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Zac Johnson
Zac Johnson
Zac Johnson is on the Brand.com Board of Advisors and is the Brand.com Blog Moderator. Zac has over 17 years of experience in internet marketing and branding and has helped generate millions of dollars in business for brands and individuals of all sizes across the world. He is compensated for his contributions to the Brand.com Blog.
October 16, 2013 at 11:00 am | 6782 Views

How to Delete Mugshots from Google

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.

Contact a Brand.com expert today to start launching news directly to the media.

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60 comments
Sean Cooper
Sean Cooper

Google will continue to to try to demote these websites. However, the simple fact is that as long as people keep clicking on the links they will stay relevant and on the first page.

Genevieve Moser
Genevieve Moser

These website do nothing but exploit and embarrass people. I am glad Google is doing something about it!

constante quirino
constante quirino

oh, wow. I always assumed that all of those public mugshot sites were government operated and impossible to suppress.

Adam C
Adam C

Maybe my comment will stick this time...It's funny to see people you know with mug shots, they dont find it funny though. Glad to see Google to start cracking down on these set of scum bags.

Monica Johnson
Monica Johnson

If I ever had a mugshot, I would be more concerned with the picture being taken off. Brand.com has awesome image clearing plans for people.

Nathan Mellor
Nathan Mellor

Mugshots are very embarrassing for anyone. Luckily there are ways to get rid of them. Thanks Zac!

Asil1219
Asil1219

It's nice to see Google giving out these tips to help those who made one mistake and are paying for it online.

Samantha
Samantha

It's about time Google did something about it!

Pete Campbell
Pete Campbell

"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." << Some people are sick out there. Glad to see Google is making a stand

Paul Dudek
Paul Dudek

Arrests records, and mugshots online can destroy a reputation. We here at Brand.com can suppress that information.

Emily Thompson
Emily Thompson

A mugshot ranking on page 1 can very negatively affect ones life. I'm glad to hear Google has devalued mugshots, penalizing the companies that make money off of them.

Dennis Brown
Dennis Brown

Mug shot sites have been running this racket for quite some time and I'm glad to see that Google has finally recognized it. Onto the Review sites and nasty forums!!!

Adam felch
Adam felch

I am glad Google has devalued these sites. As they may have served as entertainment to some, to others, they were damaging lives and livelihoods.

John Gottschall
John Gottschall

This is great news. It points out however, that not taking control of your search results, leaves you open to unforeseen problems that can be damaging and costly.

ElizaAPearce8
ElizaAPearce8

I can't get over the guy with the top of his head cut off, but either way if you have a lawyer you really should have an ORM firm. They should basically go hand in hand.

Kaycee Flore
Kaycee Flore

It's so great google is being active about the mugshots. It could help so many people, really informative blog.

Anthony Giacomucci
Anthony Giacomucci

Its better to clean up that small mistake before it threatens your career plans

Daniel Connolly
Daniel Connolly

It's a shame that sometimes such a small mistake can result in a long term headache, but thankfully there are now ways to combat images like mugshots on Google.

Derek Saybolt
Derek Saybolt

Wise decision by Google. Mugshots can tarnish a family, business, or individual persona.

Dave Poly
Dave Poly

It's terrible to think people need to stoop so low as to put content on the internet just so they can charge people to remove it. It's a source of bribery if you ask me. The internet can be your best friend or worst enemy. It's all comes down to if you are able to monitor and manage what is on the internet about you or your company though!

mikem7
mikem7

I'm glad Google is putting their foot down on this unethical practice. They are taking advantage of mistakes made by people. Google is continuing to focus their search results on relevant and engaging content.

Mike Griffenberg
Mike Griffenberg

How can a company make you pay to take down a mugshot? This is essentially blackmail.

Thomas Navin
Thomas Navin

I'm glad Google is taking action against these mugshot websites that scam people out of money.

Ann Johnson
Ann Johnson

This snowball effect of one bad mistake can literally put an individual in such a place where they need a job, but can't get one because of the picture. That in turn means that they don't have money to remove it, still leaving them without a job!

Jason Raser
Jason Raser

It's great to see Google finally devaluing these dirty tactics.

Joshua Griffith
Joshua Griffith

Make sure if you are going to get arrested you have a very common name.... it will make it a lot harder for these mugshots to show up. Short of that, hire someone to clean it up. You got a lawyer to stay out of jail, now get an ORM firm to keep you out of internet jail.

Jacob Hammer
Jacob Hammer

The notion of public record has taken an entirely new meaning in recent years. It used to be that crimes committed before the age of 18, or crimes that never led to a formal conviction, would not appear on an individual's record. Now, we have people who made simple mistakes when they were kids paying for misdemeanors their entire lives. Even worse, innocent people who were never convicted of any wrong-doing are shadowed by allegations that potential employers, business partners, dates, etc. might find distasteful. This simply is not right. And I'm glad Brand.com is doing something about it.

