Image Removal From Google: How To Take Down Your Photos

Last Updated on May 16, 2024

Google image removalMany people post images online that they later regret. However, unwanted pictures can cause a personal reputation crisis and hold you back from opportunities. Learn how to remove images from Google Search results, even ones other people posted.

Can You Get Google To Remove An Image Published On Another Site?

Yes, you can remove unwanted photos from Google Search results, even if another website published them. However, there is a caveat to this.

Google is a search engine, meaning that people don’t post images directly to SERPs. Google simply shows you what other people publish on their own websites. Google can prevent photos from appearing on their search engine by removing the link. But, this won’t permanently delete images from the internet entirely.

However, as the world’s largest search engine, this still prevents most people from seeing the photos at all.

5 Steps To Get Rid Of Pictures On Google

Removing photos from Google Images can either be straightforward, or more challenged. It all depends on whether you posted the pictures, or if someone else posted them. Either way, follow these steps to remove pictures from google images:

Delete photos from your owned properties

If at one time, you posted pictures online that you now regret, it is super easy to remove them. You just need to be thorough and go through all your online accounts and remove pictures from the source:

  • Social Media Accounts. Do a social media cleanse by logging into all your social media accounts. Simply delete any image that you don’t want people to see and remove your tags from images friends or family posted. Then, set your account to private so Google can’t crawl it and the public can’t see your posts.
  • Your Website/Blog. Log into your content management system (WordPress, Wix, SquareSpace, etc). Find the pictures, then delete them from both your posts and media library.
  • Google Photos App. If you have Google Photos, open the app, and select any images you want to delete. Remove them from your library, and delete them from any backups.

Regularly cleaning up your online profiles can keep negative images out of circulation.

Find the source of the images

If you find pictures circulating about you online that you didn’t post, you need to find the source. Follow these steps:

  • Open Google Incognito mode to conduct these searches for unbiased, unpersonalized results.
how to open google incognito mode

To open Google Incognito Mode, click the three dots at the top right corner of the screen. Then, click “New Incognito Window”.

  • Go to Google Images and type any keywords associated with you into the search bar. Look through the results and keep a list of all the links that you want to remove.
  • Search for different versions of your name, including your full name, a nickname, initials, etc. You should also search for your name plus any other identifiers. This includes your job title, location, business name, etc.
  • If you have the image file, you can do a reverse Google Image search to find the source. Click on the camera icon on the search bar and upload your image. If the picture exists anywhere online, you will see it in the results page.
reverse google image search

To do a reverse Google Image search, click on the camera icon at the right of the search bar. Then, proceed to upload your image file.

Contact the webmaster

Once you find the source of the image, reach out to the website owner for removal. Follow these steps:

  • Look for the “Contact Us” or “About” sections on the website. Usually, they will have an email address or contact form for you to get in touch.
  • Write a polite but also clear message that explains why you want them to take down the image. Include the URL and any other relevant information.
  • If the site owner doesn’t respond, use a WHOIS lookup service to find the contact details of the hosting company. Contact them instead to request image removal.

Submit an image removal request to Google

Sometimes, website owners either won’t respond or they refuse to take down the picture. In that case, you can get Google to remove the picture.

Before you start this process, it’s important to note that Google won’t necessarily remove your picture. The specific image must meet the removal requirements, meaning they must contain one of the following:

  • explicit or intimate personal images
  • involuntary fake pornography or sexually abusive content
  • pornography irrelevantly connected to you or your name
  • personally identifiable information (PII) or doxxing content
  • content about you on sites where you have to pay to remove the image
  • images of minors, except in cases of “compelling public interest or newsworthiness”

Also, Google will remove an image from search for specific legal reasons, including:

  • Copyright infringement
  • Trademark violations
  • Court orders

With that being said, follow these steps to submit an image removal request:

  • Go to Google’s Removal Request page.
  • Choose the reason for your request, such as revealing personal information, explicit images, or intellectual property violations.
  • Provide the required information, as well as the URLs to the pictures.
  • Wait for Google to review the request. They may remove the images from search results if they meet the criteria.
Google image request removal form

To request an image removal from Google, select the option that best fits your situation. If none of these apply, Google likely won’t remove your picture from search results.

Note: This process only removes images from search results, not the host websites. They will still exist online, people just won’t be able to find them in Google’s search engine.

