“Google’s search results are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Web,” says spokesman Gabriel Stricker via email. Users who want content removed from the Internet should contact the webmaster of the page directly, he suggests, adding that once the webmaster takes the page down from the Web, “it will be removed from Google’s search results through our usual crawling process."
“We do not remove content from our search results,” he says, “except in very limited cases such as illegal content and violations of our webmaster guidelines.”
This tussle between the aspiring nominee and the Internet behemoth sheds a spotlight, say media and political analysts, on such unresolved digital-era issues as who has the right to control an online reputation and what responsibility comes with Google’s massive profile.
“If you want to be president, people are going to say all kinds of things about you, nasty, untrue, mean and downright awful sometimes,” she says, “that just comes with the territory.”
More important, she says, Rick Santorum is not trailing in the polls because of some unsavory online materials. “He could get all of this removed and he would still be way behind the other candidates,” she adds.