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How to Remove Information From Google Without SEO or Programming

One of the most common requests via our contact form is from individuals seeking to remove information from Google. Yes, this is a piece of what we endeavor to accomplish via our online reputation management service, but in many cases the individuals requesting assistance simply won’t be able to afford a specialized agency like us, so here’s a brief primer on some ways to accomplish the task that anyone can do. I am purposefully leaving out the more complex methods that require programming or search penalty knowledge (that’ll be another post that I promise to publish).

Contacting People

Let’s first assume that you’re in a similar situation with some of the people contacting us – there’s a negative article ranking for your name and you want it off the web. Where to start?
The first few ways to get information removed involves simply reaching out to people via email and phone (do not overlook phone – it is very effective). Don’t have the contact information? If you have names and/or titles, LinkedIn + Fullcontact exist to make your life easier. Since getting information is more effective for ORM than suppressing pieces via flooded positive ORM or even negative SEO tactics, it deserves as much of your time as you can provide.

1. Contact the editor/writer

For whatever reason, I’d say less than half of the people looking to remove a negative piece of information from the web get this far, but it is the most obvious. Is the piece libelous? Threaten legal action. If it simply unfavorable? Suggest an edit that makes the story better – just be prepared to support your edit request with data (and sometimes money). Is it stolen content? The editor should be amenable to your request; if not, it may be purposeful and you’ll need record of your attempts later.

2. Contact webmaster / tech team

If the editor and writer are unsympathetic to your needs, that isn’t the end of the road for you. In larger media companies especially, the web tech team is overloaded with work. If you can find the right individual via LinkedIn and Fullcontact, you can suggest that for legal reasons the page needs to be taken down. More so than with editors, money assists the process on secondary follow-ups; indicate that you don’t want to proceed with legal action on how [individual named] refused to comply with the removal request, and to compensate for the time required you’ll paypal a one-time fee.

3. Contact host / DNS provider

The employees of the publication haven’t been helpful to you, so now it is time to take your concerns to their host. This is relatively easy information to find. Navigate to http://www.whois.com/whois/domain.tld where ‘domain.tld’ is the website you have an issue with. Do you see the name servers listed (typically listed like ns1.somednshosting.com)? What you’ll want to do is navigate to that last bit of that string, such as somednshosting.com; look for any contact us / abuse type of form and simply list your complaint. Use legalese and list the exact URL you want removed, because usually the process at this point is for the host to contact the webmaster of the domain with a “fix or else” sort of request. Depending on the savvy of the publication, it will either be addressed out of fear or ignored. Some hosts and DNS services do have the ability to suspend service for a variety of abuse reasons, and occasionally they will trigger such action, but not always.

4. Contact Registrar

Many publications self-host and will be able to brush off your attempts to trigger abuse issues, but they cannot escape their registrars. Since you already looked up the WHOIS information you can see where “Registrar Abuse Contact Email” and “Registrar Abuse Contact Phone” exist. Pick up the phone – call in with your complaint. If it is copyright infringement or libel, you have a decent shot at getting the information removed. If you don’t have initial success on the phone, send an email with your compiled information and close that your next step is to follow through on a DMCA request if you’re dealing with stolen content.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

Welcome to perhaps one of the most abused systems in the online world. What the DMCA process is supposed to do is protect rights’ holders; what it really does is make everyone’s lives a mess. Keep in mind that you’ll need some information for each of the requests you file:

  1. Your full name and contact information.
  2. Exactly who you are filing against – the company (publication), intermediary agencies (such as the host or registrar).
  3. Make sure your copyright notice is up-to-date; someone will check this, so don’t skip it.
  4. Screenshot the blatant abuse.
  5. Provide documentation on how you attempted to address external to DMCA.
  6. File the complaints.

DMCA requests do work, but can be slow and inconsistent – unfortunately this means you’ll need to file multiple requests for each Google property or product impacted, the host, the registrar, and the publication. Seem like a lot of work? It is, but it does work. To assist, here are some places to file DMCA requests, at some of the larger online institutions:

