In September of last year, Google introduced a method to remove search results displaying personal contact information, such as your home address, phone number, and email. Users could initiate these removal requests from any Google search interface and monitor their status using the Results About You tool. However, staying on top of search results about oneself was still a manual process.
Now, Google has unveiled updates to the tool to ease this burden and introduce another layer of online privacy protection. The newly launched dashboard in Results About You will display existing search results containing your contact information and automatically alert you if such personal details reappear in the future. While you’ll still need to submit removal requests manually, this enhancement streamlines the process.
It’s worth noting that Google will continue to review and screen these removal requests to ensure that it doesn’t remove results tied to information considered “broadly useful,” such as those found in news articles.
You can access the Results About You tool within the Google app by clicking on your Google account photo and selecting “Results about you.” Alternatively, you can visit google.com/resultsaboutyou. Initially, this update will only be available in English within the U.S., but it will expand to other languages and locations in the near future.
Additionally, Google has made it easier to request the removal of nonconsensual explicit imagery from search results, streamlining the process. However, it’s essential to note that this policy does not extend to commercialized images.
Google will also implement a change in handling explicit images by default—such images will be blurred in search results starting in August. This modification aims to protect families from accidentally encountering adult or graphic violent images while browsing. Parental controls can now be easily accessed by searching for terms like “google parental controls” or “google family link” in the search box.
As a reminder, the removal of search results does not eliminate content from the web entirely but makes it less accessible and easier to manage in search results.