How to Remove Unwanted Search Results From Google

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Asking Google to remove unwanted search results is fast and easy if the content in question violates Google’s terms of service. You can also clean up content you own in a few hours.

Beyond that is where things get tricky. The fastest way to see results is hiring a reputation management expert–Reputation Defense Network guarantees their work, charges nothing up front, and gets most jobs done in as little as 2-14 days. They’ll take care of everything we’re about to go over on your behalf so you don’t waste time or money.

Rhino Reviews, is another great way to go. They’ll put together strategic campaigns that encompass all the methods we cover here.

Prefer to DIY? We’ve got you covered, too.

5 Ways to Remove Unwanted Search Results from Google

There are multiple ways to get rid of undesirable content in search results. We recommend starting at the top and working your way down.

1. Use One of Google’s Online Forms

Google usually has no problem removing content that violates one of its personal content policies, including:

Clicking on the links above will take you to additional details about removal requirements for each type of violation. If your result meets one of Google’s removal requirements, you can move forward with a removal request using their online form.

Screenshot of Google's webpage to request personal content removal from Google Search

If your request to remove content is based on a specific legal reason, like a court order, copyright or trademark infringement, or a law violation, you should use this form instead. 

Screenshot of Google's webpage to report content on Google

Once you submit your request, you’ll get an automated email confirmation. Google will then review your request based on the appropriate criteria, public interest, and other critical case factors. They may also ask for more information if they need it. 

When they’re done, they’ll let you know one of the following:

  • Content meets their removal policies and they’re removing the URLs that contain it 
  • It doesn’t meet their removal requirements with a brief explanation of why

If your request is denied, you can resubmit it when you have more materials to support your case.

2. Submit a Removal Request for Individual Search Results

You can submit a removal request for individual results directly from your search.

Start with a search of your name. When you see a result you want to remove, click on the three dots above and to the right of the title. 

Screenshot of Google result for Jane Doe with red box around three dots

Next, click on “Remove Result.”

Screenshot of Jane Doe result with red box around remove result link

Then, choose why you want to remove it. After that, follow the prompts to submit your removal request. 

Google form that asks why you would like to remove this result

If you want to remove an image, click on the Images tab. 

Screenshot of Google menu with red box around Images link

When you find the image you want removed, click on it to preview it. When the preview populates, click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner. 

Screenshot of result for Jersey City Upfront with red box around three dots

Next, select “Report this result.” 

Screenshot of Google result for Jersey City Upfront with red box around Report this result

Then, choose why you’re reporting the image and follow the prompts to complete the removal request. 

Google form asking why are you reporting this result

Like the first process, you’ll receive an email confirmation once you submit your removal request. Google will review your case and ask for more information if needed. At the end, they’ll notify you of their decision. 

If your request is denied, you can resubmit it when you have more materials.

You can also monitor the status of your request on your Results About You Page. Scroll down to “Removal Requests” and you’ll see everything you’ve submitted. You can filter them by in progress, approved, denied, or undone. 

Google results about you page

It can take as little as 24 hours to get a decision from Google or as long as a few weeks. 

Note that there may be a slight delay in when the result is removed from Google if your request is approved. However, it should be removed within a few hours of the approval. 

3. Get Rid of Unwanted Content You Control

You have a bit more control over what pops up in Google search results than you may realize.

Deleting old posts on social media, your own blog posts, unnecessary web pages, and any other accounts you don’t want showing up is a great way to maintain control of the narrative. Depending on what platform you’re using, there are different ways to do it.

But it’s usually as easy as selecting the post or account and deleting it. 

This won’t remove search results immediately. However, they will eventually stop showing up in search results when Google realizes they no longer exist.

You can also check the privacy settings on all of your accounts to limit the personal information shared with search engines.

To do so, go to the privacy settings on every online account you can think of, including your Google account, social media profiles, the sites you shop with, and any subscriptions you have. From there, you’ll be able to see (and disable) all the sites sharing unwanted information with Google. 

4. Contact the Site Owner Directly 

When you reach out to a website owner, the most common outcome is them ignoring you. However, it’s still worth a shot. 

You can do so by filling out their contact form or reaching out to them via the email address or phone number listed. If you can’t find contact information, or a premium LinkedIn subscription may help you get in touch with the right person.

If the site owner ignores you, you could work with a content removal lawyer (or reputation management company).

5. Create a Positive Content Campaign to Bury Negative Search Results

If you’ve tried all the above and haven’t had any luck, there’s still hope.

According to a Backlinko study, only .63% of people go to page two of Google’s search results and click a link. So, the next best thing is burying unwanted search results on page two or beyond.

Although this won’t permanently remove anything, most people will never see it.

If you run you’re own website, you can use it (or other sites you own) to rank for the same keywords or phrases. The more pages that rank, the further down the unwanted results will go. 

You will need to know how to create content that ranks and understand search engine optimization (SEO) for this work.

You’ll also need to be patient. It takes a lot of strategy, effort, and consistency to see results.

If you don’t have time to do it yourself or are on a tight time crunch, partnering with an online reputation management service, like Reputation Defense Network or Rhino Reviews, is the way to go. They’ll put together strategic campaigns that encompass all the methods we covered here (and then some).

Mikki Akins is a writer and content creator for B2B and B2C audiences. She writes on various subjects, including business communications, marketing, and technology. She also enjoys writing poetry, short stories, and personal narratives. Aside from writing and content creation, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, immersing herself in nature, and exploring all the wonders of the world.

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