How to Remove a News Article from Google and the Internet: A Step-by-Step Guide Featured Image

How to Remove a News Article from Google and the Internet: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you have been the unwilling subject of a damaging online news article, you may be wondering how you can remove it from google search results and the internet. Most people think that once something is online, it will stay there forever—but that is not always true.

As an attorney who has dedicated my entire legal career to helping individuals and businesses protect their online reputations, I know firsthand the devastation that negative news articles can cause when they appear on the first page of Google search results. I’ve seen the stress, anxiety, and feelings of helplessness that my clients experience when false accusations or embarrassing stories surface online. It can feel like your world is crumbling, and you can do nothing to stop it.

But here’s the good news: you’re not alone, and there is hope. You don’t have to sit back and let these negative articles define you. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the exact steps my team, and I use to help our clients regain control of their online presence and mitigate the damage of negative press. We’ll cover everything from assessing the impact of the article to exploring your removal options to implementing proactive measures to fortify your reputation going forward.

What Are My Options for Removing News Articles From the Internet?

One of the most common questions I get from clients facing negative news articles is, “Can this content actually be removed from the internet?” The short answer is yes, but it’s not always a straightforward or easy process.

In my experience, there are four main options for dealing with negative news articles:

  1. Requesting removal or amendments directly from the website that published the article. This is often the quickest and most cost-effective solution, but not all websites will comply.
  2. Pursuing legal action for defamation or invasion of privacy to obtain a court order for removal. This can be a powerful tool in certain cases, but it’s also expensive and time-consuming.
  3. Submitting a request to Google to de-index the article from its search results. This doesn’t remove the original article, but it makes it much harder to find. However, Google will only grant these requests in limited circumstances.
  4. Suppressing the negative article by creating and promoting positive content that outranks it in search results. This is a more gradual, long-term approach that requires ongoing effort and maintenance.
OptionProsConsExpected Timeline
Contacting news website directlyCan lead to complete removal or edits without legal actionNot all websites will comply; may require multiple follow-ups2-8 weeks
Requesting Google de-indexingRemoves page from search results without altering original contentLimited to specific criteria like copyright infringement or doxxing1-2 weeks for decision
Legal action (defamation/privacy)Can result in court-ordered removal and potential damagesExpensive, time-consuming, and not always applicableSeveral months to years
Suppression with positive contentProactive approach to improve online reputation over timeRequires ongoing effort and doesn't eliminate original articles3-6+ months for results

I’ll examine and explain how we approach each option in more detail below. What option is best for you ultimately depends on the unique circumstances of your case. However, in most cases, the key to success lies in working with an experienced professional who contacts the news publications directly with a request to remove, update, or de-index the article at the source. This requires careful communication, strategic negotiation, persistence, and a compelling case for why the content should be addressed.

How Do I Request Removal of an Article From News Websites?

Without question, the fastest and most effective way to deal with a negative news article is to go straight to the source and request removal or modification. Over the years, my team and I have developed a proven process for submitting these requests and negotiating with news websites that give our clients the best chance possible for success.

Here are the key steps we follow:

  1. Carefully review the website’s content removal policy and preferred contact methods. Look for any specific guidance or criteria they provide for article takedown requests.
  2. Draft a concise, professional letter that clearly explains the issue with the article and the specific action you’re requesting (e.g., complete removal, correction of false statements, de-indexing). Stick to the facts and avoid making emotional appeals or empty legal threats. Here’s an example of an adaptable template you can use as a starting point:


Subject: Request for Article Removal or Amendment – [Article Headline]

Dear [Website/Editor Name],

I am writing to request the removal of the article “[Headline]” published on [Date] at [URL]. This article contains false and defamatory information that is causing significant harm to my reputation.

Specifically, the article states that [X, Y, and Z]. However, this information is inaccurate and misleading based on [evidence/facts/explanation].

I kindly request that you either remove this article in its entirety or amend it to reflect the truth and prevent further damage. I am happy to provide additional information or discuss this matter further if needed.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this serious issue. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely, [Your Name] [Contact Information]

  1. Gather and include evidence to support your claims if the article contains demonstrably false or defamatory information. This could include documents, witness statements, or links to reputable sources that contradict the article’s allegations.
  2. Submit your request and allow 1-2 weeks for an initial response. If you don’t hear back, follow up politely. Getting a substantive reply often takes multiple attempts and months of persistence.
  3. If the website refuses to comply or fails to respond after several professional attempts, it may be time to escalate the matter legally, or if this not a viable option, turn to reputation management techniques. Additionally, circling back to news organizations years later that originally denied requests has worked in some instances.

At Minc Law, we’ve honed our approach to removal requests through extensive trial and error. We know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to getting results from news websites. In fact, we’ve successfully removed content from hundreds of publications, including major outlets.

