• Hemogoblin

    The Mugshot website doesn’t show for me on the Bimbaum name or one of my own clients who had this exact same thing happen.

  • Jonathan Hochman

    I wouldn’t test any names used in the article because the mugshot sites could do things to those pages to elude the algorithm. Also, there may be extra links to those pages or extra-high CTRs for those individuals. They are not typical.

    Using my own test data that hasn’t been and will never be revealed to the public, I can confirm that Google’s solution is effective.

  • http://www.jozsoft.com joehall

    This is a good point, the names associated with the article will attract more search volume and quite likely links. I checked a former client and they aren’t ranking at all anymore.

  • http://www.rustybrick.com/barry Barry Schwartz

    Thanks Jonathan, I’ll update the story.

  • Rock Hillbilly (*Patriot*)

    Google is going to have their work cutout. Mugshots and Relationship Revenge “photo” websites are just the tip of the iceberg for future extortion schemes I fear. As we keep diving into capturing life events, especially in pictures, and with GPS data, more and more seedy operations will appear to take money from people. Next thing you know extortionists will use GPS data and threaten to tell the world at large any “taboo” places you have visited, the people you have had dinner with, etc.. Anything that might be socially a pressure point.

    How would you like to see “Person A and Person B, who we both know are married to other people from their social media tags, spent 9 hours in this hotel room.” “Pay $499.99 to Remove this listing.”

    Google needs to get on top of this if they are serous about delivering a better search result that isn’t laden with personal land mines and dirt.

  • maria

    How about paying Google $5, $10 or whatever to remove it themselves. Another earning potential for Google…And hopefully put the bad guys out of business at the same time.

  • Chavi

    What about the bad guys? There’s a reason mugshots are public record.
    This sets a terrible precedent for Google to curate the web based on their values instead of relevance to the user’s query.

  • Shari

    Good. Maybe they’ll start targeting other extortionist sites like Reputation dot com and PissedConsumer that charge companies to respond to and/or remove bad reviews.

  • steve

    My face shows up in the image search but not the regular organic
    listings. Would be nice if google stopped indexing the images =/

  • steve

    I was arrested 12 years ago and not charged in a traffic violation… yet my photo shows up. Not everyone is a “bad guy”

  • Douglas Morris

    does a traffic violation include things like speeding? which endangers lives?

  • http://drewschug.com/ Drew Schug

    Would be great to see them crack down on the phone number websites next.

  • Navjot Singh

    I think It is Good for those who are doing Online Reputation Management (ORM). Thoughts??

  • Navjot Singh

    I think It is Good for those who are doing Online Reputation Management (ORM). Thoughts??

  • Jonathan Hochman

    Probably not, because those sites don’t seem to scrape content, at least not so much as the mugshot sites. Fixing the business extortion sites will probably require a law at the federal level to clarify that these activities (paid unpublishing) are illegal, and to provide a convenient remedy for businesses. At the moment there would be debates about whether these sites constitute extortion, and the typical prosecutor is too busy with murder and mayhem cases to worry about online extortion.

    At least some of the complaints on those sites are legitimate complaints by consumers. Google isn’t in the business of picking through web content and ascertaining what’s true and what isn’t.

    You have a federally guaranteed right to review your credit report for free and challenge any information that you think is incorrect. People should have this same right for any website that publishes information about them or their business.

  • steve

    If the traffic violation includes being arrested and a mugshot taken then you are potentially at risk of being posted on the mugshot sites.

  • Chavi

    I completely understand the ‘good guy’ side. My worry is that there’s another side to the coin, that of demoting content that could be beneficial to the user. What if your new hire/love interest/political candidate was arrested and charged?

    Like a poster said about consumer report sites, there should be a debate about whether the mugshot sites are indeed extortionist, and what information regarding people’s pasts should be public, and then the law should take care of it – not Google.

  • Jacob Maslow

    What does CTR have to do with anything? Rankings aren’t affected by items that are easy to manipulate.

  • Jacob Maslow

    By definition, this site does not do anything that benefits the user. They do not generate their own Content. Sites aggregate from elsewhere. They are able to rank anyways as the terms they are aiming for (names) aren’t competitive.

  • Jacob Maslow

    First Amendment issues are trickier for these guys. Credit bureaus are established businesses. Additionally, some of these sites are structured that they are not charging for removal. The removals are done by a “separate” entity. Credit card companies and paypal are making it harder for these guys to operate. To their credit, Mastercard and PayPal don’t feel that this is a legitimate business model

  • Jacob Maslow

    Google has been going after the phone number sites. Panda and Penguin isn’t part of the Algorithm so these sites can squeak by for a time. The phone number sites and mugshot guys are going after the extreme long tail, non competitive terms. Google doesn’t have a lot of content to serve up for 202-xxx-xxxx. Technically, these sites are the most relevant pages for these types of searches. This isnt an easy fix for a search engine and these guys have built a business around it.

