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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Jess Stratton here, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. In the last video, we went over how to use Google Alerts to monitor what's being said about you online. Well, that's all well and good when you're pleasantly surprised that people are sharing and talking and blogging about your brand. But what happens when the opposite runs true? What happens when you find something that's upsetting to you and could compromise your privacy and security? Now I recently helped a girl who had found that a newspaper had run an article about her in which she was unfortunately listed as a person behind a drunk driving accident.
Google had indexed the article and the girl was now believing that she was unable to find a job because of it, even though the paper had printed a retraction. Today we're going to find out about some things that you can do when you find something online that's upsetting to you. Let's start talking about that right now. The first step. Is to notify the Webmaster before even involving Google. Notify the club owner if it's a club you belong to that posted a roster, or find a link on the page to contact the webmaster. Most pages will have a Contact Us site. For example, even on the lynda.com site you can scroll down an find a Contact Us link.
So that's the first step. But sometimes you just can't even find a link on a website. There is a way to find out who owns that site. It's called a Who Is search. And you can get there by typing networksolutions.com/whois. This is an actual search that you can do to pull up the records of who owns a certain domain. I'm going to put in my own website address, solacelearning.com and I'll hit Search.
Now not every site has a public record available. But if it does, there will be whats called an Administrative Contact and a Technical Contact. And there will be an email address that you can use to contact the web master of the site. Here's the records for the domain. And sure enough, you can see administrative contact information for the site. This is the next step where to go if you've gone to the site and there's no Contact Us link on the page. Now as a last ditch effort, what do you do when none of these avenues have helped you? That's when you use the Google Removal Tool.
You can type google.com slash dmca.html. It's going to pull up the Google Removal Tool website. It's a process that guides you through removing pages from the Internet. Remember, Google doesn't own the data on the internet. It just indexes it for search results. This is why Google will want to be involved as a last ditch effort. This is for pages that need to be removed quickly such as pages that have confidential information such as signatures or social security numbers.
And even sites that have been taken down can still stick around as cached version in the search index, depending on the original site settings. There's a tool for that too. The first thing you need to do, is choose what Google product your request relates to. Now, if it was just a search, you can select Web Search. Now you have to choose the nature of your request, such as, whether you have confidential information shown. Incorrect or inaccurate reports, and, even the a piece of content that you think has already been removed, but it still appears in search results.
This is a cached result. I can select this radio button, and I'm taken to a new tool to remove the cache of that page. So now I can click Create a new removal request. And here's where I'm going to type in the URL of the site that I'm going to remove. I'm not going to put anything in, because I definitely don't want to remove a page from the Google search index, but as you can see, it will walk you through the process, every avenue needs to be explored first. Contact the person whose club it is, look for contact information on the page, use a Who is search to actually find out who owns the website itself.
If none of those things help then you can go to Google and use the tools. So by the way, I do have a happy ending for you. I was able to help the girl get the cached page removed Google search index and she did find a job.
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