Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
The web has a very long memory. Removal is nearly impossible. Avoid posting sensitive information in any way that can be seen publicly.
It was unwise of me to take part and put in my name in some guestbooks. I'd like to remove my information from the search results of the major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and so forth. I tried in vain to contact the webmasters of those sites. I'm becoming fussier about that and it's getting more awkward as far as my profession is concerned. Would you please assist me in dealing with this problem?
Search engines are amazing. They've collected and indexed billions of pages of information out on the internet. And while we think of Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other name brand search engines, the reality is that there are hundred of search engines that could all be indexing pages on the web.
Getting into the search engines is not terribly difficult. Getting out? The news is not good.
I'll be blunt. In my opinion, it's a lost cause. The search engines do have opportunities for webmasters to remove specific pages from the search results. However, it a) does have to be a page or an entire site, and b) they'll only do it at the request of the owner of the site.
On top of that, there are many services and sites which take additional cached snapshots of web pages for historical records. Google, for example, often allows you to view a cached copy of a page, even if that page is no longer online. The internet archive, archive.org, is another example of a site that keeps archive copies of web pages for historical archiving purposes.
So, if you've left your information in a guest book or a blog's comment form, and the search engines have scanned it ... you're pretty much out of luck.
Now, you can certainly contact all the webmasters of all the sites that you've left your information on, and ask them to remove what you posted. If they listen and do what you want (there's no guarantee there either), then eventually those pages will be updated on most of the search engines. I say most, because there's also no guarantee that all the search engines will update, or when. Once you're there, you might be there for a long, long time.
So, ultimately, I don't have an answer or an approach for you, other than to avoid things such as those guest books in the future.