The following is a small list of organizations we have successfully worked with in the past to help our clients remove online news content from (please note though, each client’s case and circumstance is unique, and past success in working with a certain organization is NOT a guarantee of future results):

  • Chicago Tribune
  • LA Times
  • USAToday
  • Barstool Sports
  • ESPN
  • New York Post
  • Chicago Sun Times
  • Sports Illustrated (
  • Atlanta Journal & Constitution Stars and Stripes
  • WOIO
  • Academic Sexual Misconduct Database
  • Hearst Connecticut (a group of papers)
  • WMC5 Action News
  • Fox 13 Memphis
  • The Plain Dealer,
  • WBBJ 7
  • NBC 24
  • WBOY
  • WDTV
  • Press Reader

One key lesson I’ve learned is that you often only get one shot at making your case, so it’s crucial to present a comprehensive, compelling argument right out of the gate. Editors and legal teams are busy, and they won’t hesitate to brush off sloppy or unconvincing requests.

This is where working with an experienced attorney can make all the difference. We know how to package these requests to get attention and results. We also have the legal knowledge to spot potential defamation or editorial issues and the negotiation skills to find creative solutions when the other side digs in its heels.

Why Hiring a Content Removal Attorney Provides Your Best Chance of Success

I may be biased, but I firmly believe that partnering with a skilled professional, like attorneys at Minc Law, who focuses exclusively on this type of work daily, is the most effective way to drastically improve your chances of success when dealing with negative news articles. Here’s why:

  1. We do this every single day. At Minc Law, we’ve been in the trenches for over a decade. We know the ins and outs of the content removal process and have built relationships with key decision-makers at major publications. This experience and familiarity allows us to work efficiently and effectively on behalf of our clients.
  2. We know what buttons to push and people to contact. Through extensive trial and error, my team has developed a keen understanding of the arguments and approaches that are most likely to sway editors and legal teams. It’s different for every case. We know how to frame requests in a way that aligns with their interests and motivations.
  3. We bring the gravitas. Requests from a respected law firm simply carry more weight than those from everyday individuals or lawyers who do not focus on this area of law. When we contact websites, they know we’re not just blowing smoke—we have the legal knowledge and resources to back up our demands. In many cases, we’ve dealt with the organization or person receiving the request previously.
  4. We provide a buffer. For many of my clients, the process of contacting news outlets and arguing for removal is simply too emotionally daunting and draining. By hiring a legal professional, you can offload that burden in a confidential and privileged conversation that respects your privacy and let someone else fight the battle on your behalf while you focus on healing and moving forward.


Of course, not all content removal services are created equal. I’ve seen some reputation management companies and even other law firms and attorneys make bold promises and charge exorbitant fees without delivering results. In particular, I caution against clients utilizing firms that offer “pay-for-delete” type arrangements.

I certainly understand the value and why these types of offers are enticing. However, if you value transparency, and quality, and are looking to maximize your chances of success, these types of service providers and arrangements do the exact opposite. This is because when companies or law firms offer these types of arrangements, they become incentivized to spend as little time and effort on your case as possible.

For example, they will rely heavily on templates that they will spend little to no effort customizing, they will not spend time collecting evidence and learning finer details about the nuances of your particular situation or case, they will not engage in any preliminary research regarding a news organization’s policies related to your request, and they will cut off their removal and follow-up efforts often after 30-60 days making a single inquiry request. This last point is a big one. In our experience, 50% of successful removal requests can take MONTHS and multiple emails, letters, and follow-up conversations.

If you are wondering how I know these things, it’s because I was a board member for a local regional newspaper and I asked to evaluate and look at a handful of removal inquiries that they were sent. I will refrain from naming the companies and lawyers directly, but I can tell you that the work product was GARBAGE. And, in one unfortunate instance, the news organization was actually receptive to the request, and when we emailed the lawyer (twice) asking some basic follow-up questions for more information, THEY DIDN’T RESPOND. Likely for the reasons I mentioned earlier. What a nightmare scenario for that client!

Don’t make the same mistake. Instead, look to work with professionals who take a strategic, multi-faceted approach and are transparent about the process and potential outcomes. At Minc Law, we always start with an in-depth analysis of the situation and then develop a customized plan that may include a combination of removal requests, legal action, and suppression tactics. We also make sure our clients understand the inherent challenges and limitations of the process, so they have realistic expectations from the outset.

What are Valid Reasons for Google to Remove an Article From Search Results?

Even if you can’t get a negative article removed at the source, you may be able to convince Google to remove it from its search results. This is known as “de-indexing,” and it can be a powerful way to minimize the visibility and impact of harmful content.

