Google is making it a lot easier to find and remove your contact information from its search results. The company will now send out notifications when it finds your address, phone number, or email on the web, allowing you to review and request the removal of that information from Search.
All this takes place from Google’s “results about you” dashboard on mobile and web, which it first rolled out last September. With the update, you can find your information on Google without actually having to conduct the search yourself. Once you input your personal information, the dashboard will automatically pull up websites that contain any matches, letting you review each webpage it appears on and then submit a request to remove it.
This marks a pretty big improvement, as Google previously required you to search for your personal information yourself and then manually request its removal.
If you’re concerned about your information popping up on Google in the future, you can also enable push notifications that will alert you to any new results that appear — something it first announced it would do last year. You can also track your requests from Google’s hub, which shows your in-progress, approved, denied, and undone requests.
It’s important to note that taking your information off Google doesn’t mean it’s been completely erased from the web. People can still find your information if they stumble upon the webpage it’s on. Google also has some limitations on the kinds of search results it can and can’t remove and won’t take action on results from governments or educational institutions.
Either way, this update makes the process of finding and removing your personal information from Google a lot faster — which is especially important if you’re a victim of doxxing. Right now, this feature is rolling out in the US in English to start, and Google says it’s working to make it available in other countries and languages “soon.”
Update August 3rd, 4:05PM ET: Noted that the feature is only available in the US.