Beginners Guide to Removing Search Results From Google

If you are looking to remove a photo, snippet of text or an entire search result from Google then please read everything on this page.

The general rule is this:

If you want to remove something from Google, you first need to get it removed from the original website. Google will update their search results after the original web site has removed the content (or blocked access to it).

There are a few exceptions to this rule. Before you read any further please explore the links on this page, they contain forms so you can contact Google directly for specific issues, some of which they are obliged to assist you with.

So None of Those Exceptions Applied to You – Right?

If you read my page of exceptions and couldn’t find a way of contacting Google directly, you will first need to contact the website owner and get the content removed or blocked.

You then have a few options:

  1. The webmaster has taken down the page and I now see a 404 error (page not found).
  2. The webmaster has instructed Google not to index the page by inserting a “noindex” tag or a robots.txt directive.
  3. The page still exists but the offending information has been removed (i.e your name, defamation or photo etc has now been removed but *the page still exists*)
  4. I want to remove an adult image from Google’s Safesearch filtered results

Choose ONE of the Four Options Above and Then Please Read on:

1) The webmaster has taken down the page and I now see a 404 error (page not found)

This is easy, go to the Google removal tool and follow these instructions:

  1. Select “new removal request” and input the url of the offending web page
  2. Select “page has been removed or blocked from search engines”
  3. Tick the box
  4. Hit submit

Not sure if the page is responding with a REAL 404? Try this tool, its takes only a few seconds and will tell you the real response code.

Expected Result: Google should remove the entire result (or image) normally after 24 hours. Sometimes a bit longer. Did Google deny your removal request? See common reasons for denial here.

2) The webmaster has inserted a piece of code to the web page instructing Google not to index the website.

Sometimes a webmaster may not want to remove an entire page from the website. He/she can keep the page but insert a “noindex” meta tag or a robots.txt directive telling search engines not to index the page.

If you have contacted the webmaster and they have done that then please go the Google removal tool and:

  1. Select “new removal request” and input the url of the offending web page
  2. Select “page has been removed or blocked from search engines”
  3. Tick the box
  4. Hit submit

Expected Result: Google should remove the entire result (or image) normally after 24 hours. Sometimes a bit longer. See common reasons why Google would deny a request like this.

3) The page still exists but the offending information has been removed

You need this option if the webmaster has removed the offending information (your name, defamation etc) from his/her web page but the page itself still exists. You DO NOT see a 404 error and the webmaster HAS NOT inserted a piece of code telling search engines not to index the page.

Follow these instructions if this option applies to you:

  1. Go to the Google removal tool
  2. Input the url of the offending page
  3. Select “the page has changed and Google’s cache is out of date”
  4. Input the keyword that has been removed from the page (your name perhaps?) this word MUST NOT appear ANYWHERE on the page
  5. Hit submit

Expected Result: Google will NOT remove the search result, they will remove the snippet of text and the “cache” link they usually generate for each site. The result itself will normally disappear after they next crawl the page (can take weeks). To expedite the complete removal, see option 1 and 2 above. Did Google deny your removal request? See this help page.

4) Remove an adult image from Google’s image search engine

Google do not accept removal requests for adult images in the main search results (other than child abuse removal requests). You can request a removal from the Safesearch filtered results though:

  1. Go to the Google removal tool
  2. Input the url of the image (see this page for tips on finding the url)
  3. Select “inappropriate content appears in Safesearch filtered results”
  4. Hit enter

Expected Result: Google will manually review your request and consider removing the image from the Safesearch filtered results.


3 Responses to Beginners Guide to Removing Search Results From Google

  1. salvatore marsico February 23, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    i request that all my personal information be removed from any and all web sites

  2. sherry nottingham July 14, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    Dear Sir/Madam

    My name is Sherry and I work for Renn Woods. She’s been very kind to me and is helping thru school. I am responsible for her web page and internet presence.
    PLEASE. please remove the Incorrect date of birth.on Bing and MSN.
    I input Renn Woods Car Wash, and I get born 1949! Wrong! If this isn’t fixed. I am forced to send to her lawyer. Please remove it. Correct DOB 1958.

    Incorrect DOB for artist Renn Woods. PLEASE remove asap