It seems like such a simple solution: Just ask the website to delete the review! Sadly, eliminating bad reviews is never this easy. The problem is that, according to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, websites aren’t liable for what their users post.
Whatever you do, don’t hire anybody who promises to remove content from review sites for you. Companies that promise to do this are most likely trying to scam you. Most people find that after they pay for bad reviews to disappear, the content keeps coming back, which means they end up having to repeatedly pay to keep it at bay.
Review sites generally have a set of very strict guidelines (usually listed in their Terms of Service) for removing content. Often, the review has to be personally threatening or profane for a site to agree to remove it. Likewise, if you can demonstrate that the individual who wrote the content is actually a business competitor, someone you are battling in a lawsuit, or a fake reviewer, then the site will probably delete the content.
Remember, though, that the process for deciding to remove negative reviews is entirely subjective, and the final decision rests with the website. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the website in question will agree with you about the inappropriateness of the content. Reviews that sound calm and reasonable are extremely difficult to remove, regardless of how wildly inaccurate they may be.
When it comes to replying, there’s a set of rules you need to stick to for the best effect:
Use common courtesy. Being polite forces the critic to also be polite; especially if there’s a rude review, it will force a contrast between the raging critic and the polite business owner.
If you are at fault, apologize and see what you can do to resolve the situation. Often, demonstrating that you’ve heard their complaints and that you care can do a lot to excise a bad review.
If there’s another side to the story, lay it out clearly and concisely without blaming the critic. Making the critic aware of information he or she may not know (or pointing out information they’ve purposely left out) helps mitigate a bad review.
Never make legal threats or “out” the critic under their real name; doing so can get your response removed, and legal threats are empty anyway.
Another highly effective tactic for dealing with negative reviews is to simply force a contrast between a handful of bad reviews and a flood of good ones. Encourage your customers to review you on websites by including links on your website, in your social media presence, and in your email signatures. Post signs asking those with a positive experience to review you online and those with a bad one to come see you personally to talk about it. The flood of positive reviews will often be a powerful counter to even the most vitriolic critic.
In addition to generating positive reviews, it’s a good idea to create other content that will rank higher than your negative reviews in a Google search results page. This content can include social media posts, articles, or listings on business websites.
Search results suppression is one of the most effective tactics at removing and hiding news and media articles in search results.
Because news articles and media press releases are so effective at ranking at the top of page one for Google, it becomes a very important task to quickly disrupt the search results with new media articles, and a network of positive information that promotes you, and changes the online conversation and sentiment about you online.
Hiding & Suppressing News Articles in Google
News and media articles generally have very high readership they are shared, and linked to very often. They have a lot of traffic because they’re frequently updated many times a day, they also appeal very well to Google’s search engine algorithms. So in order to suppress, delete, remove, or hide media news articles it is essential to quickly develop an aggressive network of information and go about changing the search results as quickly as possible.
Burying Negative Search Results Online
It is also common for news articles and media content to be syndicated by other news media websites, so this can sometimes muddy the waters and make deleting at the source, and removing them difficult. For these reasons again it is essential that a network of content management is quickly put in place in order to disrupt and start to take control of the negative search results caused by the media articles.
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