When it comes to removing negative reviews from Google, they won’t take anything down unless it breaches their code of conduct. This applies to spam, off-topic or irrelevant reviews, or prohibited content. It also covers reviews that could be deemed to be a conflict of interest, which is helpful if a negative review has been left by a former employee or competitor wishing to damage your reputation. In these instances, you’ll likely need the assistance of a removal expert to help identify whether a review meets these criteria before reporting it to Google. If a review does fit breach the code of conduct, a professional can submit a removal request and expedite the notoriously long investigation process.
In the event a negative review doesn’t breach the code of conduct, a removal specialist has few options. They’ll be well-versed in the best way to contact a customer directly and request they remove or change their review. This takes finesse, as the wrong approach could make matters worse and damage your reputation further.
A reputation management specialist will apply the same techniques they would when asking a website to remove harmful content. This requires being familiar with the mindset of the site owners, understanding their behaviors, and being able to adapt to every situation. They’ll also know how to swiftly make their way up the chain to a key decision-maker, someone who has the power to remove negative content.
Sometimes it’s just not feasible to entirely remove negative information from Google. As we know, negative search results pose the biggest threat when they appear on the front page of Google. The solution is to bury them by guaranteeing positive results appear higher up the results page, effectively pushing negative content down the list where it’s far less likely to be seen. In these instances, you’ll need to employ a reputation management professional with plenty of SEO experience.
By understanding how Google’s algorithms work, a search engine optimization (SEO) expert can form an in-depth strategy to promote your positive content. First, they’ll optimize your existing content to ensure it appears high up the search engine results page (SERP). This includes analyzing all of your existing content and applying the most current SEO techniques both on and off-page.
Next, they’ll take a look at your social media presence. Social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter rank highly in SERPs, so you’ll need to make sure you’re making the most of all that is available to you. You’ll still need to make sure these accounts fit with your business model, and that you have the time and resources to maintain them all adequately. Once you’ve set up the profiles, they’ll also need to be optimized. Once you have accounts with the big social media names, it’s time to work out other places you could create a profile that Google will push up the results page, such as a niche industry forum. Once you’ve created all of these profiles, the work isn’t over, as you’ll need to attract followers and properly engage with the community.
The next stage entails creating of a trove of positive, high-quality content in a variety of formats that you can post frequently enough to feed Google’s search results. This is the key for several reasons. Your content must be of a high standard to earn mentions from authoritative sources, since this is a cornerstone of Google’s algorithm. Once external sources begin to backlink to your articles and content, your reputation will continue to grow, and the negative content will be pushed even lower down the SERPs. Unfortunately, even excellent content can’t promote itself, so you’ll need to be well-versed in pitching to editors and knowing what content will catch their eye.