General Question

seVen's avatar

How does one remove his/her name from Google search if he/she wishes not to be name searched?

Asked by seVen (3458 points ) August 25th, 2009

Is there any Google form for filling out so they’ll receive it and get that request to mask/delete the requested task?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

32 Answers

marinelife's avatar

No, you would have to remove every page on the Web that mentions you. It is not possible.

dpworkin's avatar

Just remember never to put anything on the Net that you don’t want everyone to see. There is no such thing as privacy on the Web.

Sarcasm's avatar

You have to go back and cover your tracks, Google just finds things that exist.
George W. Bush can’t demand that a library takes out every mention of his name in their books, it’s just not something realistic.

seVen's avatar

So like petition sites can’t remove my name,..like their webmaster if I email them?

sneuron's avatar

This won’t help much unless you already have a common name or are willing to change yours, but the more original your name is, the more you’ll stand out on the internet. I’ve got a relatively common name and a fictional character with the same name as well. Internet searches for me turn up more noise than signal. Some one with the name John Smith would be even harder to nail down. Of course, it could backfire and have people associate you with things done by some one with a shared name.

Jeruba's avatar

A Google search is not a thing or a place. It does not have any data in it. It is a process, an algorithm that processes data on existing websites and creates an index. It is the data on the existing websites that you would have to remove. Google only finds what’s there already.

Imagine that there are security cameras at the mall that record videos of all the shoppers that walk through the mall. (Maybe there are. It’s just an example.) They’re just pointed at the traffic—the people who come and go. Your question is like asking that they omit you from the recorded video. Can’t be done. If you don’t want your picture taken, you don’t go to the mall.

Sarcasm's avatar

So like petition sites can’t remove my name,..like their webmaster if I email them?
I doubt they can remove you from a petition, but there are a lot of websites you can delete your account from, and forums you can delete your posts from.
In which case, those things won’t show up on google searches any more—since they no longer exist on the internet.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I don’t know that you can. The information is already out there. Google isn’t going to block your name from their searches.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I google my name every few months. and it NEVER comes up. Sure my fairly common first name, comes up, and my not all that common last name comes up, but never together. I thougth I read something over at the Kim Komando webiste about this a few months ago, but I’m not positive.

galileogirl's avatar

It’s highly unlikely that you are the only individual with that name. My last name is something like 800th most popular name. My first name is old fashioned, with a less common spelling and from German roots not the English of my last name. Years ago when Google was new I could get about 15–20 hits, all me and mostly from my hobby’s message boards and my web site. I just googled my name and there are almost 1200 hits that seem to refer to 3 of us, myself, an English woman who seems to be involved in village politics and her church and a 30 something EastCoast amateur golfer;
We all seem to be very private people but there are surprising links. $25 political donations also list my address and employer. I don’t think they can be blocked because of FOIA. Then there is the HS reunion site and even the minutes of a PTA meeting. How could all the sites with my name be blocked without impinging on the rights of others?

AstroChuck's avatar

I wouldn’t worry too much. Seven is a pretty common number. No way to tell if it was you or another.

galileogirl's avatar

My math may be wrong but at least 10% of all numbers are seven. You might as well be Jim Smith, Juan Lopez, Ali Muhammed or Li Xiao.

El_Cadejo's avatar

great analogy jeruba

LucG's avatar

The only thing you can do is publish new information with your name in it, and do a lot of work to make sure that this scores higher in the google results and hope that people don’t browse to page 3 or 4 of the results pages. But that’s a hell of a task.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m sorry to report that it is not even possible to remove false statements that are made against you on the internet. I had a stalker who entered false accusations against me on at least a dozen or more public websites, and even with repeated requests to have it removed, only two sites agreed to remove it.

styfle's avatar

This is why we use aliases/screen_names/gamer_tags/handles/etc. They give us an identity on the internet but keep our private life out of it. Mine is obviously styfle. You can google it and find a decent amount of stuff that is content from me, but not all of it is. The same if you googled my real name. Some forums let you delete posts, and obviously if you own a website you can take down content…other than that you can’t do much about it other than avoid posting something you don’t want people to see in the future.

