The first is pursuing the removal of the content from the parent website. Google as a website only provides links to search result to the website containing such information.
The implication is that Google does not have a web page containing negative information about you. On the contrary, when a person searches for information, Google only searches through other websites that contain information that matches your search and provide links and snippets from that webpage on their search results.
The implication is that if a web page containing negative content about you stops existing on the website where it is posted, then Google will stop showing the link on their result page.
Even when they show such results, a person clicking on the link will not be able to find the full story since it would return a broken link. Furthermore, simply informing Google about the broken link will stop the link from showing on subsequent Google search pages.
The second way through which links to negative content about you can be removed from search engines or Google is reporting such a link to Google.
However, Google will never oblige to such requests to remove such content from their search results except the content violates their terms and policies.
Based on Google’s terms and policies, they will only remove links to web pages that could result in an injury to the person whose information is on the page, such as identity theft and financial harm risks.
The implication is that Google will only oblige you if you are reporting a link that contains:
Sexually explicit or nude images and videos
Pictures of your signature
Personal or confidential medical records
Credit card or bank account numbers
Social Security Number
If you are lucky that the poster had put any of such sensitive information on the web page, then Google can remove the link from their search index.
Subsequently, people will not be able to find a link to that web page on Google search results.
However, when this is not the case, you might never get such content removed from search engine if you can’t convince the website that hosted the content to take it down.
The third and final resort when you can’t convince Google to take down the link is to try to push the content away from the first page or first few pages. Google displays 10 search results per page. According to research, links on the first page get about 95 percent of the clicks while links on the second pages to the last page of the search share the remaining 5 percent.
Thus, if you can make sure that the link to such negative content does not appear on the first page, then there is just a 5 percent chance of the link being clicked on. That is just one in every 20 people that could have seen the link and opened the web page.
This is a significantly lesser evil. Reputation management companies could try to help you convince the host to remove the content.
If it violates Google policies, they can also inform Google about it, if the host website will not remove the content. However, when the first two options are not possible, they could help you push such information out of the first page.That way, people who will see the negative content about you or your organization will be very minimal.
It is worthy of note that the information being on the first page will increase the likelihood of other websites picking up the story and making it go viral.
The reputation management companies write positive information about you and use SEO techniques to rank that positive information on the first page of the search results.
Thus, positive information about you will take the first 10 search results as opposed to the negative ones. The strategies that reputation management companies use to push down results from the search engine, which you could do on your own or pay them to do for you include:
Setting up of Social Profiles: Social profiles about you or your organization rank very high on search engines. Thus, they could open popular social profiles in your name or that of your organization. Such popular social profiles include LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. When people search for information about your or your organization, these pages you have set up will be on the first page of the search engine. Since it is your page, you can have the information you want people to see about you on it instead: Positive Information.
Maintaining Active Accounts: When your accounts are not active, they would not rank high on search engines since you will not have followers and it would reflect it has been long you last posted. However, an active account means many followers and regular engagements that will make it rank high on search engines.
Have a Website: When you have your website, especially with names that are exactly your name or that of your organization depending on which image you are trying to improve, they would rank high on search engines. The implication is that they will push down the links to the negative contents on the website.
Blogging: Apart from your website, you can have blogs either separately or as a sub of your major website. When you regularly post fresh content, your blog will also rank higher on Google when searches about you are carried out.
Content Optimization: You have to consider keywords that people will use while searching for you or such bad content about you. You could use such keywords in your post while clarifying such information as false or justifying the scenario. Even when the users search directly for negative content about you or your organization, they will only find your side of the story on the first pages.
Mentions from Top Brands: When top websites link to your content or post positive information about you, those will also highly on search engines.
Reputation management companies can easily help you do all of these. With all of these options, negative information about you will not show up on even the first 5 pages of search engines. This will further reduce the chances of people seeing such negative information to less than 1 percent.