Ian S
Ian S

It really is a shame that these sites exist, extorting money from people who may have made mistakes. Sometimes its from people who have even been acquitted of the crime! Its so important to keep an eye on your search results and be as proactive as possible to prevent these things from popping up if you feel they may.

Jeff Glauser
Jeff Glauser

I'm sorry, but I couldn't concentrate on anything except the one guy missing half his head...

Chris Meier
Chris Meier

Great to see Google taking action to fight this unsavory, yet legal, business model

Jane't Jones
Jane't Jones

I find it really disgusting that mugshot sites profit from mugshots appearing. On one hand there are certainly unsavory people we all should know about and it helps to have those shots available. On the other hand, people who were acquitted of charges, never charged with anything but arrested, or who had misdemeanors not worthy of so much attention find themselves constantly embarrassed when they are searched online. It's good to know that ORM practices can help suppress this negative info!

Celina Levin
Celina Levin

I'm curious to know exactly what Google "guideline" these sites weren't in compliance with. As for the actual mug shots themselves, I definitely agree that a definite game plan should be creating positive content. Content is king!

Jessica Veazey
Jessica Veazey

Everyone deserves a second chance, it is nice to see that Google even agrees with that statement. One bad decision shouldn't ruin your life or your online reputation.

Jul Pileggi
Jul Pileggi

The mugshot scam is awful and I'm glad that Google is making changes to combat it.

Melissa Adams Morris
Melissa Adams Morris

Mugshots are something that can haunt you forever! It's a horrific thing. These websites that post these images are looking to be popular on Google by ranking on the first page of Google image results!

samantha.wanner
samantha.wanner

Mugshot companies demand money to have your mugshot removed and then sell it to another company who will have you pay again. Its an unethical cyclical and I am happy to see Google policing the situation.

Harrison Pew
Harrison Pew

It really is reassuring that Google is taking the necessary steps of addressing the issue of these mugshot websites having people pay to have their mugshots removed. As stated in the article, these mugshots can be detrimental to peoples' reputations, as well as affect their chances while going through the job interview process. Brand.com would be the best fit for these types of people rather than going directly to the mugshot websites to have them removed.

John Lamplugh
John Lamplugh

Having a mugshot of yourself on the internet can be seriously detrimental. You may lose a job or not get one because of it, not to mention the personal shame that is put on you knowing that if someone searches your name, they may find the mugshot.

Ryan Maley
Ryan Maley

These sites are taking advantage of peoples 'one bad night and mistake' and at times ruining their lives because of the prevalence of Google searches these days.

Paul Sweeney
Paul Sweeney

I am glad to see Google is doing their part and demoting these sites as they are aware of them. It also good that though these pics may not be completely removed in some cases they can be utterly suppressed with the help of Brand.com

greg cobb
greg cobb

The Internet is the wild west! recourse action is needed to ensure you own your name online. Get proactive with your digital assets!

Tarek Osman
Tarek Osman

Great job by Google for stepping up to the plate and manually overriding its algorithms. I honestly thought they would push back on this as they swore to never remove content from their search results. Tweaking an algorithm with the intention of banishing these sites is removing them IMO.

James
James

This is a great plan of action for anyone needing to clear their past from search engines! But how well with Google's mugshot algorithm work? And will it work for all mugshot sites? I suppose that's why it's a good idea to use Brand.com's command center to help minimize the potential damage.

Michael Petrucci
Michael Petrucci

This is about as close to legally extorting someone as you can get. Mug shots are a sign that you have been arrested, they do not prove guilt. Unfortunately they are still a slam on your reputation and can cost you regardless. Paying the people that post the pictures is not the way to handle it, glad google has taken notice.

Michael Dectis
Michael Dectis

A mugshot can be devastating to anyone who is trying to get a job. One mistake should not ruin a career path for a motivated individual.

Kyle McGrath
Kyle McGrath

It's good to see Google is addressing this issue and recognizing it for the scam it is. It is also great that Brand.com is there to help with anything Google is overlooking, so that if this is an issue for an individual, they can have peace of mind that it is being taken care of.

Delrio
Delrio

You should try virtualrisksolutions.com to have your mugshot or arrest record removed from exposedmugshot.com and search engines.

Greg Stathes
Greg Stathes

I agree with Adam, mug shots were just doing damage to the person and not providing anything besides insulting the them. I like the update.

Anna Albrecht
Anna Albrecht

Totally agreed, Celina! The best way to beat one negative is with two positives. I'm echoing everyone's disbelief that there are mugshot websites out there, though. Glad Google is taking some action.

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