Dissemination of information, whether it be text, images, videos or something else entirely, is seamless in the ever-connected world in which we live. Everyone has a smart phone, tablet, computer or some other device that can access the Internet. An unfortunate side effect of this connectivity is the copying or unlawful release of images that would not otherwise be available online. Many of these images that require removal can be quite compromising or lewd. Whether it was an irresponsible night of imbibing adult beverages, a vengeful ex, or someone that simply wants to smear you or your brand, many people and companies require the ability to remove images from Google and other search engines. It is not as difficult of a process as one might think, and what follows is our guide on how to remove images from search engine results!
How Do You Prevent Pictures from Appearing in Search Results?
What follows is an abridged version of how to prevent your pictures from appearing in search results. Using this helpful guide, you won’t have to remove images from Google or any other search engine!
Step 1: Do not take pictures you do not want posted on the Internet.
Step 2: Do not share pictures you do not want posted on the Internet.
Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit.
As cynical as my easy-to-follow 4 step process can be, it does not help those who may have been hacked, had personal property stolen, or some other way images may have leaked that was out of their control.
MAKE SECURE PASSWORDS
One primary preventative step would be to keep compromising or personal images in a safe place, preferably that is password-protected and/or under lock and key. One note about passwords, MAKE YOUR PASSWORD UNIQUE AND DIFFICULT TO DECIPHER. Check out this post about the 25 Most Popular Passwords of 2015, and if you have any passwords that match these, CHANGE IT IMMEDIATELY. Passwords that use your birth date, maiden name, and other personal data can be easily found through a simple Google search, or checking your Facebook profile. Secure passwords also ring true with a phone or tablet screen lock as well; do not make it easy for someone to figure out, but don’t make it so difficult you lock yourself out of your phone (speaking from experience).
MAKE GOOD DECISIONS
Part of living in our ever-connected society is knowing when and where you are being watched. Whether it was Solange attacking Jay-Z in an elevator, or your drunken-antics at the club this past weekend, there may be an ever watchful eye on you and your actions in public places. Security camera footage and smartphone photos are just two of the many places where your dirt can be uncovered by the public eye. Make good decisions where ever you go and do not put yourself in compromising positions in public places, and you will not have to worry about how to remove images from search results (unless you are a celebrity, then you may be up a creek without a paddle).
DON’T BE AN ARSE
Many photo leaks are the result of an ex-lover seeking revenge on the other party that they felt wronged them in some way. If you go around breaking hearts, leaving bad impressions, and generally not being a nice person, you may be setting yourself up to be exposed from the people you have treated badly. Sharing photos with people you do not know that well is not a good idea (yeah, it may be obvious to some, but not to everyone). Lastly, if you become a meme, own it, use it as a shield, because the Internet owns you now.
If you have followed all my guidelines and still find yourself finding images in Google of you that you want removed, we have a guide on how to resolve those issues.
Remove Images from Google
The good people at Google have created their own guide on how to remove images from search results here.
Here is a quick re-cap of their instructions on how to remove images from Google searches:
Step 1: Remove the image from the person’s website that is hosting the image. Do this by emailing the webmaster and ask them to remove the image.
Step 2: Once the webmaster(s) have removed the compromising content, use the Remove Outdated Content tool via Google to remove the deleted image/content from their search results.
Step 3: Celebrate!
Unfortunately, removing images from Google’s search results is reliant on the kindness of other webmasters. If that does not work, then you may be able to utilize other methods to remove images from the websites and search results. There have been laws passed recently that prevent compromising images and videos from being posted, and if they are posted, you can sue the offending party for damages. One example of these preventative laws that was passed in North Carolina can be found here. You could also push through a DMCA claim, but that is for fringe cases where it is a copyrighted image or video being used illegally.
Remove Images from Other Search Engines
Bing and other search engines have similar processes by which to remove images and other content from their search results. You have to contact the webmaster, request deletion of the content, then use the tools available to remove the content from search results. Here is Bing’s Content Removal Guide if you happen to find your images, content, or videos appearing in their search results.
If you find yourself at the mercy of Google and other search engines showing your images or other content, do not hesitate take the matter into your own hands. There are also tons of companies out there that handle reputation management, so if it seems to be too much for you, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you connected with someone who can help you in your unique situation!