02 Nov How Do I Remove My Name and Information from Google and YouTube?
This post was originally published November 2, 2017. It was last updated November 2019.
You need to maintain a reputable image on Google is imperative for business success, whether you run a one-person show or work as part of a larger organization. However, while you’re able to control what you post about yourself, you can’t always keep others in check. This article will walk you through how to remove your name and information from Google and Youtube. We’ll also talk about how to combat false or misleading claims someone may make about you or your business online.
A Common Scenario
Let’s use the following example to walk through the steps to removing information from the web.
I have deleted my Facebook account, but it still shows my name and username (which I used elsewhere) when you Google search for it. On YouTube I also deleted my account, but comments that others made still come up with my name attached. I desperately want to delete them, but I do not know how. I didn’t do anything really bad—I just replied to someone on YouTube in the video comments section. But someone didn’t like my reply and found out my name. I suspect it was from Facebook where I couldn’t hide or delete my email which included my username. I guess I better be careful what I say on there. Will everything there be copied and put on the internet too? I just don’t know what this is all about. Anyways, I got my name deleted from the video comments section by contacting YouTube and the video uploader. If it takes months to delete this from Google cache, that’s bad news for me.
This individual needed to address two major points.
- From a marketing standpoint, these false statements could hurt their career opportunities or the company they work for.
- On a personal level, the same person who found their email address was harassing them.
If you ever feel that you may be in physical danger, your first step should be to contact your local police. But if the online abuse does not seem to be escalating past a screen, you might want to try these steps first.
Removing a Page or Site from Google’s Search Results
If you need to have a page removed from Google, use Search Console. As a search engine, Google does not control the content on the web; therefore, they cannot remove the page. Remember that Google is really just a big index, so they won’t be able to handle specific page management. However, Google can remove the page from their search results.
While the page would remain accessible by other means, if you are the webmaster, you can remove the page entirely. You can do this by removing the actual content from your site, blocking access to the content (such as through a password), or by using a noindex meta tag.
If you contact the webmaster and they do not remove the content you can use this tool to take legal action.
In either case, once the page has been removed, you can go here to get the content removed from search results, including snippets and the cache. If you want to keep images from appearing in a Google image search, go here.
Removing Content from Youtube
If you have not already, and feel that it is safe to do so, you can contact the person creating the problematic content themselves. There are times where a content creator is unaware of the effect their content is having, and are more than happy to accommodate reasonable requests. However, if you don’t feel comfortable contacting the offender, or if the offender does not respond to your request, you can take formal action.
If you want to formally have the content removed, you need to fill out YouTube’s privacy complaint form. In most cases, YouTube will contact the user of the offending account. Don’t worry — YouTube will keep your personal details private and the offender will not know who submitted the form.
If instead your issue relates to a copyright, violation you need to fill out a copyright complaint.
Your Search Engine Presence
What you say online will show up in Google search results whether you post on a web page, on a forum, or on a YouTube video. These comments, file uploads, or digital discussions will stick around, sometimes long after the event in question. Be sure to think critically about what you put online. What you post is there to stay.
If you want to increase your web presence to rank ahead of negative reviews and content, you need to implement an SEO strategy. Good SEO can help you or your company stay above negative search results. Get started here.