AstroChuck's avatar

@YARNLADY- Yeah, I’m real sorry about that. I’m a different person now since my therapy.

YARNLADY's avatar

@AstroChuck You might be, but, even after being tried, convicted and spending years in a mental hospital, my stalker is back at it.

perplexism's avatar

I actually had this dilemma come up not too long ago.

If I recall correctly, Google does have a form in which you can request stuff related to a website you run to be taken down, but you have no control over things coming up from other sites. Or, now that I think about it, I think it was some code you insert into the coding of your website that diverts the google search engine from your site – or something like that.

Don’t quote me on this, though. It’s been a while since I looked into it.

markyy's avatar

If you don’t have access it is going to be tricky. You can mail webmasters to take down stuff, but the only thing affective is what @LucG already said.

Nina Brink apparently did this. She hired a company to get rid of all the negative things the media said about her (online). Google her name and you will find sites like ninabrink.info, ninabrink. org all saying the same positive stuff about her.

Sanyore's avatar

Sorry bro. To quote Slim Charles,shifting the subject to the internet instead of war, “Once you in it, you in it

hearkat's avatar

@galileogirl: A man I’ve just started interacting with online IS the only person with that name, so all the Google hits were about him. I’ve never seen that before.

My name is an old family name, so a whole bunch of geneology sites pop up, and very little that relates to me. My web moniker is pretty unique to me, so that shows my Fluther and prior Yahoo! Answers activity.

@seVen: You could go to the individual sites and check your Privacy settings. FaceBook is one example where you can set yourself to be non-searchable, and you can make all your content on there limited to certain people, if you choose. The sites that don’t allow you to set your Privacy should have their policies posted (and at some point, you checked a box stating that you agreed to that policy). Go through those and see if they have an opt-out process. And if they are breaking the terms of their policy, contact them and threaten legal action if necessary.

markyy's avatar

My name is especially tricky to Google, because someone else in the same city has the exact same name. The guy has two kids and is a little into social media. So job interviewers will have a hard time figuring me out and I sometimes get the weirdest phone calls :)

However if someone from real life finds me on fluther I can just say it’s that other guy ;)

wundayatta's avatar

One gets one’s name off Google by never getting on it. Never do anything under your real name that is notable by anyone, anywhere. Don’t get a job that lists its employees. Don’t get attention from news or any other people. Be as bland as you can possibly be. Don’t attend conferences. Don’t set up a website. Don’t participate in any websites under your real name.

Change your name to a really bland name. Like John Smith. Change your name often. Join the mafia; turn state’s witness; get into the witness protection program. Join the CIA. Become a part of clandestine operations. Move to another country. Disappear.

CMaz's avatar

You are in a data base somewhere.
With or without you knowing it.
That/those databases connect to the internet.

Then there is the WayBackMachine. Even if you removed any reference of you. Your previous information is still archived.

Sarcasm's avatar

Just making sure, everyone knows that The Onion is a satirical website, right?

benjaminlevi's avatar

@Sarcasm Its America’s finest news source!

Jeruba's avatar

@perplexism, you can use a code to keep your website or portions of it from being crawled by search engines, Google’s and others. I did that to exclude the indexing of personal and family pages of my website. Information about robots nofollow is here. But again, this won’t help you with any website belonging to someone else.

My name is unusual enough that I am the only one who has it, and my first
name alone will bring up something of mine on Google’s first page of hits. For my last name alone, we don’t get past all the distant cousins until the third page. So no web anonymity for me. If even two or three people shared my name, at least there’d be a little cloud of doubt. But this will come in handy if I ever get that book written.

tandra88's avatar

Sorry, it’s just not possible. If your name is a common name (ex. Jill), you name might possibly pop in there. Like mentioned before, you’d have to remove all the post, accounts, anything that mentions your full name.

dpworkin's avatar

Google the opt-out form.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s not possible. Even if you are the only person on earth with that name, there is no way to keep people from using it and searching it, and most of us can easily find multiple people with our same name.

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