Brand new articles about fresh scandals, arrests or situations where the client is straightforward guilty of something beyond a minor issue are tougher to remove. This happens frequently. If you are guilty and strike a plea bargain, this is tougher to remove because it is true.
News websites are online versions of popular local newspapers from all over the country. In the digital age, most newspapers – even in tiny rural markets – now have an online version of their printed publication.
But where physical newspapers are thrown away and forgotten about at the end of the day, stories on digital sites are not deleted. In fact, news media are under no obligation to remove anything they publish on their internet site, due to First Amendment laws.
If you’ve got a negative story that’s been written about you, you probably know this first hand. Contacting the editor of a newspaper to request removal of the article is often fruitless.
And while we’ve seen some cases where friendly editors have removed damaging news stories, this isn’t the norm.
So what do you do?
Also, damaging articles from reputable news sources that do not rise to the level of defamation can be nearly impossible to eliminate. The media outlets that post them generally keep them archived and accessible, and the search engines will require overwhelming proof that the news they contain violates one of their policies, which will usually require litigation.
It never hurts to have our professional team take a look at your situation and provide a quote. If the link can’t be removed, then suppression is your only option.
Since most online newspapers are trusted, they carry high authority with Google. So if you Google yourself or your business, a story written about you in your local online newspaper is likely to rank very high.
As mentioned earlier, if this were the paper version, your story would be thrown out when the day is done. But since published content on the internet lasts forever, the story is likely to appear when people Google you or your company.
The effects of this can be very harmful. Here are some of the things people have said when they contacted us:
“I’m an investor and no one will do business with me when they find this story.”
“I’m looking for a job and having a hard time getting 2nd interviews. I think people are Googling me and finding the story.”
These are just a couple of the complaints we’ve heard.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneur trying to protect your business reputation or an individual looking for a job – negative stories on news websites are harmful to you. And companies who’ve spent millions developing their brand identity can see it be taken down as negative news stories call their motives into question.
With suppression, I recommend you take a proactive approach to combating the negative publicity. There is no magic bullet solution, but with smart PR and branding practices, it is possible to create enough positive promotion to counteract the damage.
An important part of suppression strategy is implementing an aggressive and proactive social media presence that will highlight your strengths as a business and draw attention away from the offending article(s).
The first thing I often recommend that my clients do is to reach out personally to the website hosting the negative content and ask that they remove it. This is especially wise with blog reviews and personal websites.
Be honest, explain the harm that is being caused to your reputation, and mention any actions you have taken to deal with the issue that caused the negative review in the first place.
This can often be an effective strategy, and by getting the content removed all together, you no longer have to worry about it showing up in search engine results ever again.
However, it is extremely important that any interaction you have with the person you are asking to remove content is pleasant and polite. Even if they refuse your request, behave professionally and warmly.
Getting into an argument with them will only make the situation worse.
How long do newspaper articles stay online?
In theory, forever. Different sites have different policies regarding how long and what access they provide to their archives, but in many cases, the articles will remain forever unless you can succeed in having it taken down.
Do you need to hire a defamation attorney for removal?
Not necessarily. Depending on the situation, a lawyer may or may not be necessary, and in many instances, an ORM specialist will be able to remove or delist a negative article or post more quickly and more effectively.
How long does it take to remove negative information from the internet?
The length of time required varies. The process can be anywhere from a couple of days to several months.
How does the “guarantee” work?
You have three courses of action you can take when trying to get rid of a hurtful or damaging story.
First, you can contact the editor or the writer of the story and ask them to remove it. Hopefully, you’ve already tried this. If you haven’t, make sure you are extremely nice in your approach. Be truthful and explain how the story is causing you to lose customers and may put you out of business. If the story is false or needs corrections, you might gently ask the writer to update the article, so that it paints a more positive picture. If you’re genuine and kind, you might get results, but in our experience, that’s pretty rare.
The second thing you can do is try to suppress the article. You can attempt to do this yourself by creating new websites, social media sites, and getting published on other authority websites, but many find this to be a time consuming process that is very slow to work. We offer suppression services which push the negative story off page 1 of Google.
The third option is removal. What’s nice about removal is that the you nip the problem right at the root. Unlike suppression, you never have to worry about it coming back when Google changes it’s algorithm. The bad news story is gone for good. And the best news is that our removal service is guaranteed, which means you don’t pay unless the article is gone.
We’re one of the few firms that is able to offer guaranteed removal of news stories from online newspapers. And while this service is not cheap, it is definitely permanent. You won’t have to answer anymore questions about it and it won’t get in the way of you doing business or finding a job.
You will be asked to sign a contract that says you agree to pay if the agreed removal is completed to your satisfaction. Generally, you’ll be asked to place funds with a 3rd party independent escrow service, such as escrow.com.
If/when the news article is removed from the internet, funds are released. If we are not successful, your money is released back to you. You pay nothing. We risk all the hard costs and time involved.
What is the difference between deletion and de-indexing in Google?
Deletion means that the content is completely removed from the internet so that no one is able to access it, while de-indexing means that it has been removed from Google’s search results. This means that only people who have the direct link will be able to find the offending content.
Negative news stories on your local newspaper’s website can prevent you from getting a job. The problem is potential employers Google you as part of their human resources background check and if they see something unflattering, it could call your employment into question.
Your first course of action is to contact the newspaper and see if they’ll remove or correct the story. Be very nice and explain how it’s affecting your life. If they won’t make any changes, we’ll help you affordably push it off page 1 of Google organic search results using reputation management.
Why do online newspapers rank so well in Google?
Google ensures that newspapers score well in their search algorithms because they are trusted sources of information that update their sites daily or weekly. The sheer amount of content they provide and their popularity with online audiences means that Google relies on them to provide highly relevant search results.
What if removal doesn’t work?
First off, if we can’t remove or delete the negative story, you pay nothing. We assume all risk and you lose nothing if cannot get the article deleted from google.
If we can’t remove the online news story, then option two is to push it down. Check out our suppression services and get a quote.