If this worked for you, congratulations! If not, then don’t worry. There are still a few more ways to deal with negative search results for your brand.
Create a website: purchase a domain name on your business name, create a responsive website, and optimize it for the keywords affected by the negative results. Be sure to also optimize the on-page SEO and to enhance its load speed
Build social media profiles on your keyword: interlink all of your social media pages and profiles, and ensure that you have one email address for all of them.
Build web 2.0 blogs: Blogs like Tumblr, Medium, Blogger, WordPress, etc. and optimize them for the affected keyword with content. Take care to never mention the negative search result you want to push down.
Guest blog on authority site: get your positive articles published on your name on top quality blogs and new sites related to your niche. Be sure to backlink to your site from these articles.
The best way to combat negative results is to suppress them with positive content. Instead of spending time and money on tactics that won’t lead to any long-term solutions, we recommend that you consistently create high-quality content that is search engine friendly. Additionally, regularly engage on various social media sites where you build and connect with relevant communities. This creates a network of relevant, accurate content and web properties that will start rising higher in Google when people search your name. Not only will this help bury negative Google results, but it will protect you from any future negative search results appearing in the future.
Understanding how to remove negative articles from Google is actually fairly straightforward. The real trick is being patient and consistent. This is where most people flounder and get desperate for a quick-fix. However, if you regularly follow the steps we listed above, it’s just a matter of time until you push those negative Google results down.
Generate powerful backlinks: with the positive content in place, you can create links on the authority sites and interlink to your positive content. This will help improve the positive content that rank in search about your brand, especially on Google.
1. Acknowledge that you have a problem and get in front of it
For a moment, forget that there’s something negative appearing online about your personal brand. It’s not a technical problem. It’s not a problem with your search engine optimization. It’s simply a problem with your reputation.
Marketing and PR teams are good at changing the public perception of a company or brand. Nonetheless, you need to address the root issue that caused the problem, otherwise, you’re just papering over the cracks.
2. Investigate the problem
What caused the reputation problem? How are you dealing with it? What are the consequences of having the problem in the public domain? What have you learnt, or can be learned from the problem? How do you plan on avoiding such an issue from occurring in the future?
In case you’re wondering how you can get in front of something that might not have happened, it’s through contingency planning. For example, you can have a communications plan in place to deal with the various negative issues, and monitor your brand proactively for results on Google. The marketing team, whether in house or agency should do this on an ongoing basis for best results.
3. Find out if you can get the negative content removed from the internet
If the negative content is on a platform or website that you can control, such as Twitter, Facebook, or Yelp, explore the various options to remove it. But before you do, consider whether responding to the issue head on is more effective than outright removing it. Of course, you don’t want backlash for removing a complaint. So, having a solid plan is critical here.
Google provides brands with a tool to remove the listings that they don’t like or don’t meet some given criteria, such as results they deem outdated, irrelevant, or inappropriate. If your problem meets these criteria and you choose to proceed with this option, keep in mind that it won’t remove the specific article from the internet, but only from the search results. So, the content can still be shared or linked to.
4. Reach out to journalists and websites for a follow-up on the negative content
If it’s a newspaper result that causing you the trouble, you can contact the journalist to help in improving the matters. A good PR team should already have relationships with journalists through many years of experience. Consider exploring options for an interview or follow-up piece where you can share your side of the story or discuss what you have done about the problem.
This can help to change the negative into a positive. Still, you need to balance this against the potential of increasing negative feedback, and keep in mind that you won’t necessarily have total control over the final story.
5. Push the negative Search Results down by using other brand’s properties
You can actually use the love Google has for authoritative sites to help push down the negative search results about your brand. For those who don’t have them already, build up profiles on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. These are very powerful and authoritative site in Google’s eyes, and your profile on them can start to rank for various things while displacing the negative stories further down.
You don’t even need to keep these channels updated. The most important thing is having a solid strategy and an ongoing commitment. One of the key benefits of engaging in social media is that it provides a platform for direct communication with your customers and prospects.
