Primarily, there are two reasons why content is removed from the search engine according to Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan.
Google offers an open access to the information. However, there are sometimes when content have to be removed in order to protect the users or abide by the law. Taking down content from the search engine is not something that is taken lightly by Google. Even if a site uses Black Hat SEO, it may not be de-indexed by Google permanently.
So, what are reasons behind removing content from search engine by Google?
Reason 1: Complying with the Law
Google may remove content from the search engine as they are abided by the law to do so. Both privacy and defamation is considered on the occasion and it generally varies based on the country.
High standards are maintained by Google always as far as meeting of legal requirement is concerned.
For Google, it is not possible to detect content that is breaking the law. On the occasion, they usually depend on the authorities and people to report about the content.
Request for removing content can be submitted by anyone if they believe that the content has violated any kind of law. A form has to be filled to make the request.
If possible, site owners are informed about the request of content removal through Search Console.
Reason 2: Protecting Users
Sometimes, content is removed by Google even if they are not legally bound to do so. It is especially done if the content published contains lots of personal information.
Content may include medical or financial information on the occasion. Intimate imagery published without consent and IDs issued by Government has been included within this category as well.
In case the personal information falls in the wrong hand then it can cause potential damage. On such occasion, a request can be made for the content removal.
Request can be made for the removal of content if the site offers exploitative removal policies. If a page contains contact information along with personal threats then it can fall under the rule also.
Decision regarding removing content is generally made following to the evaluation of potential harm.
Sullivan has stated,
“In these cases, while people may want to access these sites to find potentially useful information or understand their policies and practices, the pages themselves provide little value or public interest, and might lead to reputational or even physical harm that we aim to help protect against.”