How To Remove Incorrect Information From Google
How To Remove Incorrect Information From Google
Most people look to Google to be the ultimate source of information. If you want to find a local cafe or restaurant near you, Google will show you all of the top results, business hours, and distance from you. If you want to research a particular service, business, or even a person, you can use Google to search for any relevant information you can find.
However, no system is ever going to be 100% accurate. It’s not uncommon to find false or incorrect information within Google search results. Perhaps a business has the wrong hours posted, your own business listing has the wrong location, or maybe you’ve found a link that’s sharing incorrect or false information about a person, place, or service.
Whatever the case may be, there are several ways that you can go about removing incorrect information from Google. Depending on the particular case, you may have complete control over it, or you may have to submit an appeal to Google for the information to be removed.
In today’s post, we’re going to take a break from our usual VPN-related content and show you all of the options you’ll have at your disposal to remove incorrect information from Google!
Why Does Google Have Incorrect Information?
A lot of people make the mistake of blaming Google for any misinformation that they find. However, this isn’t completely fair. You see, Google itself is just a search engine. Its primary purpose is to index websites, links, and businesses that are created by other people. Google creates very little of its own content, and most of Google’s own content is heavily reviewed and edited to ensure correctness before it’s ever indexed within search engine results.
Therefore, if you happen to find incorrect information on Google, then it’s likely the result of two sources:
- You or your team.
- Other Google users and webmasters.
For example, let’s just say that you own a business and you have a Google business listing. Perhaps, the wrong hours or address is listed. This would be your fault or the fault of the person you hired to create your business listing. The good news is that you can directly remove or edit this information and correct it!
Conversely, maybe you find some misinformation on a certain topic or another business that has the wrong hours or location listed… In this case, since you don’t own the webpage or the business listing, you can only suggest an edit; you won’t be able to directly remove or edit information created and posted by another business or webpage.
How To Change Incorrect Business Information On Google
Let’s start with the most common source of misinformation on Google – your own content and pages.
If you own a registered business, then there’s a pretty good chance that your business is listed on Google. Even if you didn’t personally create the business listing, your customers may have “suggested” or submitted their own information about your business to create a preliminary business listing on Google. Unfortunately, not all of the info submitted by your customers is correct…
This is why it’s important to take control of your business page within Google! It ensures that you’re the only one in control of the information posted about your business on Google’s business listings.
If you own the business and you need to change or remove the incorrect information, it’s fairly simple to do so. All you need to do is log into your Google My Business account (or create an account linked to your business, if you haven’t done so already).
Once you’re logged in, just look through the menu on the left-hand side of the screen and select ‘Info.’ Here, you’ll be able to change your business hours, type, address, contact information, website URL, and any other public information about your business.
Google will usually need time to review and double-check your changes to ensure accuracy. This shouldn’t take more than 24 to 48 hours!
How To Remove Incorrect Business Information From Google
Let’s say that it’s date night and you found a great little Italian restaurant on Google that says it doesn’t close till 11pm. So, you and your date get all dressed up and arrive at 9pm, just to realize the restaurant is closed and has changed its hours. What a bummer!
As frustrating as it may be for you and your date, you can ensure that the same thing doesn’t happen to other individuals by suggesting an edit within the Google business page. Simply pull up the business’s Google listing, view the info, and click ‘suggest an edit’ by the corresponding information.
Here’s how it should look:
How To Remove Personal Information From Google
Now, let’s just say that you have a more personal issue…
Maybe, you tried Googling your name and noticed that a bunch of personal Facebook posts or pages showed up. Or, perhaps, you find old social media profiles with some pictures and posts that you’d rather forget.
Whatever the case may be, most of this information can be deleted from Google. To remove this information, you’ll want to make a list of every single URL related to you that shows up in Google after searching for your name online.
We suggest using an Excel spreadsheet or using Google Sheets. Having everything itemized out on a list will ensure that you don’t forget any links and will allow you to slowly go through the list and mark-off the content as you handle it.
Once you’ve identified all of the places where your information is, you can begin the process of removing it. To remove the content, you’ll need to manually delete the posts, pages, and accounts that you no longer want to show up on Google.
This may mean logging into old Myspace, Facebook, or Instagram accounts. You’ll need to manually access your account settings of each page or profile and delete the accounts, posts, or pages if you don’t want them to be indexed on Google anymore.
Keep in mind that even after deleting your pages, pictures, accounts, etc., that the company itself will still legally “own” your content. While your pages and posts may be deleted from Google search results, large social media companies (like Facebook, for example) will still have your information and account data stored away on one of their private servers. This is something that is included in the fine print when you sign up to use almost all social media platforms.
What If I Have Unauthorized or Wrong Personal Information On Google?
This is a common problem that celebrities and larger businesses have to deal with. Perhaps a third-party blog, website, or business review posted some wrong, incorrect, or confidential information about you or your business that’s hurting your reputation (or is just unwanted).
In this case, removing the information can be a bit harder. First, make a list of any and all pages that reference you or your business alongside incorrect, wrong, or harmful information. Then, go to each of those sites and try to find the contact information for the webmaster. You can try to send them a message requesting that they remove, take down, or edit the information.
Another option you can try is to report or send feedback to Google regarding the link within your search results. To do this, simply click the three dots by the link in the search results and click ‘send feedback on this info.’
Here’s how it should look:
If the webmasters are unwilling to respond or refuse to comply with your request, then you may need to hire a lawyer who specializes in internet lawsuits. By working with a lawyer, you may be able to get harmful/wrong information taken down; in some cases, you may even be able to sue the site that posted the information if you can prove that it significantly harmed your business!
One of the best ways to prevent certain unwanted information from being posted is to use a VPN like ProtonVPN while browsing on public or unsecured networks. If you’re a person of interest or own a large business, there may be hackers connected to the same network as you who are using your unsecured network to scrape personal information from you as you browse. They can then sell this information to data brokers, paparazzi, and other undesirable sources.
When you use a VPN, your online activity will be masked along with your personal identity. This, in turn, makes it almost impossible for hackers to track your online activity and habits.
After deleting or changing pages and information within Google results, keep in mind that it may take several weeks for the results ot be deleted from search results. This is because Google’s indexing spider may only go through websites once every few weeks. Once the spider realizes that the corresponding page or link no longer exists, it will remove it from the search results.
Having wrong or incorrect information about you or your business posted online can certainly be frustrating. However, there is a good chance that you can get it removed with the right effort on your part! One of the best things you can do moving forward is to limit the amount of personal information you share online, use a VPN while browsing to remain private, and double-check any business/personal information you do post to ensure that it’s correct.