Identify the negative, defamatory, libelous, and inflammatory language of the online text or material and familiarize yourself with Google’s Content and User Contribution Policy.
Document everything. Take screenshots, compile links, and have a trusted friend or family member create supporting documentation.
Contact Google or the webmaster or organization which has published the content and request a removal (citing their policies).
Reach out to an experienced defamation removal attorney if there are no formal channels for contacting a website or removing content.
If you’re unable to completely remove a negative or defamatory search result from Google and the Internet, consider asking the publisher to amend or alter it.
When determining whether it’s possible to remove negative news stories, articles, and other content from the Internet, there’s a plethora of factors you need to take into consideration, including:
Does the news story in question contain information that is false, defamatory, libelous, or creates a false light or impression?
How old is the information? Is then news or news story outdated, inaccurate, or unfair?
Is there defamatory, libelous, or inflammatory language in the comments of the article?
Does the article illicit defamatory, libelous, or other offensive responses?
Is the website publicizing your name or likeness illegally and without your consent, ultimately profiting.
Does the information violate copyright or trademark laws?
Is there personal information published? For example, your social security number, credit card number, driver’s license information, or banking information.
Does the article or news story contain information about a party who is a minor (under 18 years old)?
How many sources or websites is the information published on?
Have you recently searched your company name on Google or even your own name and found some bad press or harsh reviews of your service that just are not true?
With more and more review and complaint websites appearing on the internet it is becoming easier for people to try and taint your company or personnel reputation. Removing bad press or bad comments from Google is not easy, however you can get positive news about yourself out onto the web and across search engines to counter the bad press.
brings you a full reputation management service to ensure your integrity in Google and other major search engines searches. Using our service can give you amazing promotion power across the web plus we can monitor what is being said about you or your company name.
As well as the reputation package, our service also includes a full traffic management and SEO service which gets your website prime placement in the search engines and helps you bring quality traffic to your website.
1. Log out before you Google yourself
The first step is to always Google yourself from a logged out browser with cache and search history cleared. This gives you a look at what the average person sees when they Google your name. Otherwise, Google gives personalized search results that might not reflect what others see about you online.
2. Identify problematic results and remove what you can
Look through the first few pages of results and see if there are any negative news articles, reviews, unflattering pictures, old social media posts or personal data that you’d like removed. Personal social media posts, photos and personal data can be removed by you, or you can at least change privacy settings so they don’t come up when your name is Googled. Keep in mind that all social networks will make your profile public by default, so unless your account has a professional use, you’ll have to manually change the settings to protect your content.
You may not be able to remove negative reviews or bad press, but there are steps you can take to prevent it from being the first thing others see. And if you find nothing unfavorable, the tips below are valuable to build a “fortress” around your search results should something appear in the future.
3. Develop new content
By creating new content, you give Google’s algorithm new, relevant content about you that will rank highly in search. The type of content you create will depend on your profession and the time you can devote, but some ideas include a personal site, social media bios, press releases, videos, guest articles and blog posts. If you build a personal website, buy your name domain (sagelazzaro.com, for example), or if you’re looking for something simpler, a basic resume website with blog functionality is a great choice. Update your site frequently as Google likes fresh content.
Additionally, create all the mainstream social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, at the very least), for they rank highly in Google search. Update them often and also customize your privacy settings so only desired content appears publicly.
4. Look out for data brokers
Online data brokers, companies like PeopleSmart, Intelius, Spokeo Pipl, ZoomInfo and Whitepages, scrape the web for personal information (social media, public records, corporate filings, etc.) about you to create online profiles.
Most of these sites have opt-out forms that are effective, and while this article summarizes the process to manually opt-out of the most common data brokers, there’s also a company called SafeShepherd, which tries to automate the process for you. Removing this information is a good first step to avoid being doxxed, but unfortunately, because these data brokers automate the profile creation, even if you remove yourself once, they can create another profile about you in the future. So you really need to be vigilant about monitoring these sites if you’re committed to keeping your personal information off the web.
5. Be proactive
If there are photos online that you can’t control, take a proactive approach. Contact website administrators and request the photos be removed. Always be polite at first, and if that doesn’t work, an attorney can assist you in drafting a takedown notice. If the images are explicit and distributed on the Internet without your consent, research your state’s revenge porn laws. If in violation of state laws, it is possible for legal actions to be taken against the distributor or website.