However, Google is pretty selective about the types of content it will de-index. In my experience, the most common scenarios where Google will agree to remove search results are:

  • Copyright infringement: If the article contains content that violates your copyright (e.g., unauthorized use of your photos or plagiarized text), you can file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice to request removal.
  • Court-ordered removals: If you have obtained a court order requiring the removal of the article (e.g., as part of a defamation lawsuit), Google will typically comply and de-index the content.
  • Explicit personal information: Google may remove content that contains confidential personal information, such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, or medical records.
  • Non-consensual explicit content: If the article includes intimate images or videos that were shared without your consent, you can request removal through Google’s revenge porn policy.
  • Dangerous or illegal content: Google may remove content that promotes illegal activities, violence, or self-harm.

If you believe your situation falls into one of these categories, you can submit a removal request through Google’s legal troubleshooter:

The process typically involves providing details about the specific URL you want removed, the reason for removal, and any relevant documentation (e.g., DMCA notice, court order). Google will review your request and make a decision based on its internal policies and legal obligations.

It’s worth noting that even if Google removes a page from its search results, the original content will still exist on the web—it just won’t show up in Google searches. That’s why, in most cases, I recommend starting with a direct removal request to the website before pursuing de-indexing.

Can Legal Action Help Remove News Articles From the Internet?

In some situations, legal action may be the most effective way to remove a negative news article. If the article contains false or defamatory statements that are causing demonstrable harm to your reputation, you may have grounds for a defamation lawsuit.

The goal of a defamation suit is typically to obtain a court order requiring the removal of the offending content and, in some cases, monetary damages for the harm caused. However, it’s important to understand that defamation cases can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming.

To prevail in a defamation claim, you generally need to prove the following elements:

  • The article contains one or more false statements of fact (as opposed to opinions).
  • The false statements are about you specifically.
  • The statements were published or communicated to a third party (which, if they are online, is usually a given).
  • The statements caused you actual harm (e.g., lost business, damaged relationships).
  • If you are a public figure, you must also prove that the statements were made with “actual malice” (meaning the author knew they were false or acted with reckless disregard for the truth).

Gathering sufficient evidence to support each of these elements can be daunting, which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced defamation attorney. At Minc Law, we’ve successfully represented clients in hundreds of defamation cases, so we know how to build a strong case and navigate the legal system.

Invasion of Privacy

Another potential legal avenue is an invasion of privacy claim. This may apply if the news article contains private, sensitive information about you that serves no legitimate public interest. Classic examples include medical records, financial information, or intimate details about your personal life.

As with defamation, invasion of privacy claims can be challenging to prove and often hinge on the case’s specific facts. However, if successful, they can result in a court order mandating the removal of the offending content and potential monetary damages.

Regardless of the specific legal claim, weighing the potential costs and benefits of pursuing legal action is important. Lawsuits can be a powerful tool, but they also require a significant investment of time, money, and emotional energy. You’ll need to work closely with your attorney to gather evidence, draft legal documents, and potentially testify in court.

How Can I Suppress Negative Articles that Can’t Be Removed?

In some cases, removing a negative news article from the web may not be possible. Perhaps the website is unresponsive to removal requests, or the content doesn’t meet the criteria for legal action. In these situations, the best approach may be to suppress the article by pushing it down in search results and minimizing its visibility.

The goal of suppression is to fill the first page of your search results with positive, brand-controlled content that outshines the negative article. Over time, this can significantly reduce the article’s impact and help you regain control of your online reputation.

Some of the most effective suppression tactics we’ve used with our clients include:

  • Creating and optimizing profiles on high-authority sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and industry blogs. These profiles should showcase your expertise, accomplishments, and values, using strategic keywords to improve search rankings.
  • Developing a strong content marketing strategy that includes regularly publishing informative blog posts, articles, and videos on your own website and other reputable platforms. The key is to create valuable, engaging content that naturally attracts links and social shares.
  • Seeking out positive media coverage through press releases, guest posts, and interviews with journalists and influencers in your industry. This can help counteract the negative article and build a more well-rounded online presence.
  • Encouraging satisfied customers or clients to leave reviews on popular platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Authentic, positive reviews can be incredibly powerful in shaping public perception and reducing negative content.
  • Implementing a robust SEO strategy that includes link building, keyword optimization, and technical improvements to your website. This can help your positive content rank higher in search results and outcompete the negative article.

At Minc Law, we work closely with our clients to develop customized suppression strategies that align with their unique goals and challenges. We often utilize a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach. It’s worth noting that suppression is a long-term process that requires ongoing effort and monitoring. Depending on the strength of the negative article and the competitiveness of your target keywords, it may take several months to a year or more to see significant results permanently.

