In general, the only way to get information about you or your business taken down is if the owner of the website takes it down themselves.
There is a service called Delete Me, which can hide your personal information from a variety of listing sites, as shown below.
Can I take legal action?
I have worked with clients who have hired a lawyer and successfully had web pages taken down. One such case involves the Jailbase website, which draws its information from public records. We worked with a client recently who had her case expunged and her attorney subsequently was able to get Jailbase to remove it from their site. Pooph! Problem solved.
That's not always the case. We worked with an attorney who had a disciplinary action against him that was appearing on the Avvo law site when you Googled his name. Despite our efforts to have Avvo remove the listing or modify it to be less inflammatory, they refused. We had no recourse other than to continue with our reputation management work.
We're not attorneys and we can't give legal advice. Google offers you the opportunity to report abuse, so you can try that. That aside, our advice would be to contact an attorney and get their opinion.
Can I ask the website owner to take down the listing?
Of course, you can! Our recommendation would be to do it privately, by contacting the website owner directly. If you can't find contact information on the website, use WhoIs to find out who the owner of the site is and contact them through there.
Unfortunately, most site owners - if they reply at all - will not honor your request. But it's worth a try and will only take you 5 minutes to contact them.
Whatever you do, we don't recommend engaging publicly on the website as this can just add fuel to the fire. If you ran a restaurant, you wouldn't have a shouting match in the middle of dinner with an unhappy customer would you?! Of course not!
Handle your dispute privately or try to speak with the upset party offline to try and mitigate your damages. Some sites like Yelp give business owners a public forum in which to respond. Be calm, professional and courteous and you have a good chance of cooling the situation and turning a disgruntled client into your greatest fan.
For most people and business owners, seeing a nasty statement about them online is very disconcerting. The best thing to do is not to overract. You may have legal rights and the best thing to do is consult with a lawyer to see what can be done.
For individuals who need personal reputation management, we are happy to take a look at your situation and help you see a solution where you might not see one. Business owners who have bad reviews may find that a reputation marketing plan is what they need to clean things up. Give us a call at 503-890-6663 for a free 10 minute consultation.