How To Remove an Image From Google Search Results
June 8, 2021
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That unflattering photo seemed harmless at the time.
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But now that it’s online, it’s doing real damage to your personal brand. Not only is it hurting your reputation, it's also standing between you and your dream job.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But what they don’t tell you is when that photo gets blasted on the Internet, it can do untold damage to your relationships, your reputation and your career.
And the longer it’s online, the more traction it gets in search results. In turn, this strengthens its visibility and creates a bad impression on anyone searching your name.
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If a negative photo is hurting your personal brand, it’s important to take action before it goes viral.
Here’s a look at how to remove images from Google search results and rebuild your reputation.
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How Do I Remove Images From Google Search?
When learning how to remove an image from Google, you must first know where your images are and who owns the content. Once you have the URL(s) and the webmaster’s contact info, you can then request to remove the content from the site.
If the owner approves your request and removes the image, Google can no longer locate and index it in search results.
Unfortunately, many sites pull and repost content from other sources.
What’s worse: most sites rarely feature contact info on their web pages. At the very least, many make it hard to find. This makes deleting images from Google quite challenging, and sometimes even impossible.
And when that happens, search engine suppression is usually your best removal option.
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”
How To Remove an Image I Own From Google?
Generally, deleting embarrassing images you posted online is as easy as logging into your account and removing them yourself.
And while it might take Google time to de-index that photo, it will eventually disappear from search results and have little-to-no impact on your online reputation.
Another option to remove such images from Google is to change the privacy settings on your account. Most platforms allow you to change visibility from “public” to “private,” which effectively pulls your content out of public view.
If you’ve deleted an owned photo and it’s still showing up in search results, you may ask Google to remove the link directly.
To do this:
- Visit Google’s Remove Outdated Content page.
- Copy and paste the web address (URL) containing the now-deleted content.
- Hit ‘Request removal.’
If you receive the message “We think the image or web page you're trying to remove hasn't been removed by the site owner," follow the prompts to provide Google more info.
If you see “This content is no longer live on the website," you may complete the process.
“The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.”
How Do I Remove Images From Google That I Haven’t Posted?
Removing pictures from third-party sites and Google images is much harder than deleting photos you posted yourself.
That's because site administrators are usually unresponsive when it comes to answering removal requests.
What’s more: those that do answer are unlikely to process your request no matter the reason. But that certainly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!
While removing negative images from Google or another site can be tricky, there’s always a chance your efforts will pay off.
For instance, if the person who posted the image is a friend, relative or coworker, a phone call or email may be all that’s needed to delete it. And sometimes a polite removal request is all it takes to remove an embarrassing image and repair your Google search results.
But chances are good that you’ll hit a snag somewhere in the process. And when a site steals or uses your images without permission, removal can become a major debacle, requiring a more forceful approach.
Requesting a Search Results Change From Google
When looking to remove an image from Google, sometimes asking the search engine directly is your best option.
While not the same as deleting a picture from a site or wiping it off the internet, it can help reduce its exposure and minimize its impact on your reputation.
Images that Google deems eligible for search result removal will likely:
- Contain sensitive medical, financial, or national ID info
- Involve involuntary fake pornography
- Exist on sites with extortive removal practices (like mugshot sites)
- Include personal contact info intended to harm the individual
- Contain nude and/or sexual imagery posted without your consent (ex. revenge porn)
Google will also delete pictures and images for “specific legal reasons,” such as when they contain imagery of child sexual abuse or violate DMCA copyright law (DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). The latter will only help remove images from Google if you’re both photographer and holder of the photo copyright.
How To Remove Pictures From Google Images?
When sending removal requests to third-party sites and Google falls short, your best solution is burying those images in search.
The best way to suppress negative photos and retake control of your reputation is by taking steps to own your presence in Google images. This includes posting positive assets that rank in search, and pushing embarrassing photos out of sight.
By populating the web with images that reflect well on your name, accomplishments and personal brand, you make it harder for that sophomore-year keg stand photo to hold center stage in search engines’ results, which could scare away potential employers.
“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”
As part of a custom ORM strategy, sharing and spreading good images is a powerful way to make unwanted pics go away - and to boost your reputation where it’s needed most.
Create Your Own Website
With a website in your control, you can post blogs and positive photos at will. And when done right, those assets will one day end up on search pages and help replace bad images in Google.
When posting photos, be sure to include your full name in the filename and alt tags. Also be sure to include your full name in your domain, if possible.
Boost Your Social Profiles
The more, the better. Google gives social media sites top billing in search. This means that any searches of your name will likely feature any profiles and images on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok on the first page.
Sign up for a few social sites and upload multiple photos that put you in a positive light. Make sure your profile settings are set to 'public' and accessible to Google crawlers.
Over time, this approach can really boost your Google image removal strategy.
Guest Posting Platforms
Whenever you have the opportunity to post as a guest blogger or industry expert, take it.
Generally, guest post sites allow you to include a headshot and bio with each new submission. This provides a great opportunity to flood the web with positive images.
But as you post, be sure to consider your posts and your words carefully, particularly when using your real name.
What Should My Social Media And Google Images Look Like?
When posting new photos on the web, always avoid anything that sends the wrong message. Or that may lead to a negative association, which can further damage your online reputation.
While professional images may get more attention and take eyes off that negative photo, their quality alone may not be enough to move the search rankings in the right direction.
“A good reputation is more valuable than money.”
How To Remove an Image From Google Search Results for Good
Each day that unwanted image appears on Google is another missed opportunity to impress followers, strengthen relationships, attract customers and advance your career.
But with the right team on your side, you can remove bad images from Google, repair the damage, and take control of your reputation for good.
As industry-leading reputation experts, we specialize in Google image removal services that delete your pictures from Google and put control back in your hands
Whether you’re seeking a job, running a business, or living in the spotlight, we provide proven image removal solutions that remove your online problem fast, without breaking your budget.
Our customized removal solutions deliver lasting results for:
- C-suite executives
- Professional athletes
- Business owners
- Public officials
- Job applicants
- And more!
It’s time to redefine your online reputation. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.