However, for many of my clients, the investment in PR and suppression is well worth it for the peace of mind and ROI from the reputational benefits it provides. By taking proactive steps to manage your online presence, you can gradually diminish the impact of negative articles and build a more resilient, positive reputation over time.

When Should I Hire An Online Reputation Management Service Over Negative News Articles?

Dealing with negative news articles can be a daunting and emotionally draining process, especially if you’re not familiar with the intricacies of online reputation management. In many cases, hiring an experienced ORM service can be a smart investment to help you navigate the challenges and achieve your goals more efficiently.

Here are some situations where I typically recommend seeking professional help:

  • The stakes are high. If the negative article is causing significant harm to your personal or professional life (e.g., costing you job opportunities or clients), you may not have the luxury of trying to handle it on your own. An ORM service can help you take swift, decisive action to mitigate the damage.
  • You’re unsure of the best approach. Online reputation management is a complex field with many nuances and pitfalls. Consulting with an expert can provide clarity and direction if you’re feeling overwhelmed or confused about your options. They can help you assess the situation, weigh the pros and cons of different strategies, and develop a customized plan of action.
  • You don’t have the time or resources to handle it yourself. Removing or suppressing negative articles can be a time-consuming process that requires consistent effort and follow-up. If you’re already stretched thin with work or personal obligations, it may be worth outsourcing the task to a dedicated team of professionals.
  • The article is part of a larger pattern. If the negative press is just one piece of a broader reputational crisis (e.g., multiple articles, social media backlash, online harassment), you may need more comprehensive support to weather the storm. An experienced ORM service can help you develop a holistic strategy to address the underlying issues and rebuild your reputation over time.
  • You’ve tried to handle it on your own without success. If you’ve already attempted to remove or suppress the article using the tactics outlined in this guide but haven’t seen the results you want, it may be time to bring in reinforcements. An ORM service can often succeed where individuals fail, thanks to their specialized knowledge, resources, and relationships.

Of course, not all reputation management services are created equal. It’s important to do your due diligence and choose a reputable provider with a proven track record of success. Some key qualities to look for include:

  • Transparency: They should be upfront about their process, pricing, and expected outcomes. Beware of anyone who makes grandiose promises or refuses to explain their methods.
  • Experience: Look for a provider with a long history of success in online reputation management, ideally with case studies or testimonials from satisfied clients.
  • Customization: They should take the time to understand your unique situation and develop a tailored strategy that aligns with your goals and values. One-size-fits-all solutions are rarely effective.
  • Communication: You should feel comfortable and confident in your interactions with the team. They should be responsive, professional, and willing to answer your questions and concerns throughout the process.

If you’re considering hiring an ORM service to help with a negative news article, I encourage you to schedule a consultation with my team. We’ll take the time to listen to your story, assess your unique needs, and provide honest, actionable advice on the best path forward. Together, we can help you take control of your online reputation and move forward with confidence.

Let’s Take Control of Your Online Reputation Today – Nationwide Content Removal Lawyers

Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the various strategies and tactics you can use to remove, suppress, and counteract negative news articles in Google search results. From direct removal requests to legal action to proactive reputation management, there are many tools at your disposal to help you repair and protect your online presence.

But the most important tool of all is your own resolve. Taking on the challenge of managing your online reputation requires courage, persistence, and a willingness to confront uncomfortable truths. It means being proactive rather than reactive and staying focused on your long-term goals even in the face of short-term setbacks.

If you’re currently struggling with the impact of a negative news article, I want you to know that you’re not alone. What you’re feeling—the frustration, the anxiety, the sense of powerlessness—is entirely valid and understandable. But I also want you to know that there is hope and a path forward. It’s not always a quick or easy process, but the payoff is immense and worth it.

At Minc Law, we’ve seen firsthand the incredible resilience and determination of our clients as they’ve worked to overcome reputational obstacles and rebuild their lives. We’ve witnessed the transformation that can happen when individuals commit to taking control of their online presence and refuse to let others dictate their narrative.

So don’t let it. Stand up, speak out, and fight back against the negative content that’s holding you back. Seek out the resources, support, and expertise you need to succeed. And most importantly, never lose sight of the truth of who you are and what you have to offer.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards reclaiming your online reputation, we’re here to help. Contact us today for a confidential consultation, and let’s work together to create the positive, impactful online presence you deserve. At Minc Law, we’re committed to being your partner and advocate every step of the way. We believe in the power of second chances, and we know that with the right strategy and mindset, anyone can overcome even the toughest reputational challenges.

Remember, your reputation is one of your most valuable assets. Don’t let a negative news article or false accusation rob you of the opportunities and success you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

The power is in your hands. The time is now. Let’s get to work!

Are you being defamed online? We will get it removed. Contact Minc Law today!

Related Posts