Registrar/HostE-mailWeb FormPhone NumberFax NumberMailing Address
1 &1legal@1and1.com610-560-1505
A Small Orangecopyright@asmallorange.comLink678-298-6780A Small Orange LLC, Attn: DMCA Compliance, 2500 Ridgepoint Drive, Suite 105c Austin TX 78754
A2 Hostingabuse@a2hosting.com734-527-6565A2 Hosting, Attn: Bryan Muthig, PO Box 2998, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Above.comcontact@above.com
Aplus.netISPCopyrightAgent@deluxe.com651-490-8496866-731-8254Attn: Registered Agent Copyright Infringement, Aplus.net, 3680 Victoria Street North, Shoreview, MN 55126
Arvixeabuse@arvixe.com707-324-8333Arvixe, LLC 2500 Ridgepoint Dr, Austin, TX 78754
BigRockabuse@bigrock.comLink888-924-4762
BlueDominolegal@bluedomino-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277BlueDomino, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
BlueHostlegal@bluehost.com801-765-1992Bluehost, Attn: Legal Department, 560 E Timpanogos Pkwy. Building G, Orem, UT 84097
BuildYourSite800-446-7846
CenturyLinkDMCA@centurylink.com913-397-3427Copyright Agent, CenturyLink, 5454 West 110th Street, Mailstop: KSOPKJ0701, Overland Park, Kansas 66211
Cloud ShardsLink
Colocation AmericaHR@ColocationAmerica.com
CoolHandlelegal@coolhandle.com
Cosmotowndomain@cosmotown.com
CyrusOneabuse@CyrusOne.comCustomer Service – DMCA Abuse, CyrusOne, 1649 West Frankford Road, Dallas, TX 75007
DigitalOceanabuse@digitalocean.comLink347-903-7918Digital Ocean, Inc., Attn: Abuse , 101 Avenue of the Americas, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10013
DirectiLink
Domain.comlegal@domain-inc.net602-716-5396781-998-8277Domain.com, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
DoteasyLink
Dotsterlegal@dotster-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277Dotster, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
DreamHostabuse@dreamhost.comDreamHost, Attn: Karl Fry, 707 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 5050, Los Angeles, CA 90017
DynadotLink
EarthLinkdmca@corp.earthlink.net404-443-4365404-287-4905Office of the General Counsel, EarthLink, LLC, 1170 Peachtree Street, Suite 900 , Atlanta, Georgia 30309
EasyCGIlegal@easycgi-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277EasyCGI, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
eBoundHost.com888-554-9990
eHost281-476-7801eHost, Attn: Abuse Department, DMCA Complaint, 5005 Mitchelldale, Suite #100, Houston, TX 77092
EnomLink
FastDomainlegal@fastdomain.com801-765-1992FastDomain, Attn: Legal Department, 560 E Timpanogos Pkwy., Building G, Orem, UT 84097
FatCowlegal@fatcow-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277FatCow, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
Flywheeldmca@getflywheel.comFancy Chap, Inc. 1111 N. 13th St #208 Omaha, NE 68102
Gandiabuse@support.gandi.net
Gate.comabuse@gate.com312-470-0897Legal Department - DMCA Complaints, 100 North Riverside Plaza, 8th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606
Globat877-245-6228
GoDaddycopyrightclaims@godaddy.comLinkCopyright Agent, GoDaddy, 14455 N. Hayden Road, Suite 219, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
GoogleLink
GreenGeeks877-326-74835739 Kanan Rd Suite 300, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Hawk Hostabuse@hawkhost.com
Homestead800-710-1998
HostGatorLink
HostMetro800-485-9730
HostMonsterlegal@hostmonster.com801-765-1992HostMonster, Attn: Legal Department, 560 E Timpanogos Pkwy., Building G, Orem, UT 84097
HostPapainfo@hostpapasupport.com905-315-3455115 George St., Suite 511, Oakville, Ontario, L6J 0A2 Canada
HostRocketsupport@hostrocket.com866-519-7079
Hostwayabuse@hostway.com312-470-0897Hostway Services, Inc , Legal Department - DMCA Complaints, 100 N Riverside Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606 USA
Hostwindssupport@hostwinds.com855-467-8946
Hoverhelp@hover.com
Hurricane Electricsupport@he.com510-580-4151
IdeaHost281-476-7801IdeaHost, Attn: Abuse Department, DMCA Complaint, 5005 Mitchelldale, Suite #100, Houston, TX 77092
InMotion Hostinglegal@inmotionhosting.com
Link310-482-6969InMotion Hosting, Inc., General Counsel, 4553 Glencoe Avenue, Suite 325, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
InterServerabuse@interserver.net201-526-6605InterServer Inc, Suite 100, Attn: DMCA Designated Agent, 110 Meadowlands Parkway, Secaucus, NJ 07094
IO Zoomlegal@iozoom.com
iPagelegal@ipage-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277iPage, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
IPOWERlegal@ipower-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277IPOWER, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
iwantmynamehelp@support.iwantmyname.com
IX Web Hostinginfo@ixwebhosting.com614-534-1961
Jumpline800-651-2028111 2nd Ave NE, Suite 620, St Petersburg, FL 33701, USA
Just Hostlegal@justhost.com
801-765-1992Just Host, Attn: Legal Department, 560 E Timpanogos Pkwy., Building G, Orem, UT 84097
LeaseWebLinkLeaseWeb, Attn: Jon Frankel, 1900 M Street, NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20036
Liquid WebDMCA@liquidweb.com517-322-0434517-322-0493LiquidWeb.com, 4210 S. Creyts Road, Lansing, Michigan 48917
Lunarpagesabuse@lunarpages.comAdd2Net, Inc., Lunarpages Division, 1908 N. Enterprise St., Anaheim, CA 92865
M5 Hostingsecurity@m5hosting.com
MDDHostingabuse@MDDHosting.com
Media TempleLink
Midphaseabuse@midphase.com866-643-7427Hosting Services, Inc., 517 W. 100 N - Suite #225, Providence, Utah 84332
MochaHostinfo@mochahost.comLink408-351-0116
Monikerabuse@moniker.comLink844-760-0251
MULTACOM800-618-4628MULTACOM, 707 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 400 Los Angeles CA 90017
myhosting.com866-289-5091
Name.comLink720-235-0091
NamecheapLink
NameSiloabuse@namesilo.comLink
Netfirmslegal@netfirms-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277Netfirms, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
Network Solutionsabuse@web.com904-880-0350Attn: Legal Department, 12808 Gran Bay Parkway West, Jacksonville, FL 32258
Omnis Networkabuse@omnis.com
One.comabuse@one.com+44 203 6301299Two Fountain Square, 11921 Freedom Drive, Suite 550, Reston, VA 20190
OVHLink
pCloud800-371-02356750 N. Andrews Ave., Suite 200, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309, United States
PowWeblegal@powweb-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277PowWeb, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
Rackspaceabuse@rackspace.comLegal Department, Rackspace US, Inc., 1 Fanatical Place, City of Windcrest, San Antonio, TX 78218 Mail Stop: US 109-2301
Register.comabuse@web.com877-722-8662Web.com Group, Inc., Attn: Legal Department, 12808 Gran Bay Parkway West, Jacksonville, FL 32258
Site5copyright@site5.com678-298-6780Site5, Attn: DMCA Compliance, 2500 Ridgepoint Drive, Suite 105c Austin TX 78754
SiteGroundabuse@siteground.comSG Hosting Inc., 901 N. Pitt St Suite 325, Alexandria, 22314 VA, USA
SoftLayercopyright@softlayer.com214-442-0600214-442-0601SoftLayer Technologies, 14001 North Dallas Parkway, Suite M100, Dallas, TX 75240
StartLogiclegal@startlogic-inc.com602-716-5396781-998-8277StartLogic, Legal Department, 10 Corporate Dr., Suite 300, Burlington, MA 01803
Take 2 Hostingabuse@take2hosting.com408-212-0360Take 2 Hosting, Inc. 1163 S 800 E Orem, UT 84097
TMDHostingabuse@tmdhosting.com
Uniregistryhelp@uniregistry.com
Verizon EnterpriseDMCA@verizon.com
703-351-3669Designated Agent for DMCA Notices, Verizon Copyright Department, 1320 North Courthouse Road, Floor 9, Arlington, Virginia 22201, U.S.A.
Vultrdmca@vultr.comVultr Holdings LLC, David Gucker, 14 Cliffwood Ave Suite 300, Matawan, NJ 07747
Web Hosting Hublegal@webhostinghub.comWeb Hosting Hub, 3629 Sentara Way #303, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Web.comWeb.com Group, Inc., Attn: Legal Department, 12808 Gran Bay Parkway West, Jacksonville, FL 32258
WebHerobcrull@catalog.com405-753-9300, ext. 123405-753-9353Catalog.com, Inc, Attn: Robert W. Crull, 14000 Quail Springs Parkway, Suite 230, Oklahoma City, OK 73134
WebHostingPadWebHostingPad, Legal Department - DMCA Complaints, 318 Half Day Rd., Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Websitebuilder.comLink
WestHostdmca@westhost.com435-755-3433Brian Chambers, Copyright agent, 517 W. 100 N., Suite 225, Providence, UT 84332
Wild West Domainscopyrightclaims@secureserver.netLink480-505-8857480-275-3996Copyright Agent, Wild West Domains, 14455 N. Hayden Road, Suite 219, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Wix.comLink
WordPress.comLink877-273-8550415-840-0710Automattic Inc., 132 Hawthorne St., San Francisco, CA 94107
WPEngineabuse@wpengine.comLegal, Attn: General Counsel, WP Engine, Inc., 504 Lavaca, Suite 1000, Austin, TX 78701
Yahoo! Aabaco Small BusinessCopyright Agent, Aabaco Small Business, LLC, 701 First Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089

