It can be very difficult discovering that your personal information is available via Google. If someone decides to put your information on their website, Google will probably index it and make it available to anyone who does a quick search.
So what should you do if your information has ended up in Google searches? Below are the steps you need to take to remove that information.
1. Contact the Website Owner
Your first step should be to contact the website owner. Many websites will feature an ‘about’ or ‘contact’ section that should provide you with contact details. If you can email or message the person who owns the site then you can ask them to take down the information yourself.
If the site itself doesn’t provide contact details then you can use a Whois search on whois.com. Simply enter the address of the site you’re looking for information on into the top search bar on the site and hit ‘WHOIS’. Then you can hopefully find an email address to use under either ‘Registrant Contact’ or ‘Administrative Contact’.
If you don’t get any point of contact from the whois lookup then you can usually find the domain registrar instead. Under ‘Registrar’ you should find the name or site of the company that hosts the domain for the owner. These professional companies have their contact information publicly available. Explaining your situation to the registrar is your best bet to make contact with an elusive site owner.
2. Outdated Content Removal
If the content you’re trying to remove from Google has already been removed from the site where it was hosted, then you need to use the Outdated Content Removal tool. This tool allows you to remove the old search results from Google. Eventually, they would do this while updating the search engine, but if you can’t wait to get rid of it, this is the tool for you.
3. Google Removal Request
In case the initial approach doesn’t work out, you can consider submitting a Google removal request as an alternative. If your information matches the criteria set by Google, you can complete this specific form. If your personal data, such as private photos, financial records or medical information, has been leaked or revealed, Google is likely to take action and remove it from their search results.
Follow the link to the form and answer the questions about the content that you want to be removed. If you fit all the criteria, then Google will take a look into your request, and hopefully delete it for you.
Also read: How to Remove Images from Google
If all else fails you, contact us and we can fight your corner.
Featured image by Tero Vesalainen from Shutterstock.com