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.
When it gets harder for you to keep track of all those reviews and mentions your brand is getting, here’s what you should do. Hire an online reputation management professional.
They will maintain or repair your online reputation while appealing to your target audience. If you’re still unsure, here are some advantages this service provides.
· Eliminate the chances of embarrassing PR or social media disasters overseas.
· Have a firmer grip on how your international target audience feels and says about your brand.
· Access tons of data about markets that are the most lucrative for your business.
· Have the chance to address and crush any negative connotation from foreign search results.
· Enjoy a detailed tracking of all social media platforms for hurtful mentions about you.
And let me tell you something else. If you think that Google is the only and most powerful search engine, think again. A friend made a mistake years ago in her younger days. A Google of her name by prospective employers (or her mom and dad) ended up showcasing a crime blotter web page as the #1 result.
If you share your name with somebody else, that person can trash your reputation through their bad actions. Maybe they get arrested for drunk driving, and a prospective employer searches your name, finds the other person's drunk driving information, and incorrectly assumes that you were arrested for drunk driving.
While it is true that Google accounts for 75.74% of global searches, in China, the search engine Baidu accounts for over 75% of searches. And in Russia, Yandex takes the lead with more than 65% of the search traffic.
See? Those numbers represent the many possibilities your business has for thriving overseas. And a well-thought-out online reputation management strategy can guarantee this.
Now, not everything in Reputation Management comes down to social media comments. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Digital marketing is a powerful tool that you can use to enhance your online reputation.
But in this case, you should add a little twist.
Advertising your products or services in a foreign market requires proper research. The worst mistake is thinking that everyone should accommodate to American standards. Even in countries where English is commonly used. Creating marketing campaigns that fail to translate adequately is a surefire way to destroy your reputation. You don't get the job and you never fully understand what happened. It seemed like you were highly qualified. Unbeknownst to you, you've been a victim of a bad Web reputation. Should You Hire a Reputation Management Company?
Some businesses hire reputation management companies to help fight back against negative reviews and comments on social media. These businesses typically operate in the shadows, and most companies that employ them do so privately.
While an option, it’s best to carefully consider your alternatives before hiring a reputation management company. Make sure that those hired are not manipulating reviews and social media responses, as this could cause further damage to your business.
Additional Tips to Protect Your Business From Social Media
Your business could be extremely vulnerable to social media unless you take a few steps to ensure you stay on the friendlier side of the internet.
1. Avoid divisive topics. Small-business owners, especially, should avoid posting divisive and controversial topics online, including on your personal social media pages. If you choose to hire employees for your business, then you may want to implement social media policies that include certain forms of commentary and engagement.
2. Respond positively to reviews and comments. Social media users love when businesses respond to comments and reviews, but they are quick to turn on you if you respond combatively or negatively to criticism. You’ll want to show humility and deference, even when it comes to negative reviews.
3. Strictly monitor what your company shares on social media. Whether you hire a social media guru or share the content yourself as a small-business owner, make sure the content is free from copyright infringement and potentially offensive material. You may want to implement a standard checklist for anyone you hire (or even for yourself) to reduce your risk.