Removing links and other search results from Google
As internet lawyers, we’re often asked to help remove content from search results in Google and other search engines.
As one might expect, search engines don’t readily remove natural search results. In our experience, to maximise the chances for removal, you have to put forward a strong legal case for removal first time, including setting out the exact legal basis. Also, it’s important to get the request right first time as search engine operators generally don’t change their minds.
In the UK, two of the main routes for Google and other search engine removal are:
- arguing that the search results or sites to which they link are defamatory
- relying the right to be forgotten / privacy
Of course, search engine de-listing doesn’t itself stop the information from appearing on the original source website. However, sometimes it’s difficult to remove information from websites and removal of the link from the search results is often an acceptable alternative.