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When I search my full name (very unique) and scroll down all the way to the bottom of the 1st page, it shows links to 2 prisoner's information in the county that I live in, but I'm not affiliated with them at all nor does any part of my name show up in either of these links, so I'm quite confused why Google is showing these 2 links when Google searching for my full name.

I tried requesting for the link to be removed from the Google request removal tool, and it shows it as removed, but it still shows up in Google searches. I also had a friend search for me and he sees it too.

In addition, typically, I see a few lines of text under the link when I google search that shows the keywords in bold. For example, like the following highlighted part of the image were searched for "first last":

https://i.sstatic.net/FJMIQ.png

But in the 2 links associated with the prisoner, there is no text under the link. It's just white space.

I don't want a search for my name leading to a prison website. Does anyone have experience with removing links from showing up in a google search, or is it even possible?

2 Answers 2

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Usually, Google only allows you to remove results if they expose illegal or personal information or are outdated. There are several ways to remove such links:

  1. Use the “Results about you” tool that crawls the web for pages containing your personal and contact data and removes them from SERP
  2. Use a content removal form where you can submit URLs directly. This one also works for sites with exploitative removal practices, meaning the ones that refuse to take content down or charge for the removal
  3. On the Google search results page, click the three dots next to the unwanted URL and click “Remove result.” Then select the reason for removal and follow the prompts

Note that these methods don’t remove the original page from a website, but simply stop showing it in the search results. You can find more information here: https://onerep.com/blog/how-to-remove-your-personal-info-from-google

If the links don’t expose your personal info, you’ll have a hard time convincing Google to remove them. What you can do is try to suppress them in the search results. That means creating content about you that will rank higher and will kick unwanted links out from the search results, or the first page at least. The content you create can be anything from social media and business profiles to press releases - anything that will be linked to your name or any other search query you want covered. However, it may take time for these pages to show results and you also might have to educate yourself on SEO.

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Google serves search results based on information they have gathered from publicly available source. Due to this, you need to get your information removed from those sources (or have them make it private) before Google Search will remove your information. Of course, there are exceptions to this.

From Google's help on removing personal information:

To contact the website owner:

Contact us link: Find a "Contact us" link or an email address for the site owner. This information is often at the bottom of the site's homepage.

Find contact information using Whois: You can perform a Whois ("who is?") search for the site owner using Google. Go to google.com and search for whois www.example.com. The email address to contact the site owner can often be found under Registrant Email or Administrative Contact.

Contact the site's hosting company: The Whois search result usually includes information about who hosts the website. If you're unable to reach the website owner, try contacting the site's hosting company.

If the website owner has removed the information, it will eventually be removed from Google Search as part of our regular updating process. To speed up the process of removing it from Google Search, use the Outdated Content Removal tool.

Situations Google will take direct action ("personal information that creates significant risks of identity theft, financial fraud, or other specific harms"):

  • unwanted & explicit personal images from Google
  • involuntary fake pornography from Google
  • content about me on sites with exploitative removal practices from Google
  • select financial, medical and national ID information from Google
  • “doxxing” content - content exposing contact information with an intent to harm

If you have a legal reason for removing data from Google searches, use Google's legal troubleshooter form to get the right results.

Beyond these options, such as in a case where you share a name with someone who posts legal content with which you object, it may be impossible (or prohibitively expensive) to get a search result removed. Be careful before paying a reputation service to do this. There are many unsavory ones out there, so research and consider going with a well-known brand if you don't do the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) yourself.

If you do wish make your search results show up above others', here are some tips. This is not a simple or easy option, but is possible.

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