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How To Remove Negative or Defamatory Content from Google?

by | Feb 29, 2024 | 0 comments

Your online presence plays an important role in shaping your online reputation, but what do you do when unflattering, inaccurate, sensitive personal, outdated, or defamatory information appears in Google search results?

I am assuming you would want to remove it!

Before we let you know how; we will understand why would someone get negative results removed and what type of content can be removed.

Why Would Someone Want to Remove Results from Google Search?

Individuals or businesses might want to remove results from Google Search because inaccurate, negative, or defamatory content could harm their online reputation.  It could also mean lost opportunities, broken relationships, and erosion of trust from customers, employees, employers, or stakeholders. It also directly impacts how one is perceived online.

What Types of Content Can Be Removed from Google Search?

Personal information, instances of copyright infringement, and materials containing defamatory or inaccurate content.

Google typically considers requests for removal of content that includes:

  • Personal details like ID numbers, financial information, phone numbers, addresses, or any information that could pose a risk or harm the reputation.
  • Any content that violates intellectual property rights including unauthorized use of text, images, videos, or other creative works.
  • Content that disseminates false information, false allegations, character assassination, sharing of private images; or anything that has a malicious intent.

How to Remove Different Types of Content?

Removing Personal Information

Here is how:

  • Identify the website where your unauthorised personal information is hosted.
  • Find out the contact information of the site owner or administrator.
  • Draft a brief but clear request espousing the reason why the information must be removed and provide any necessary supporting documents or evidence including Govt-Issued ID.

Removing Outdated or Irrelevant Information

Use Google’s outdated content tool to locate and eliminate obsolete pages and ensure that only relevant and accurate information is displayed to users searching for your brand or business.

Removing Inaccurate or Defamatory Content

You could take legal recourse in such cases. By initiating legal proceedings against those responsible for spreading defamatory material, you can seek remedies, including removal of the offending content and possible compensation for damages caused.  In the Indian context, you will have to get a court order instructing the platform in question to remove the specific URL.

How to Remove Results from Google Search?

How to Remove Results from Google Search?

  • By contacting the website owner and requesting.
  • Enforcing Individual or brand rights
  • Legally pursuing removals
  • Leveraging Google’s Removal Tool for removal of outdated content.

Contacting the Website Owner

  • Be clear and concise in your communication. Maintain a professional tone and highlight the legal or ethical reasons behind your request.
  • Identify yourself and clearly explain the specific content that needs to be taken down. Share URLs.
  • Clearly outline the potential consequences of non-compliance and offer all help in resolving the issue swiftly.

Enforcing Brand and Individual Rights

  • Reaching out to the website owner, platform, hosting service provider, ISP and requesting them to comply with your brand rights or individual rights to privacy.
  • Clearly communicating the consequences of non-compliance.

Legally Pursuing Removals

  • Requesting compliance with court orders for removal of defamatory or legally infringing content.
  • Following clearly outlined procedures by platforms like Google, YouTube, or other Social Media Platforms and Digital Entities for submission of such requests.
  • Seeking compliance under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to protect your intellectual property against infringement.
  • Consultation with legal experts.

Leveraging Google’s Removal Tool

  • Requesting Google to remove specific URLs or images that are harming your reputation or violate your privacy.
  • Addressing the removal of outdated or sensitive information that may no longer be relevant.

How Long Does It Take for Results to Be Removed from Google Search?

The timeline for results to be removed from Google Search varies depending on factors such as:

  • Nature of the content: Sensitive or personal information that poses a risk to individuals is removed on priority.
  • Validity of the removal request: Requests that comply with Google’s policies and legal requirements are processed expeditiously.
  • Google’s processing timeline: Some removal requests get processed within a few days, and some take a week or so.  In cases where the removal requests are complicated, the timeline for removal gets extended.

What Happens If Your Request Is Denied?

If a removal request is denied by Google, you can appeal the decision and/or explore legal options including pursuing litigation against the source of the content, filing defamation lawsuits, or availing the expertise of legal professionals specializing in internet law and privacy issues.

Why This Might be Best Left in the Hands of an Expert ORM Agency

All the above is easier said than done and can be overwhelming and time and resource-intensive for a business or celebrity like you. An ORM Agency that routinely does this and has built the necessary capability over the years might be your best bet.

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AiPlex was established in the year 2003 and is currently one of the most respected Online Reputation Management, Content Protection, and Digital Marketing Solution companies.

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