How do you get something removed from Google search? Negative Google search results can sometimes be removed from the search engine or at the source. Pages that cannot be removed can often be pushed down, reducing visibility.
Here are the top things that can be deleted from Google search results:
- Google policy violations like child sexual abuse images
- Certain financial information
- Images of signatures
- Confidential personal medical records
- Content that violates the law
- Copyright violations using a DMCA notice
Why delete online content
Nearly 90% of all online experiences start from a search engine query. Negative and defamatory content in Google, Bing, and other search results can have a huge impact on how consumers perceive a brand or an individual.
In fact, 45% of customers in the U.S have changed their mind about doing business with a company because of negative search results.
Source: Search Engine Journal
It is possible to remove search results from Google. Removing something from search results greatly reduces the chance that someone will see it; however, it doesn't erase the content from the site it was published on. This is because of the policies of the companies that publish content. It is difficult to remove content unless the original publisher cooperates. But a solid copyright infringement case is often effective at getting Google to remove something from search results.
What if Google will not remove content?
Google will not remove most content (other peoples content is after all the life blood of Googles business), but if they won't there are other options to remove Google search results.
- Content removal by the publisher
The most effective way to remove negative search results is for the original publisher to remove it. If this isn't possible, there may be other options.
- Applying a No-Index tag
If the publisher refuses to remove the content, you can request the publisher to add the no-index tag to the HTML header of the web page so that search engines do not index it.
- Keyword removal
Another approach is to request the publisher remove certain keywords from the content that are causing direct damage to the brand’s reputation. This causes the page to show up less in search results, or disappear completely.
What if the publisher doesn't want to remove it?
Just asking nicely doesn't always work. In that case, direct negotiation with the publisher/website owner, sometimes for pay or other consideration does.
Answers to often asked questions
- How do I get something removed from Google search?
- How to bury search results?
- What are online reputation management costs?
Other ways to delete online content
All websites are hosted on a server somewhere. Sometimes the content violates the policies of the hosting company. It is sometimes possible to work with the hosting company to have them remove content that violates their policies. But this is usually the whole websites, and it could just startup again at another host.
EU OnlyThe Right to be Forgotten
Individuals in any of the EU countries can request Google to remove private information under this law. However, the results would only be removed from Google’s search results in EU countries. Worldwide search users would still be able to see the results.
Remove YouTube videos
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine behind Google. With more than 1 billion unique monthly visitors, YouTube can be a marketer’s dream platform. But if a negative video shows up on YouTube, it can turn into a reputation nightmare. So, how to remove a YouTube video? Like Google, YouTube videos can also be removed under certain conditions.
- Removal at source
The most straightforward way is to directly contact the poster with a removal request.
- Video flagging
If the poster refuses to remove the video, it can be flagged as inappropriate. This often works when the video contains nudity or sensitive private information. At this stage, YouTube requires more information as to why the video should be removed.
- Official complaint
YouTube has a complaint form that can be used to report a video in detail. A copy of the complaint is shared with the poster, who is required to answer within a set period of time.
How to remove Yelp and other reviews
There are several leading review sites where dissatisfied customers post reviews that can be damaging for a brand. If you're reading this you probably know that. Yelp reviews are the most common that business owners want to remove. They can be removed for Terms of Service violations, or by the person who originally posted the review.
Yelp reviews can be reported to their moderators. But Yelp won't usually get involved in a factual dispute. We have gotten Yelp reviews removed by citing issues such as the fact that the poster was not the person who actually did business with our client. Because they were not original experiences, Yelp moderators removed the reviews.
Reviews on Yelp can be changed by the person who posted them. But that's not the case for other review sites. Each one has different policies for removal and needs to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Delete Google search results FAQs
What types of things can be deleted from Google search results?
Google policy violations like child sexual abuse images. Certain financial information. Images of signatures. Confidential personal medical records. Content that violates the law. Copyright violations using a DMCA notice.
Why should I be concerned about negative online content?
Nearly 90% of all online experiences start from a search engine query. Negative and defamatory content in Google, Bing, and other search results can have a huge impact on how consumers perceive a brand or an individual. In fact, 45% of customers in the U.S have changed their mind about doing business with a company because of negative search results.
What do I do if Google will not remove content?
Google will not remove most content, but if they won't there are other options to remove Google search results. Content removal by the publisher is the most effective way to remove negative search results is for the original publisher to remove it.
How do I remove Yelp and other reviews?
Yelp reviews can be removed for Terms of Service violations, or by the person who originally posted the review. Yelp reviews can be reported to their moderators, but Yelp won't usually get involved in a factual dispute.