a close up of a computer keyboard with the word delete on it.

How Do I Delete My Personal Information From Google?

Unscrupulous individuals buy, sell, and share random personal information across the internet every day. This practice contributes to the proliferation of confidential information on various web platforms, including social media and search engines. Hence, many people are keen to understand how do I delete my personal information from Google.


However, not all personal information appears online via black hat channels. Government websites and information posted online by the owners also exposes personal details.


It comes as no surprise that a survey conducted by GetApp revealed that up to 91 percent of consumers in the United States feel that online advertisers know too much about them.


Although it is challenging to wipe all personal information from the web, you can count on online reputation management (ORM) agencies to provide viable solutions. On the other hand, you can also take a myriad of steps to mitigate the exposure. By minimizing and controlling your digital footprint, you enhance your online image and reputation.


In today’s connected world, potential business partners, employers, and even potential dates use the internet to gauge suitability. Any negative content or personal details that show undesirable characteristics may undermine your chances of securing a job or business contract.


How do I leverage my right to get forgotten?

In jurisdictions such as the European Union, you can take advantage of laws compelling online platforms to approve requests to remove personal information. In turn, platforms like Google manually review the requests. The tech giant receives thousands of removal requests annually from concerned internet users.


However, Google may decline your request based on its policies. Some of the common reasons to refuse removal given by the search engine platform include technical considerations and that it deems the information as being firmly in the public interest. Hence, your right to get forgotten hinges on these factors.


Since Google is the most prominent search engine, many people can ill-afford to let personal information attract unwanted attention via search engines. For this reason, it is essential to seek advice from a reputation management agency.


ORM experts employ wide-ranging methods to delete information from search engines and other platforms. By working closely with an experienced specialist, you increase the chances of a successful outcome.


How does deletion of information from Google work?

A successful deletion request means that Google de-indexes the web pages containing your personal information. As a result, links to the pages will no longer appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs).


In turn, internet users who search your name via Google will no longer access sensitive information. Although this is a significant step in preventing visibility, it does not entirely remove the content from the web. Your information still appears on the websites that published it.


To make the information completely unavailable online, you can work with an ORM expert to convince the webmaster to delete the data. If successful, you can feel confident that your details are no longer visible even to people with links to concerned pages.


This measure is critical when it comes to how do I delete my personal information from Google.


What happens next?

Once the webmaster deletes the personal information, Google and other search engines will eventually follow suit after detecting that the listed URLs no longer exist.


However, it is possible that the offending pages no longer exist, but the search engine still exposes your personal information via the autocomplete feature. Thus, ask the reputation management expert to help delete the information from the list of autocomplete suggestions.


Online reputation management companies can help you reach out to website owners or webmasters in various ways. In some cases, a webmaster is reachable via an email posted on the site or a contact form. However, the task may prove daunting if the website does not provide an email address, phone number, or a contact form. In this case, an ORM consultant conducts extensive research to identify the owner or webmaster.


If you are lucky, the ORM agent will find a Whois record (if available) or reach out to the firm hosting the website. In the event that these measures yield no positive results, and Google declines the removal requests, suppression becomes the only viable option to prevent the visibility of the information.


Understanding Google’s removal policies

Google often finds itself in a complicated situation when dealing with personal information removal requests. Its primary mission is to ensure neutrality by providing access to unbiased search results driven by complex algorithms. Yet, the platform faces relentless pressure to omit some results based on the affected persons or organizations’ protestations.


The tech giant may agree to delete sensitive personal information and results that trigger legal issues. According to its policies, the platform removes web pages featuring the following types of personal details and content:


  • Photos or screenshots of hand-written signatures
  • Government-issued identity numbers
  • Fake nude images
  • Child abuse content
  • Confidential medical records
  • Bank account numbers
  • Contact information published with malicious intent (doxing)
  • Nude or explicit videos or images


Google deletes links to pages that pose risks, such as financial fraud, child abuse, identity theft, and other undesirable actions. Meanwhile, the platform does not entertain requests for removing dates of birth, unflattering photos (not sexually explicit), addresses, criminal records, social posts about recent injuries, or phone numbers.


If your personal information qualifies for removal, you can report the matter by submitting the URL of the offending page.


Remove the information from Google

Once you become familiar with how do I delete my personal information from Google, you are ready to take the next steps. ORM agencies make it easier to approach website owners or Google, depending on the type of personal information you want to be deleted. Google provides access to a remove URLs tool if the information appears on a web page you control.


What you should know about legal removal requests

ORM companies may partner with attorneys to help you remove personal information from search engines and other online platforms. For its part, Google removes material that contravene various laws, including privacy laws, DMCA copyright laws, and child abuse matters.


Legal removal requests are an essential issue when dealing with how do I delete my personal information from Google. If the presence of your personal information on the search results and the autocomplete feature infringes any laws or rights.


Google delists many web pages for violating DMCA copyright laws. The company responds to reports and removal requests that provide sufficient details about the infringement.


Other search engines like Bing and Yahoo also handle legal removal requests to ensure that no web pages contain content that infringes laws or third parties’ rights. You can opt for a legal request if your case involves defamation, privacy issues, and other matters.


How long does it take for Google to process legal removal requests?

The timeframe varies, depending on various factors like volume of requests at any given time and the infringement. In such cases, Google may ask you to confirm your identity before proceeding with the case. On average, it may take from a week to a month or more. You can expect the tech giant to require more time if the matter is complex.


When submitting a legal removal request to Google, you may have to provide proof of identity, the URL of the offending page, keywords that return the search results, and reasons for lodging a removal request. Also, add your signature to the submission.


How de-indexing works?

When Google agrees to delete a link from the search results, it achieves the objective by de-indexing the concerned site. In doing so, the tech giant ensures that its web crawlers that collect information from websites and other platforms exclude the removed web page. In some cases, Google deletes the entire website from the results page.


De-indexing is a positive step towards ensuring that internet users have no access to your personal information. Online reputation management specialists recommend seeking expert advice before approaching webmasters or search engines. In doing so, you make an informed choice about submitting deletion requests to the relevant parties.


ORM companies partner with various service providers to ensure a comprehensive approach to removing personal information and objectionable content from search engines or the internet. When done correctly, the removal helps protect you from criminal acts involving identity theft or financial fraud.


At the same time, you benefit from the removal of personal information by improving your online reputation. It is vital to adopt a proactive role to prevent reputational damage caused by negative information published online. The best part about hiring an online reputation management expert is that you can still employ alternative methods to manage your online image if Google removal request does not yield results.


Many prominent individuals, including politicians, sports stars, and Hollywood celebrities often turn to ORM agencies to maintain a favorable image across the internet. Furthermore, ORM firms can help you monitor name mentions to avoid the re-appearance of your sensitive personal information or negative content that tarnishes your image.


Protecting your online image comes with a wide selection of professional and personal benefits. If you want to discover how an online reputation management company can help you achieve your objectives, contact us today.


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