Can Google Remove All Search Results For My Name?

This is perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions:

Can Google remove all the search results for my name?

The answer to this question is no, unless you can first remove every page on the web that contains your name!

It doesn’t matter if your name is unique or not, Google is not legally obliged to remove all the search results for your name, so they won’t.

Google’s removal policy is well documented but is best summed up by the following statement:

The best actions for you from our perspective can be one of a couple options. Either contact whoever put up webpage B and convince them to modify or to take the page down. Or if the page is doing something against the law, get a court to agree with you and force webpage B to be removed or changed…  -Matt Cutts Senior Google Engineer

Looking to Remove Search Results?

Plenty of people see unpleasant or unwanted search results when they search for their name or business name.

You have a few options:

  1. Get the original web page taken down
  2. Get the site owner to instruct search engines not to index the page
  3. Send a legal request or court order to Google
  4. Google does remove *some* types of content, such as credit card details from search results

Google is a Reflection of the Internet

The search results you see in Google are a reflection of the web and Google will only remove links if you first contact the original website and get the page taken down or blocked from search engines.

Google can be expected to remove credit card details, government ID’s or child porn but the list of exceptions does not stretch to defamation.

Even if you see results that are blatant lies, they will not remove them unless you have a court order or can present a clear legal case for removal based on applicable laws.

So What Now?

First, have a good read of my guide to removing content from Google. It contains a link to a  list to all the Google contact forms I am aware of. You will also find tips on how to use the removal tool – Guide to removing content from Google.

This page explains why Google will not remove defamation, it also contains useful links.

Consider engaging in Reputation Management – The process of creating new friendly content that appears high up in the search results, effectively “nudging down” negative links.



5 Responses to Can Google Remove All Search Results For My Name?

  1. Tiara May 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    Deleted youtube from my cell phone please

  2. Anonymous June 27, 2012 at 1:27 am #

    What did we ever do before google? It must have been one chilly effect before 2009.

    Now millions of useless sites are gugle crawled & indexed, Gugle then re-barfs each in an indexed view, afterall everything and anything anyone anywhere ever states with your legal name has to be true, and if not, well that’s your problem now, as gugle doesn’t give a (pick-your-favorite-4-letter-word) about legality or privacy or even the tonnes of garbage it blindly processes.

    Now anyone can sift through 99% of useless personally-labelled trash, libel, in & amongst 1% of the valuable truths that you ever had any personal control over.

    It’s a shame gugle chooses to re-publish poison/pollution first and leave YOU to personally clean up a mess that know one would ever know of if it wasn’t for gugle’s mislead popularity and policies.

    Give me useful information from useful sources. I use yahoo to find what I need, this saves google from paying adsense to top-ranked garbage sources. I don’t need to see my name indexed on gugl’s first page for a 14-year-old SEO savvy malware ridden page, hosted on a fly-by-night free web-site from 1/2 way around the world. google’s privacy policy and ranking algorithms seriously suck. Please publish my view on chilling effects!

  3. henk bundel February 3, 2013 at 12:41 am #

    Help my aub om my naam weg te halen van Google web My naam is. Henk bundel

  4. henk bundel March 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    clear my name henk bundel

  5. Tyler Gray-Stoker December 2, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    Please remove my name!!! I am CONSTANTLY getting confused with dozens of other people and find it impossible to remove my legal name!! I have resorted to getting all private phones and tried several times to get many websites and search engines to remove me. I am linked to names that are both similar and not similar! My l last name me is sometimes posted wrong, leaving out the hyphen completely! Some even have named so-called relatives that I have NEVER been related to or even know! Take my name and any linked to me (?)! If anyone can help I would SO MUCH appreciate it!!!!