Webcide.com is the first and only reputation management company that permanently removes negative search results from Google , Yahoo and Bing .


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Every situation and company is different, so the below is presented as a framework rather than a list of hard and fast rules of how to deal with negative listings on Google.


  • Acknowledge the problem and get in front of it.

    Forget for a moment that something negative is appearing in an online format. It’s not a technical problem. It’s not a search engine optimisation problem. What you have is a reputation problem.

    PR and marketing teams are great at changing the public’s perception of a brand. However, until you address the core issue that resulted in the problem, you are papering over the cracks.

    Investigate the issue. What caused it? How was it dealt with? What are the repercussions of the problem being in the public domain? What can be learned from the issue? And, most importantly, how can the issue and those like it be avoided in future?

    If you’re wondering how to get in front of something that may not have happened, it’s all in contingency planning.

    Have a communications plan to deal with negative issues and proactively monitor your brand’s results on Google. Any marketing team, in-house or agency side should be doing this on an on-going basis. Ensure yours are.

  • Can you get the negative story or listing removed from the internet?

    If the negative story is on a site or platform you control (such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp) you can explore options to remove it but consider if responding to the issue is more effective than simply removing it.

    You don’t want a backlash occurring because you removed a complaint. Again, having a plan and process is critical.

    Google has provided a tool to remove listings that a brand does not like if they meet certain criteria – results they class as “irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate”.

    If you think you can meet these criteria and progress with this option, remember this will not remove the article from the internet, just from search results: it can still be linked to and shared.

  • Reach out to websites and journalists for a follow-up to the negative story.

    If it is a newspaper result that is causing you issue, you can use relationships with journalists to help improve matters.

    A good PR team will already have these relationships, through years of experience. Explore options for a follow-up piece or interview where you can put your side of the story across or discuss what has been done about it. Change that negative into a positive.

    This needs to be balanced against the potential for increased negative feedback and remember that you won’t have 100% control over the final story.

  • Push negative stories down by using other brand properties.

    You can use Google’s love of authoritative websites to help “push down” negative stories.

    If you don’t already have them, build up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other existing platforms. These are powerful and authoritative websites in the eyes of search engines. Your profile on them can start to rank for brand queries and displace negative stories further down the first page or onto page two.

    You do need to keep these channels updated. This requires a strategy and on-going commitment and resources. A major benefit of engaging in social platforms such as these is that it allows you direct communication with your customers.

    Also, consider using Google’s PPC AdWords platform to push down results by creating a campaign for your brand name.

    Google tends to rank PPC ads above regular listings, so it pushes them down. The downside is that you will pay for traffic you were already getting. Brand terms tend to be low cost so it can be cost effective technique to deal with negative listings and you can always switch it off when you are happy with the organic results.

  • Proactively push good stories related to your brand.

    Those negative stories appearing on news sites for your brand terms are not ranking because they are inherently negative. They are ranking because the story contains your brand name.

    Pushing positive stories to media outlets gives you an opportunity to change the conversation and perception around your brand. A PR team should be doing this for you anyway in reaction to a negative story.

    Ensure the name of your business is used in the article title to give it the best chance of ranking for a query related to your business.

    When you get a positive story published, link to from your site. Push it out through your social channels to help give it a further boost.

  • Acknowledge your business is more visible than ever.

    I’m reiterating previous points here, but stories stay around longer than ever before. No legitimate business sets out to give a negative experience to its customers, but the decisions your company makes and possible repercussions should be considered through the lens of reputation management.

    Proactively monitor your brand reputation, have plans in place to react to negative situations and know how you’ll deal with complaints, issues, and reviews.


Contact Newspaper Publication and Ask Editor of the News Site to Remove the Article



Under certain circumstances, newspaper publications will hear you out and comply with your request to delete a damaging article or to take special measures to prevent the news story from being indexed on Google Search and other search engines.  


Most of the the time, however, newspapers are reluctant to unpublished a news worthy stories simply because the articles may, from time to time, damage the reputations of those named.  After all, what news would be left if all potentially reputation-damaging articles were to disappear?

Most often an experienced online reputation management firm must step in and act on behalf of the individuals seeking reputation repair via removal of negative news content.  


Report the News Article Content to Google



If something in the news article violates the Terms of Service of Google and other search engines,  you may be able to have the article de-indexed, meaning search engines will not show the article anywhere on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).



Make a Copyright Infringement Claim



Do you own copyrights to any pictures or content published in the news article?  If so you may be able to have the article removed by making a copyright infringement claim.


EU Privacy Removal



One excellent way to completely remove (not simply suppress) a negative news article from the internet came way of the EU's landmark Right to Be Forgotten case.  Using this form, any citizen of a European Union member country has the right to request removal of content containing personal information from search engine results.  This includes the names of individuals mentioned in negative newspaper articles.  Hence, the EU Privacy Request form provides an easy way to quickly clear your name from any negative news content showing up on Google Search.  Unfortunately, use of this little personal reputation repair lifebuoy is restricted to EU citizens; it does not help citizens of the United States remove private information from negative news articles or any other web pages.


If you don't mind spending a little (or a lot) of money to get rid of the news article, your chances of getting the negative news item removed off internet search engines is far better than if you rely solely on the DIY techniques mentioned above.  If paying a company to remove the news article is an option, here are your best bets. 


News Article Removal Attorneys


Certain internet defamation attorneys have developed reliable methods of removing negative articles from news sites and search engines. These attorneys typically utilize U.S. copyright and/or defamation laws to get news articles off the internet.  Defamation Defenders has partnered with top internet attorneys from around the United States in order to add the solutions provided by news article removal attorneys to the arsenal of weapons we employ against negative articles online.


Online Reputation Management Companies


Companies specializing in online reputation management usually have strategies in place to deal with bad press published by all types of news sources.  These companies use a variety of tactics to get unwanted and harmful online news articles removed from news sites and/or search engines. 


Ethical Hacking Services


Do you own copyrights to any pictures or content published in the news article?  If so you may be able to have the article removed by making a copyright infringement claim.