Consider using PPC AdWords to help push down the negative results by creating an ad campaign for your brand. Google usually ranks the PPC ads right above the regular results, pushing them down further. The only downside is that you have to pay for the traffic which you were probably already getting. Nonetheless, brand terms tend to be low-cost, and this can be quite a cost-effective technique for dealing with negative listings. Plus, you can always turn it off when you’re happy with the organic results.
6. Push good stories about your brand proactively
The negative stories that appear on the news sites about your brand are not ranking because they are negative. They rank because the story contains your brand name and its keywords. Pushing positive stories about your brand throughout provides you with an opportunity to change the conversation and perception surrounding your brand. A good PR team should already be doing this for you as part of the online reputation management.
Make sure that your brand name is included in the title of the post to give it a better chance of ranking for queries related to your business. When you do get a positive story published, you can then include in it a link to your site. Then push the post throughout your social media channels to give it a further boost.
7. Acknowledge that your brand is more visible than ever
No legitimate business ever sets out to provide a negative experience to the customers. However, the decisions you make and all the possible consequences should be thought out through the lens of reputation management.
You should proactively monitor the reputation of your brand, and put in place plans to react to any negative situation, with details on how you’ll deal with negative reviews, complaints, and issues from disgruntled customers.
Remember that working to bury or push down Google search results is an ongoing process, so even when you begin to see positive results, it’s important that you remain active on social media and that you update your site regularly.
There are many ways to improve your online presence, and we’ve covered a lot of ground throughout this series.
During a crisis you may receive conflicting advice as to the most appropriate response. It is vital to carry out a risk assessment in relation to each choice of action or inaction, bearing in mind that action taken on the internet can often be irreversible.
Broadly speaking, there are three core solutions to reputation issues that arise out of internet publications:
Solution 1: Using legal provisions and tools to remove damaging webpages: Consider any short and long term implications on the organisation's reputation. How would legal action impact your organisation's marketing strategies?
Solution 2: The use of various Search Engine Optimisation tools/techniques to remove unwanted internet pages from public view: Consider what sort of material should be posted on the internet to "push down" bad, negative results. How would the new material integrate with the rest of your organisation's marketing strategies?
Solution 3: Enhancing corporate transparency: Consider the legal aspects of your organisation accepting responsibility for complaints stimulated by transparency on the internet.
How would the organisations' other customers view admissions and acceptances of responsibility?
You can count on us to add real value whilst helping your organisation formulate appropriate responses to online reviews, to malicious blog posts and to dedicated hate websites.
We help you make the internet a safer place for your company.
The most significant concern for company executives today is over reputational risk. Many feel that they have increasingly less control over public perception particularly due to the growing power of social media. Understanding why, how and when social media becomes a decisive factor in consumers’ purchasing decision helps company executives better identify and manage reputational risks to the brand or product or to them personally.
We provide various courses and presentations dedicated to company executives in different sectors. How much does a company director need to know about social media and internet law? The answer is ‘as much as possible’.
This is why many executive directors make it their business to investigate, learn and understand social media and internet law. Good understanding will help you approach the challenges the internet presents from a position of leadership and control.
Most company directors are likely in the future to ask themselves questions such as:
What errors should I avoid when interacting with customers on social media?
Should social media have an impact on my day to day decisions?
How can we risk manage social media?
Is it wise to allow employees to blog and tweet about our company?
How can we identify, as early as possible, signs of online reputation crisis?
Why do I find professional advice on social media and internet law so confusing?
Who should we listen to; our PR consultants? Our marketing agency?
Or perhaps our legal advisor? And what are the long term implications of each choice that we make?
As an unexpected online reputation crisis can devastate the financial stability of a company, some lenders, investors and other stakeholders are already asking organisations to undertake ‘online reputation risk management’ exercises as part of the usual assessment of the financial stability of the organisation. We can help you understand social media and internet law to put you in the driving seat.
We offer a variety of learning platforms on social media and internet law for company executives including board meetings, presentations, one on one private learning sessions and half and full day workshops.