so different options. Select the Intellectual property issue option to report copyright infringement, circumvention, trademark infringement, etc.
Use the EU Privacy Removal Form to Submit a Personal Information Removal Request
Another promising method to get unwanted information off web search results is to use the EU Privacy Removal request form, a tool that is only available to citizens and residents of the European Union.
If you are a citizen or resident of the European Union and your personal information is contained in a negative article, published on a data broker, showing up on a background check website, or appearing on some other web page that you don't want to be publicly shown on Google it's likely you can remove it for free using the EU privacy personal information removal form provided by Google here.
Report a Website for Unauthorized, Defamatory or Inapproapriate Content
Don't get discouraged if the above methods won't work to get your name removed from a negative article, or a negative article removed from a website and/or search engine results; there's still hope. Removing website content from search results can sometimes be accomplished by reporting the website to Google, and if possible and/or applicable, to Bing, and the other web search engines.
Report violations of official Google Policy at http://services.google.com/forms/policy_report.html
How to make legal requests to remove content from Google - Legal Removal Requests
Report Blogger policy violations to Google - https://www.blogger.com/report?hl=en&ref_topic=6321979
Get rid of offensive Autocomplete suggestions by reporting them to Google here
Free Tools and Resources to Remove Negative Search Results
Google Search Results Removal
Below you will find some useful web resources that will educate you on how to go about having negative content, personal information, and bad links removed from Google Search.
Learn how to manage your privacy and settings on Google Search here.
Want to secure your online identity and keep your personal information private on the internet? You can do so here.
How you can prevent online ID theft - http://www.google.com/goodtoknow/online-safety/identity-theft/
How to block URL’s by password protecting your server directory - https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/93708
Opt-Out of display on Google Local and other Google properties -https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/3035947?hl=en&ref_topic=4598466
Bing Search Results Removal
Google is the leading search engine, and Microsoft's Bing Search has received a good deal of negative attention related to the copying of search algorithms, and other copycat claims. It's not surprising then, that the methods and tools used to remove illegal and personal information from Bing, often mirror those we reviewed above when discussing Google Search Results Removal resources.
Below you will find some useful web resources that will educate you on how to go about having negative content and private information removed from Bing Search Results.
Bing Content Removal: Remove Broken Links and Outdated Cache from Bing Search - https://www.bing.com/webmasters/help/bing-content-removal-tool-cb6c294d
Bing Content Removal Tools for webmasters - https://www.bing.com/webmasters/tools/contentremoval
Bing Block URL Tool for webmasters - https://www.bing.com/webmasters/searchconfig/blockurl
Bing Content Removal Request Report - https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/corporate-responsibility/content-removal-requests-report