How to Clean Up Your Name on Google Search Results
Google and other search engines have more power than you think. Have you ever taken a few moments out of your day to "Google" yourself and see what appears on search results? You might be surprised at to what you find… or horrified.
If you've ever had a run in with the law, it could be the first thing that pops up in search results when your name is queried on Google and other major search engines. Your pictures could be posted on unflattering websites thanks to a jealous ex-lover. Your business could be listed on "don't work for" websites if you’ve ever had an altercation with an employee. If you've ever had an unhappy customer, you could be on "scam" sites. There are many ways that search results can negatively impact your reputation or that of your business.
Keep in mind that the use of Google as a free "background check" on companies and individuals is growing. If a potential employee, employer, landlord, or lover did a background check on you through Google, what would they see? Would it encourage them to continue a relationship with you, or would it fill their head with doubts?
If there is unflattering information about you on the internet, you're not powerless. It is entirely within your ability to change your internet search results for the better! Are you interested in removing harmful search results about you from Google, Bing and Yahoo and, in doing so, improve your overall presence online? Read on!
What Sites Can I Remove My Info from to Keep My Search Results Clean?
There are several website categories that you don't want your name, face, or business attached to. These include:
People search sites
People search sites allow strangers to look up personal information like your address, telephone number, email address, and more. This can be extremely irritating, and if your personal information is up on the internet, salespeople can access it and use it to contact you against your will. It also increases the chance of identity theft, depending on how much information is on the search site. Removing your information from people search sites will allow you to protect your privacy.
Public Record and Background Search sites
Particularly if you've had a run-in with the law or another uncomfortable encounter that's on public record, you want to remove yourself from these sites. These kinds of sites generate a great deal of traffic, so even if you're not being searched, information on these sites will get much attention from Google. If you don't want the entire world's first impression of you to be the MIP charge you received in high school, you don't want your information on these sites.
The reason why you wouldn't want your information on these sites is obvious. The only reason for these sites to exist is so that angry lovers can post demeaning or incriminating material on them and mar their ex's internet reputation. Such sites are also notorious for extortion, offering "removal" for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Fortunately, you can beat them at their own game and remove the information yourself!
These are very popular and gain high status on Google. Essentially, any mugshot that you've had can appear on these sites, as mugshots are a matter of public record. Due to the obscene amount of traffic on these sites, they rise very quickly in the Google rankings and it's likely a mugshot will be one of the first results for you if you've ever gotten one. This can be extremely damaging, and you'll want to remove it as soon as possible!
These are more common for businesses and business owners. Many people will run a Google check on a business before conducting deals with companies, and if the company shows up on a complaint site, this is bad news. Complaint sites don't have to tell true stories, either – it's possible that a competitor is trying to undermine your business on a complaint site! Take control by having these "complaints" removed.
How do you get your personal details Off of the above mentioned web sites?
Privacy Policies and Removal Requests
Google Removal Tool
In some rare cases, Google will actually step in and remove information about you from the internet. There are certain things that Google will remove, and things that they will not. Information that Google will remove from the internet includes the following:
- Social security or bank ID number
- Bank account or credit card number
- An image of your handwritten signature
- Your full name or the name of a business that appears on an adult content site that is spamming Google's search results
Obviously, this is very select information and the majority of people who are looking to rehabilitate their internet reputation have different issues to contend with.
Third Party Removal Services
There are many companies that specialize in removing harmful information from the internet, like InternetReputation.com. InternetReputation.com understands how to remove and monitor the internet for damaging information, and can do it with no effort on your part. This is the quick and easy way to ensure all negative information on the internet is removed, and it doesn't depend on Google's rules or the goodwill of a webmaster, either. It is comprehensive internet reputation rehabilitation!
Keep Your Social Media Profiles Clean
You can do several things to protect your own internet reputation as well, without involving a third party or getting in contact with Google. Social media has been a worldwide revolution, but many people are extremely careless with it. If you post incriminating pictures of yourself on the internet, it will likely come back to haunt you. If you want to keep your social media profiles clean, here's some advice:
Adjust privacy settings
Adjust the privacy settings on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. You may not want to have your profiles set to public, particularly if you engage in activities that could be seen as bad or unprofessional (drinking, smoking, etc) and share these pictures. Anything on the internet can carry a risk (after all, it's assumed that all of those pictures on the ex-revenge sites were originally intimate partners), but there's less risk if you privatize your information.
Be careful what you share
An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure for most things, your online reputation included. If you don't want pictures of compromising situations to be used against you, don't share them. You may want to stay away from social media if you've had a bit too much to drink, or are extremely emotional. When you're angry, stay away from the Facebook app. Properly optimized and maintained social media profiles can do wonders for an online reputation. On the flip side, sharing too much or the wrong type of information can ruin a good reputation in the blink of an eye.
If social networking sites have caused you problems in the past, consider taking a break from social media. You don't want to accidentally make things worse.
Clean Up Your Search Results on Bing and Other Search Engines?
While Google is the heavy-hitter in the world of search engines, Bing and other search engines have a significant amount of users as well. They have processes similar to that of Google when it comes to asking them to remove information outright. The steps are as follows:
- Go to Bing.com.
- Select "Help" located in the bottom right hand of the screen.
- Click "Report a Concern About A Result" from the right column.
- Or, click "Get More Help" and then "Contact Support."
- You will see a list of services. If you click "Bing," you will get a contact form where you can request that content be removed
Of course, removing the information this way is completely up to Bing. Most of the time, they probably won't do so if it's public domain. For the majority of other search engines standard removal will work the same way. All will have a way for you to contact them and request that information be removed. However, if the information isn't a social security number or something of that nature, it's unlikely the search engine will take any action.
Third party companies like InternetReputation.com can assist with the removal of content from choice search engines other than Google, as well.
Monitor Your Name to Maintain a Clean Reputation and Protect Your Privacy Online
Once you’ve cleaned up your name on Google and other search engines and got your reputation back on track, you’ll want to make sure that it stays intact. Monitoring your name online can help you do this by alerting you of any potentially negative pages that show up on search results. This way you’ll be able to address the issue right away. InternetReputation.com offers reputation monitoring and privacy protection services that can help you protect and defend your online reputation. The Monitoring & Private Protection services can help keep your internet reputation clean!
We also offer an alert service, so you will be notified any time your name or other personal details are published on the internet. This way, you can rest assured that we're monitoring your reputation and keeping it under control! Get in contact with InternetReputation.com, as we can help you rehabilitate and manage your online reputation. Our services will keep results for your name clean and ensure only the best info about you is seen on the World Wide Web.
Protect your reputation online.