He doesn’t actually answer the question in his 3:54 response, but a in a roundabout and almost justified way he says “NO”.
Full Transcript of Matt Cutts’ Video:
Today’s question is self-submitted.
It comes from me and the question is, “There’s a page about me on the web that I don’t like. Will Google remove the page from its search results? Why or Why not?”
Well if you look at the metadata for this video there’s a link which goes to a post, where I’ve talked about this in more detail, but I just wanted to talk through the situation a little bit and give some context.
In general when you come to Google and say “I don’t like this page”, if it’s under your control we’re happy to have you remove it but if it’s under somebody else’s control, that can be a little bit more of a delicate situation, because if there’s a he said, she said situation, and we don’t know who’s right, it can be a little bit risky for us to try to just pick sides arbitrarily.
We don’t really have the resources to investigate all the different people who come to us and say I’m right, this person’s wrong and this page should go away.
And if you think about it, in cyberspace, there’s many of the same laws that apply.
So if somebody has libeled you, you know if they’re saying something that is factually, completely wrong, or if there’s some fraud going on, you can take that person to court.
And there’s even ways that are shy of taking them to court, like sending them a cease-and-desist letter. So there are other avenues available to you than coming to Google.
And if you just come to Google, and you get something removed from Google, that doesn’t take it off of the web. It only removes it from our index.
So people could still find it on Twitter. They could still find it on Facebook. They could navigate directly to it. They could find it in other search engines. So just removing a piece of content from Google’s index doesn’t remove it from the web. It doesn’t keep people from finding it. So think about some of the situations. If there’s something that’s just egregiously wrong hopefully the webmaster will listen to reason or listen to a threat of legal, you know, action and take it down and then everybody’s happy.
Now if it’s something like a newspaper, where it’s factually accurate, and you don’t like it, there may not be that much that you can do about that.
In that sense, Google is trying to reflect the web. We’re trying to show the web as it is, almost like a mirror.
And so, if something’s true, you know, if you were convicted of a crime or something like that, and it ranks for your name naturally, that’s not the sort of thing that we would typically, you know, take action on.
Now, of course, there is this field known as reputation management and there’s certainly a few shady companies within that space that could do some reputation management of their own.
But just getting your presence out on the web, you know, if you just happen to have a rare name, and somebody else is, you know, talking about your name maybe once, then even some simple steps like making sure that you have an account on Twitter, or Facebook, or Google Plus, or whatever, some simple ways to show that you have a presence, you know, maybe you have a foundation, or a non-profit, or you’ve done volunteer work, maybe you want to start a blog.
Any one of those kinds of things can be a really good way to show people your best face on the web.
And if enough people find that intriguing, if they link to it, then that can sometimes outrank the content that you would consider negative or that you would rather not have rank of the web.
So in general, when someone comes to Google and says “I don’t like that page”, if it ‘s a he said, she said, we really don’t have the resources to investigate and it’s a little risky for us to try to pick sides, because, you know, we really don’t know what the truth is.
Even if it looks blindingly obvious to you, we really don’t know what the truth is and so that’s why we typically say settle the dispute with the other webmaster. If you have to use legal means, use legal means. And then you can always make sure there’s great content about you, you know, that just accurately reflects all the wonderful things you do on the web.
And that can in many cases help burnish your image on the web a little bit. So if something happened you know, 10 years ago, and you’ve got a lot of fresh new content, that can often outrank the stuff that’s a lot older.
So that’s just a little bit of context.
I would encourage you to read the blog post down in the metadata if you’d like a little bit more about this. But that’s a basic sort of idea about the landscape of why or why not as far as when we’ll take action on these sorts of situations.