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How do you get an image removed from the Internet?

Feb 28, 2021 2:58:49 PM

As a company that specializes in removing negative search results, we come across many clients who want to remove an image from Google search results.


There are many situations where an embarrassing photo can end up online. This is a result of either your passive or active digital footprint.

Maybe you posted a photo a long time ago which appeared to be harmless at that time. 


Here’s the thing about the images you upload online - what might initially seem like a normal picture can take a life on its own and damage your reputation later.


However, there are situations that result in an image causing a loss of business or employment opportunities. Your mugshot image in search results can be a terrible first impression for a potential client.


The longer the image stays online, the more it could be shared, downloaded, and more difficult to permanently delete from search results.


So, that brings us to the question, How do I remove an image from Google search results?


Perform a reverse image search


There are a number of websites that you can use to perform a reverse image search to see what images are available online. 


Here are some of the most popular image search sites that you can use to locate photos online using facial recognition software.


  • Google Face Recognition
  • TinEye Reverse Image Search
  • Yandex Reverse Image Research
  • Bing Image Search
  • Pim Eyes
  • Social catfish Reverse Image Search
  • Talkwalker Image Recognition
  • Pinterest Image Search
  • How Old Do I Look


Some of the search engines even scrape information on the dark web. These are images that won’t show up on Google. Once you find the images you want to remove, create a spreadsheet with all the links to the photos.


How to Remove an Image From Your Search Results?


1. Contact the website owner


The first step to removing images from the search results on Google is to find out which websites are sharing the image and to who the content belongs


Once you have gathered the website link and the contact information of the website owner, you can ask them to remove the image from their website. If your request is approved by the content owner, the crawlers of Google search would be unable to find your image. You can also ask them to insert a no-follow tag on the image so it does not show in search results.

how to remove images from Google


Keep in mind that the website owner has no incentive to remove the photo. However, never pay the website owner to remove it. They could also repost it to another website and continually request additional funds. 


If the website owner is asking for money, you should report this to Google as an exploitive removal practice. This breaks Google’s guidelines and is grounds for immediate removal from search results. 


We recommend building new positive images you want people to find and bury any negative search results.


2. Report the image to Google


Most of the time, the contact information of the website owner isn’t available at all, or even if it is, you have to dig really deep.


In some cases, Google will de-index the image from their search results. This doesn’t mean it will be removed from the website it was posted on. Google can’t remove images from websites, only their results.


What images will Google remove?


Remove images with sensitive financial, medical, or national ID info


  • Confidential government identification (ID) numbers like U.S. Social Security Number, Argentine Single Tax Identification Number, Brazil Cadastro de pessoas Físicas, Korea Resident Registration Number, China Resident Identity Card, etc.
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Images of handwritten signatures
  • Images of ID docs
  • Highly personal, restricted, and official records, like medical records
  • Personal contact info (physical addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses)
  • Confidential login credentials


Remove non-consensual explicit or intimate personal image or "revenge porn"


  1. The imagery shows you (or the individual you're representing) nude, in a sexual act, or an intimate state.
  2. You (or the individual you're representing) didn't consent to the imagery or the act and it was made publicly available OR you intended the content to be private and the imagery was made publicly available without your consent.


Remove involuntary fake pornography


  1. You're identifiably depicted in the imagery.
  2. The imagery in question is fake and falsely depicts you nude or in a sexually explicit situation.
  3. The imagery was distributed without your consent.


Remove personal image hosted on a site that has exploitative removal practices


  1. You are the subject of the content in the submitted URL.
  2. The website is not a business review site.
  3. The website has removal practices that necessitate payment to the site, or other agencies, to have the content removed.


Remove the image of a minor (anyone under 18)


  1. The URLs submitted are image URLs.
    • Web URLs (pages with both text and images) are not eligible for removal under this policy, which seeks to limit the presence of images in Google search results. 
  2. The imagery includes an identifiable individual who is currently under the age of 18.
    • We’ll also remove images of the tragic situation of a child who has died before reaching the age of 18.
  3. The removal requestor is either the individual themself, a legal guardian for the individual, or an authorized representative of either.


Remove image for legal reasons


  • Court orders, where a court determined that specific content is unlawful.
  • FOSTA-SESTA or the CA Opt-Out / CA Safe at Home Program.
  • Child sexual abuse material, is any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct that involves a minor.


If your situation falls under any of these requirements, you should submit your report to Google and request that they remove the image.


How To Get Rid Of Images Posted By Someone Else?


Getting rid of pictures and info you might have on a third-party site and thereby, on the search result of Google images is no easy task. Oftentimes, site administrators tend to not answer your plea to remove your info at all.


If they do answer, they might still decide to keep your info and image despite your valid reasoning on why it should be removed. This is where an online reputation management company can help. At NewReputation, we have the resources to put the time and effort to find the best way to remove an image from Google search results. 


how to remove a photo from Google


If your request is persuasive enough, the site owner could agree and have your search result become squeaky clean again. If a site has your image without your permission, the process might be more long-winded. You will have to come down with a bit of force.


Sometimes, it is Google itself that can come to your rescue. Even if you can’t delete the picture or get rid of it permanently, you can decrease the exposure level of the picture and stop it from affecting your online reputation. You can make the image so hard to find that any malicious lurker gives up.


So, how to remove an image from Google if all the other methods don't work?


How to Remove Images You Posted?


To remove images from the Google search that you posted requires nothing more than for you to log in to your account or the website you have posted your image on and delete the picture.


Google might take some time to stop indexing the photo but it will do so eventually, and it shouldn’t have any lasting impact on your reputation online.


Another easy way to remove a picture is to tweak the privacy setting. Instead of public, toggle the privacy setting to private and Google will get the notice that only you or a select few people should be able to access the image.


If you still see the photo on search results after some time has passed, you can ask Google directly to remove it.


Visit the Remove outdated content page on Google and paste the link of the deleted content threat and tap on request removal.


If you see Google say that the content is no longer live, you can go ahead and click on the submit button.


If Google says that the site owner hasn’t removed the image, tap the button that asks you to provide more info to Google.


How to remove an image stolen from your social media page?


There are certain situations where someone might take an image from your Instagram or Facebook account and post it somewhere else. This is where a DMCA takedown request can help. 


The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a federal statute that addresses a variety of copyright issues that have been created by the Internet. It includes digital rights management (methods to stop infringement) and certain rights and privileges that protect Internet Service Providers.


Basically, a DMCA protects your owned online properties from being stolen. This could be content on your website, or images on your social media pages.


To file a DMCA take-down request, contact us.


Final Thoughts


When you are posting any kind of image on Google, remember to assess whether you are ok with the image being online forever.


If you find yourself in a situation where a photo is being used against you, it can be a frustrating process. You can either go at it alone or ask for help.


Working with a reputation management company can help you remove images from Google search results and protect your reputation. NewReputation consistently publishes new professional images optimized for your name. This protects you from any potential attacks or blackmail photos surfacing.


Of course, not everything can be removed from search results. So, you should be extremely careful about what you post online to protect your reputation.

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