Has your company’s online reputation been damaged by negative, false, or defamatory content on the Internet? Is the negative information ranking highly in the search results for a “Google” search of your company, product, or service?
Given the democratic and anonymous nature of the Internet, it has never been easier to tarnish the hard earned reputation of a business online. All it takes is one rant from an upset customer, a post from a disgruntled ex-employee, or an online smear campaign by a competitor to damage a company’s reputation.
A common misconception in today’s age is that online reputation issues are confined to companies engaging in unethical, criminal, or fraudulent activity. This could not be further from the truth. Every day Reputation Resolutions works with businesses of all sizes whose pristine reputations were suddenly damaged by negative content ranking at the top of search results.
These negative search results on Google and other search engines can hurt a company’s bottom line. Recent studies have shown the following:
92% of potential customers will research a business online before making a buying decision.
88% incorporate online feedback about a business or service into their purchase decision.
86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative feedback online.
Given the above statistics, it is no surprise that the presence of negative search results can have devastating impacts on a company’s revenues and their ability to attract customers.
If this has happened to you and your company, don’t panic. There are numerous tactics & strategies that can be implemented to remove or suppress the negative search result(s) in question.
Since our company’s inception in 2008 , we have encountered nearly every online reputation management issue you can imagine. This led us to develop the quickest and most effective solutions to repair the online reputations of businesses suffering from negative search results on Google.
With a hand-selected team of elite online defamation attorneys, search engine specialists, digital brand managers, PR gurus, and strategic partners, we have the ability to completely remove or suppress the negative search results hurting your company’s reputation.
Bad things online can kill a brand. It can't all be removed, but some of it can and should be. This guide tells you how to delete negative online content.
Here are a few of the ways online content can be removed - either from the site itself, or from search results - both are avenues to the same outcome - lower, or no, visibility of the negative content online.
Ways to remove online content:
Ask people to delete their content
Remove content at the publisher level
Ask people to change their content
Remove search results from Google
Suppress negative content
Why not remove opportunity killing content?
Here's a fun statistic - 65% of people trust search engines for research. Search engines are trusted more than other sources of information. What people see online about a brand, whether that's a personal brand, company or products and services, is important.
It is critical to ensure that what people see about your brand online paints a favorable picture to potential consumers. Just one negative review or post on the first page of search engine results can be damaging to your reputation, and ultimately your business.
Removing negative reviews
Reviews can be removed if they violate the terms of service for the review sites, but what about non-review content?
Removing search results at the source
The fastest way to change search results is to remove it completely from the website in which it exists.
Removing search results from Google
If deleting content from a publisher (a blog, news site, video channel, etc.) doesn’t seem feasible, or doesn’t work, the second choice may be to ask Google and Bing to remove something from their indexes. But that doesn’t remove the content from the site itself, it just makes it far more difficult to find.
Getting people to delete their own content
First, the bad news. In our 10+ years of experience we've found that a Webmaster will most often not remove online content because - after all - they put it there in the first place. But sometimes they will remove it.
It often comes down to finding what they want. What motivates them?
We've offered people some pretty interesting things on behalf of our clients. We've given to charities in their name, provided direct payment, shown them the error of their ways, or sometimes after cooling down they just felt bad and needed a little nudge to remove it. People are motivated by many things. You might be surprised what works.
Tactics to get online content removed
The following tactics work best for people rather than corporations. Every author is different. If you feel contacting the author to get online content deleted is the right approach, here's a list of ways to get people to take down a blog post, article, video, or other online content:
Appeal to their altruistic side: "You had every right to post that review. I hope I've made it right. At this point the post is really damaging my business - would you mind removing or updating it?"
Try the charity angle: "I see you support the local little league. I know removing the post you wrote might take some of your valuable time. I'd be happy to donate to the _____________ little league in your name or anonymously as a thank you for taking it down."
Take the capitalist route: "I'd like to sponsor the page you wrote about our business. We'll request a few modifications, and you'll be well compensated for your time."
Note: Modifications may mean removing the business' name, adding a special meta tag to make Google ignore the page (noindex), or removing the page altogether.