Remove information from Google

“Get something off Google” means different things to different people. We’re going to explain how to request information removal, but please read the information below carefully.

Step 1: Understand the problem

You must answer the following two questions before you can try to remove your information:

Remove information from Google or from the web?

Do you want to remove the information only from Google Search, or from the web? Removing information from Google won't remove it from the web, and removing information from the web requires a few extra steps to remove from Google.

Who controls the source page of the information?

Information in Google Search results is taken from a source (often, but not always, a web page). You need to know the source of that content, and who controls that source, in order to block or remove it.

Here are examples of sources that you control:

  • Your Blogger pages
  • A website that you own (for example, Brandon owns www.brandonsbaseballcards.com)
  • A Wix or Wordpress site that you run
  • A Google My Business entry that you created for your company
  • Your own social media profile on Twitter or Facebook

Here are examples of sources that you probably don’t control:

  • A story about you on a newspaper website
  • An entry in someone else’s blog (even if it’s artwork or a picture that you made, you don’t control the page it lives in)
  • A Pinterest page that has pinned a photo that you took, or a photo of you
  • A Wikipedia article about you
  • Someone else's social media profile on Twitter or Facebook.

Step 2: Take action

You'll probably want to get your information off both Google Search Results and the web; you must handle these steps separately.

Protect or remove all variations of the URL for the content that you want to hide, because in many cases, different URLs can point to the same page, for example: example.com/puppies, example.com/PUPPIES, and example.com/petchooser?pet=puppies. Learn how to find the right URL to block.
Get information off Google Search results

How to remove information from Google Search results depends on whether you have control of the page that hosts the information.

If you own the content but not the page where it lives, see I don't control the web page; for example, if someone copies material from your website to theirs without your permission.
I control the web page

If the content is on a website that you control, or is managed by an account that you control (for example, in your Blogger page), or you are the verified site owner in Google Search Console, here is how to remove your content from Google Search results.

If the source page no longer exists (or is inaccessible) on the web

If the page where the information came from is no longer on the web, or it is now protected by a login, file a URL removal request. (Requires you to be logged in with a Google account.)

First confirm that the page is truly gone before doing this! You can check by opening an incognito window in Chrome and trying to visit the page. If the page can't be reached, it is gone.

If the information still exists on the web

If the page where the information comes from is still accessible on the web, and doesn't require a login or have a noindex directive, follow these steps:

  1. Temporarily hide information from Google Search by filing a URL removal request. This takes effect in about a day, but it is only temporary (after about 90 days it will reappear in search results). You must take the additional steps described next to remove it from Google Search results permanently. You must be a verified site owner of the page in Search Console to do this. We recommend removing the page from both search results and the cache in your request.
  2. Permanently remove information from Google Search results. To permanently remove your page or file from Google Search:
    • Block access to it, as described in Get information off the web.
      OR
    • Add a noindex tag or header to your page. Important: When using this method, be sure that your page is not blocked by a robots.txt file.
      OR
    • Remove an image from search results using robots.txt to block either the image or the page that hosts it. Again, this is to remove only an image; not the entire page, from search results. If you use robots.txt it is possible for the page, but not the image, to appear in search results. To block the hosting page from search results, you must use one of the other two techniques mentioned previously.
  3. [Optional] Remove or limit access to your information. See Get information off the web. If you don’t do this, users with a link can still access your content. This also prevents your information from appearing in a search engine that might not respect robots.txt or noindex, or from being linked to by a website.
I don't control the web page

If you don’t control the web page that hosts the information, see the policy descriptions to learn whether the material is something that you can request to be removed from search results.

If the content no longer exists on the source web page (removing cached results)

If you have a Google account, and the content is no longer available, you can request that Google remove it from Google Search results, whether or not you control the page. Visit the Remove Outdated Content tool to remove the page.

If the content still exists on the source web page

After the source content is removed, don't forget to remove the information from Google search results using the Remove Outdated Content tool.

Please remember that Google doesn’t own the web; we just help you find stuff on it. If you don’t like something on a website that Google doesn’t own, we really can’t make the website owner remove it, we can only remove it from Google Search results (if appropriate). Sorry!

However, if you think there is a legal or Google Policy violation, see More Information below.

Get information off the web

If you want information removed from the web (not just from Google), you'll need to remove or block the page.

If you only remove information from Google, but don't remove or block the source page, that won't keep someone who has a link from visiting the page. People can have links to your unlisted page because they visited it earlier, or someone sent it to them, or because other pages link to it.

If you control the page

If you don't control the page

Please remember that Google doesn’t own the web; we just help you find stuff on it. If you don’t like something on a website that Google doesn’t own, we really can’t make the website owner remove it, we can only remove it from Google Search results (if appropriate). Sorry!

However, if you think there is a legal or Google Policy violation, see More Information below.

More information

I object to something that I’ve found on Google Search. Can I have it taken down?

Remember that the Internet is a big place, and you might not like or agree with everything that you see. Google's goal is to identify what information from the web is relevant to users' queries, not to determine whether that material is in some sense wrongful.

However, if you think it really is a problem, here are some options:

How do I remove or update information from the Knowledge Graph in search results?

Learn how to update a Google knowledge panel. Keep in mind that information in the Knowledge Graph may come from multiple sources.  For legal requests, see here.

How do I get a video or post off YouTube, Google+, Blogger, or other Google properties?

See Get information off the web.

Why can't I use robots.txt to block my file?

If you use a robots.txt file on your website, you can tell Google not crawl a page. However, if Google finds a link to your page on another site, with descriptive text, we might generate a search result from that. If you have included a “noindex” tag on the page, Google won’t see it, because Google must crawl (fetch) the page in order to see that tag, but Google won’t fetch your page if there’s a robots.txt file blocking it! Therefore, you should let Google crawl the page and see the “noindex” tag or header. It sounds counterintuitive, but you need to let Google try to fetch the page and fail (because of password protection) or see the “noindex” tag  to ensure it’s omitted from search results.

This does not apply to images; for images, robots.txt is the correct way to block images from search results.

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