Remove pics from Google that are outdated

If you previously deleted images, they may still show up in search results. This happens because it can take Google some time to de-index the picture and take it off SERPs. If the picture still appears, follow these steps:

  • Go to Google’s Remove Outdated Content page.
  • Copy and paste the URL of the deleted image.
  • Click “Request Removal” and follow the prompts. Google will review the request and de-index the content if it is no longer available.
remove outdated images on Google

To remove outdated images on Google, submit a new request on the Outdated Content page.

As a last resort, you can also file a Google DMCA Takedown Notice. You can do this when someone else posts an image that falls under your intellectual property without your permission. Only use this after exhausting all other methods, as it may require legal action.

What To Do When Google Image Removal Doesn’t Work

Removing images from Google search results is not always possible. If the above steps don’t work for you, you can suppress search results instead. This method involves posting fresh, positive online images to rank above the negative ones. Since most people never click past the first page of Google, few people will ever see them.

Follow these steps:

Create Website

Creating a website gives you complete control over the pictures you post to it. When you optimize your website and pictures, they will outrank negative images you don’t want people to see. Use these tips:

  • Choose a domain name that includes your name.
  • Write a detailed “about” page with your name and any relevant, positive keywords.
  • Post high-quality images that reflect on you in a positive way.
  • Use descriptive file names for your images.
  • Write descriptive, unique alt text for each image, incorporating relevant keywords and your name.
  • Wherever possible, add captions to your pictures that include relevant keywords.
  • Don’t just upload a bunch of new pictures to your website and forget about it. Be consistent and update your website regularly with new photos.

Launch a Blog

Publishing content regularly and consistently keeps your website (and the images on it) relevant in search engines. Blogging is also a great way to tell the world who you are. The more positive content you post to your blog, the more it will bury negative content. Use these tips:

  • Use high-resolution photos. Blurry or pixelated images detract from the credibility of your posts.
  • Add images that relate directly to the topic of your blog. Use them to illustrate key points in an engaging way. Position them close to the relevant sections of text.
  • Just like on the rest of your website, utilize alt text, filenames, and captions. Make sure these are both informative, unique, and keyword-rich. (But, make sure to avoid keyword over-stuffing).
  • Compress images to reduce the file size without sacrificing quality. This helps to speed up your website.
  • Use a style that is consistent with your personal brand.
  • Include different types of images, such as infographics, screenshots, custom graphics, photographs you take yourself, etc.
  • Place images strategically to break up text and make your blog post more digestible.
  • Place the most important graphics at the top of your post to capture reader attention.
  • Use an eye-catching featured image for your blog post. These appear in previews and social media shares.
  • Use pictures that you have the right to use. Use ones that are royalty-free, have a Creative Commons license, or purchase stock images. Always give credit when the photo requires attribution.
  • In addition to blogging on your own website, you can also guest blog for other creators.

Make new social media profiles

Creating professional social media profiles is a great way to publish new photos. Popular social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram already have high authority in Google. So, posting regularly will help you to rank your new pics. Use these tips:

  • Set up public social media profiles for your personal brand where you only post about more professional things. Set your personal accounts to private.
  • Fill out these new profiles completely with your name, a short bio, and positive keywords.
  • Include links to your website/blog posts in your profile and posts. Interlinking your different sites helps to rank them all up together and associate them all with you.
  • Share new images frequently.
  • Reply to people who comment on your posts to boost visibility.
  • Utilize alt text and effective hashtags in your posts.
  • Create accounts on online forums like Reddit and share images there.
  • Business owners should upload new high-quality images to your Google Business Profile, LinkedIn page, or Facebook business page.
how to remove images from google search results

Follow steps 1-5 to remove your images from Google search results. If that doesn’t work, go on to steps 6-8 to suppress them.

In Closing: Image Removal From Google

Image removal from Google search results takes time. It can be a complicated process, but consistent effort will give you results.

free reputation consultation

When removing images from Google, you want to make sure you’re doing it the right way. The expert team at Reputation911 is here to help you with all your reputation management needs. Contact us for a free consultation today.

About The Author

William DiAntonio is the Founder & CEO of Reputation911, a reputation management firm he founded in 2010 that has earned the trust of its clients for over a decade by helping individuals, businesses and brands control their online search results.

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