  • Jacob Maslow

    bad guys who have content dedicated to their deeds wont be affected by any google updates. Google is targeting the sites that publish millions of landing pages for nefarious purposes.

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    I thought this was America? Home of the free? Here’s an idea, you don’t want your mug shot online? Don’t break the law. What a concept!

    Mugshots are PUBLIC domain. Any attempt to remove those websites shows Google’s true nature as more of controlling and filtering the web more than bringing valid results.

    What if I wanted to hire this person in question and I was never show their mugshot while doing research or Googe’ing their name?

    I think this is a HORRIBLE move on Google’s part. Horrible.

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    Would be nice if people stopped breaking the law, too =/

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    Great points!

  • dallaseventaudio

    My co-worker’s daughter was arrested for underage drinking. She was 20. She was not charged since it was her first offense and only had to take some classes for alcohol. That was 5 years ago. Her mugshot still shows up online even though she’s old enough to consume alcohol and was never charged with any crime. Isn’t THAT horrible?

  • dallaseventaudio

    I would trust a real background check much more so than a mugshot site.

  • Michael

    You could pay to have a professional background check to see if they were actually convicted of a crime. Or I guess you could be cheap and just search Google. I’m not sure if you realize that having a mugshot does not necessarily equal being guilty of a crime.

  • Illogicalthinker

    Its great. Clients praise me. I tell them I didn’t do it, they don’t care they’re just thrilled its gone.

  • DeliriumEcho

    The exact same thing happens with me. I wonder if it’ll take time for the images to refresh, or have we slipped through the cracks of the algorithm?

  • Truknown

    If they are making it public to warn people that’s different, but they are not doing it. They are basicly extorting people for money. I don’t see how thats legit. It’s public information, if you want to know information about someone just do a record search. What extortionist sites like mugshots are doing is basically embarrassing for the sake of financial gain.

  • Truknown

    ever heard of background check? My problem with mugshot is the extorting process. If it was a legit business that was really interested in the public interest, why would they ask people to pay them to have the picture (mug) removed?

  • AlexD62

    @disqus_5baobAaHsY:disqus – I was falsely accused and charged with a crime I did NOT commit. I did not break the law. A jury found me NOT GUILTY. But my face is on these mugshot sites and easily found. Other than paying an extortionate fee, I have no recourse for removing my image from the search results.

    I have been looking for work for almost a year, during which time, my image still shows in the search results. I am positive this has affected my job search, and that I have been denied consideration, interviews, and possibly, employment because of this.

    For something I did not do. Let me repeat: I did not break the law. I did not commit a crime. I did. not. do. what I was accused of. But I am paying for it, and these sites have created additional obstacles to finding employment.

    How is that right? How does that jibe with *your* version of “America. Home of the free?”

    What is *your solution* for people like me? (And I am neither unique, nor rare)

  • Brad Holland

    I agree. Anyone who believes the American justice system is somehow always inherently fair and accurate is likely in for a big surprise. Like all human institutions, our police and judicial platforms, although necessary and well-intentioned, are nevertheless flawed, inefficient, prone to error and often simply corrupt in reality.

    The right to a jury of one’s own peers may be a great concept, but remember, it’s not a perfect concept… it’s just the best idea we have for now. If you don’t believe that, ask yourself this question. If you were on trial for a murder you did not commit, would you be confident in the knowledge that 12 of your fellow men could never be wrong?

    That’s a powerful and sobering thought. I’m as American as the next guy, but I am also a realist. We must be careful not to idolize something on the basis of blind loyalty and nationalism at the expense of reasoned consideration.

    In the end, it’s hard to rationalize the ethic of any practice that seeks to capitalize on a system such as our justice system, that is supposed to be impartial, unbiased and objective and solely devoted to the public interest. Isn’t that the general consensus about lawyers already, anyway?

  • E.S

    I tested a couple including mine. None show up on the main search but the image search they are and lead back to the site. Are these indexed now and they won’t be ranked lower?

  • eric

    People are arrested all of the time without breaking the law. This is why we have a court system to differentiate the innocent from the guilty. If found guilty, there is a conviction, if found innocent, the law says it’s over. These websites don’t show convictions, just arrests, sometimes for things as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is the problem. Are you unable to comprehend this?

  • eric

    People are arrested all of the time without breaking the law. This is why we have a court system to differentiate the innocent from the guilty. If found guilty, there is a conviction, if found innocent, the law says it’s over. These websites don’t show convictions, just arrests, sometimes for things as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is the problem. Are you unable to comprehend this?