Deleting mugshots from Google has been one of the most sought-after tasks for people with a criminal record. Not only is it extremely sought-after, but it’s also one of the hardest missions to accomplish.
There is a growing threat on the Internet from various mugshot-related sites that have legally accessed directories of personal information along with mugshots and arrest records. These web sites are then posting this information to their sites in hopes of appearing on the first page of the search results for individuals’ names, and eventually getting them to pay the site to remove their mug shot images and personal information. This is actually nothing new, and has been going on for several years now. It has become quite a lucrative business.
Instant Access to 1000s of Mugshots through Google Images… are you one of them?
The truth is that arrest records are publicly available, and once they are on the Internet, they can be accessed by anyone and can be very challenging to get removed. Having a mug shot or arrest record of yourself on the Internet isn’t just embarrassing — it’s also detrimental to your chances of getting hired for a new job or anything other scenario in which people might be searching for your name. Would you want to work with someone with a criminal past and has a mugshot in the first page of Google results for their name?
What is Google Doing to Delete Online Mugshots?
The business practices of starting a website and posting mugshots only, with the intention of having them removed after payment from the customer, might seem like a shady business. After years of these practices going on, Google tends to agree, and they have recently taken action by removing mugshot sites from ranking in their search results.
TheNextWeb had the following to say on Google’s recent changes:
Google has been addressing an issue with mugshot sites to push them down in search results, the New York Times reveals today in an article.
Such sites post photos of those who have been arrested and charge a fee for their removal, which can range from $30 to $400, or even higher.
What makes them popular is that they appear high up in Google searches regularly whenever a name of someone who has been previously arrested is keyed in. The New York Times notes that Google had not been penalizing these sites for getting their images and text from third-party sources, going against the search giant’s ethos that websites should be promoted if they have original material, and demoted for copying.
However, Google has now found that these sites apparently do not comply with a certain guideline, and has taken action to demote them since Thursday, rolling out an amendment to its algorithms that has led to mugshots being pushed back and listed beyond the first page.
However, even with the changes from Google, there are many mugshot sites still out there, and much of the negative content is still ranking, as SearchEngineLand reports:
Google has a new system in place designed to prevent “mugshots” sites from ranking well. Such sites make money convincing people to “remove” their mugshots after posting them online. Only one problem. The person featured in a New York Times story yesterday as a victim of this unsavory practice still has his mugshot appearing, despite Google’s supposed change.
The practice of mugshot shots was profiled in the New York Times yesterday (and in our sister-site Search Engine Land earlier this year). The New York Times story leads with the story of Maxwell Birnbaum, who was upset that his mugshot was still appearing on several mugshots sites that, in turn, appeared in the top results on Google — making him less attractive to potential employers. The sites offer to remove those mugshots, for a fee.
For these reasons alone you will need a quality reputation management company like Brand.com to manage, suppress and remove your mugshots from the Internet.
How to Delete Mugshots from Google
The good news is there are ways that you can take action against these sites. You can suppress these negative rankings and push them down in the search results so they don’t appear on the main page of the search results. The truth is that your one small mistake is now publicly available on the internet for everyone to see. While it’s extremely hard to get these records and photos permanently removed, the process of getting these negative listing and pictures pushed down in the rankings is a much more effective process. Brand.com is currently working with clients that have embarrassing and detrimental arrest records appearing on the main page of the search results for their names.
The best way to combat these negative rankings is to build a game plan around positive information and start to suppress the negatives. This includes such practices as:
- Monitoring the search results for your name mentions
- Contacting and deleting websites web possible
- Creating new, positive websites and articles
- Monitoring, tracking and improving your search terms activity
- Providing you with an all-in-one solution through the use of our Command Center
The sooner you start the process of removing and suppressing negative mugshot listings in the search rankings, the lower the number of people who will see them associated with your name in the rankings.
To get started with this process, you can contact the Brand.com team at 1-800-269-7984 or create a free account using the Brand.com Command Center to start monitoring your name and every time it appears in the search results.