Is it possible to remove a link from search engines?

I need help and you guys seem to know EVERYTHING! I am a free lance writer and because of the way I have been treated by a particular magazine, I asked them (well, demanded) that they remove a story I wrote from their website. They did so, but if you look up my name in search engines such as Google, the link to the story still appears along with the first few lines of the story. If you click on the link it takes you to the magazine’s site, but the story is gone.

How can I get rid of these links? I do not want my name associated with that magazine in any way, but anyone doing a casual search is going to come up with it. (There are many links to this one article.)

The magazine publisher says that they have no control over the links coming up on the search engines.

What can I do to rectify this? Is there someone I should call, some professional I can hire? I truly believe that this “association” can hurt me professionally now and into the future.

Thank you in advance.

In theory, the magazine publisher can remove the link from at least Google.

Anyone can sign-up for a free Google webmaster tools account, and once you have an account, you can request that one or more pages be removed from the index. The trick is that only the web site owner can request that the links be removed. Google has a process to ensure the requestor of the Web Master tools account is indeed the owner of the web site.

So in your situation, the best you can do is maybe try and get in contact with the person that maintains the web site and convince them to go into their webmaster tools account.

The other search engines may have a similar mechanism to remove pages from their respective indices.

One more thing…

Since the link no longer goes to the story, if you wait long enough (until the page is re-indexed) the links will disappear on their own. Just give it some time.

There is the robots.txt file, but generally after a few weeks a dead link ought to disappear from a search engine database.

But remember even if Google re-indexes the sight, your story could remain in the cached version for some time. Google reindexes each site differently so keep watching. Hopefully no one has a website that scraps that site or it could in theory be floating around for years