How to remove images from Google search
We tend to go snapping and then posting photos online without thinking of the consequences. You may have embarrassing images from that memorable 2015 party still somewhere on the internet. You may not care right now but, you never know, maybe, in a few years, these pictures will become problematic.
In short, there are a few ways you can approach removing images from Google:
- Remove the image for your website or social media profile.
- Request image removal from a third party website.
- Submit an image removal request through Google
- Reporting the photos you want to remove through Google Images.
Read on to learn how to do that in detail.
Image removal from your own website or profile
This is the easiest scenario. It won’t require you to send out any removal requests, you’ll be able to delete that unflattering image by yourself. Although it may take some time for Google Search results to incorporate the removal, it will eventually disappear.
Requesting image removal from third-party sites
The first thing you’ll want to do is find the website on which the image was originally posted. Once there, reach out to the site owner directly. The easiest way is to use the “contact us” tab on the webpage. Submit a request politely asking for the picture to be removed and keep your fingers crossed for a response. However, if the website owner is unresponsive, the last resort before heading over to Google is trying to contact the site’s hosting company.
Tip: if you are having a hard time assessing the identity of the website owner, type “who is” and the name of the website into your internet browser.
Even though this is the most effective way of removing an image, not every website owner will respond to your message and not every web host will be kind enough to remove the picture. So if you’ve hit a wall, you’ll want to try this next step.
Submitting a request removal through Google
If you weren’t able to get the picture deleted directly from the website, submitting a request removal through Google is your next option. To do this, you’ll want to head over to the “Remove an image from Google” webpage.
Scroll down to see how to submit a request to remove specific images from Google Search results. You can proceed with one of the options below:
- Remove images with sensitive data (like your national ID information or personal contact info)
- Removal of sexual content or so-called “revenge porn”
- Removal of involuntary fake pornography
- Remove images from a website that requires direct payment for said removal
- Remove images of an individual under the age of 18
- Remove images for other legal reasons
Upon expanding each option, you will see the following criteria you need to meet to go successfully through the process. Also, at the bottom of each option, you will find a “fill out form” button.
Once you click the “fill out form” button, you will be redirected to a page containing said form. Check the applicable boxes to submit your request. Depending on the option you go with, you will then be required to provide various information to do with your request, including an image URL and other personal data.
What needs to be emphasized is that even if your request is successfully processed, the image you want removed will only disappear from the Google Search results. It will still remain on the website where it was initially posted, allowing for access through an image URL and other search engines.
When all else fails, go through Google Images
If none of the already mentioned solutions for image removal have worked for you, there is also the option of reporting the embarrassing photos. Find the picture in Google Images and click the “report this result” button. This will allow you to create a request in which you can explain why you believe the image should be removed and provide evidence to back up your claim.
Online reputation management boils down to not having negative images and potentially harmful content about yourself available on the internet. Although getting your image removed from the web can seem challenging, it’s beneficial in the long run. Because the internet doesn’t forget, and just because you haven’t seen that embarrassing image or web page in a long time doesn’t mean it isn’t still out there.
Why should I care about removing images from Google?
Potential future issues shouldn’t be the only reason you care about removing negative content from Google. By allowing such pictures to circulate the internet, you expose yourself to possible privacy violations. People can gain access to information such as where the image was taken and other contextual data. In effect, this can lead you to become a victim of scams, harassment, and even identity theft by individuals and organizations engaging in open-source intelligence (OSINT) gathering.