Have other hosts or registrars whom you think we should list? Let us know.

Google Removal Tool

At some point in the process of you reaching out to get content updated to be more to your liking, or outright removed, there will be a somewhat brief opportunity where the website’s cache is inconsistent with the displayed content. If the content is removed or changed, pounce and file a remove URL request. Now, in some cases Google will just temporarily remove the snippet, which can impact click through rates (CTR) and thus on lower engagement the piece drifts lower; in other cases, if the page was removed, this will get it dropped from the index faster.

Feedback

A final tactic which is less effective than the above approach, but is also one of the easiest, is to have as many of you and your friends to navigate to the problematic query and click the “Send Feedback” link. If the problematic result is listed frequently enough, it may get addressed. This usually doesn’t help much, unless the content you want to remove is also listed in the knowledge graph, algorithmically sourced rich snippets – in this case, they are more keen to act on the “Feedback” link if enough people complain.

If you were hoping for a more technical article, stay tuned, as I’ll return with various ways to drown out, suppress, and shift result sets for ORM purposes.

Joe Sinkwitz

You might know him as Cygnus, or @CygnusSEO, but IRL he’s Joe Sinkwitz, a man that built an empire on the back of payday lead gen over an 11 year period. Today Joe is watching how search evolves as principal of ORM/SEO agency Digital Heretix and influencing the masses as CEO of influencer marketing SaaS Intellifluence.com.