Bad news travels extremely fast online. Thanks to social sharing, negative content’s tendency to rank highly in search results, and reposting on blogs and other websites – a negative news article can quickly go far beyond the publication’s website itself. In an ideal world, we would be able to easily remove any unfair or outdated material from the Internet, but the reality is usually a lot more complicated.
To remove negative newspaper articles from the web presents a major challenge, but it’s something you’ll need to start thinking about if the content concerned is appearing on the first page of the search engine results. After all, it takes years for companies and individuals to build a rock-solid reputation and only days for one negative news article on the web to bring it all tumbling down.
If you currently find yourself dealing with a negative news article ranking highly in Google and other search engines there are two options; you can either have the article removed, or you can push down the negative news article to the second page of search results where it is unlikely to be seen.
Your business’s online reputation is how Internet users, including your current and potential customers, view your business based on its digital footprint. This means that any information published online about your business, including customer reviews and feedback, will affect your business’s online reputation. Online reputation management is basically the process of improving or restoring a brand’s reputation. The process typically involves proactive and often aggressive solutions aimed at countering, weakening and eliminating the negative online content about a brand by replacing the negative content with positive material.
This is important because it is extremely difficult to remove information on the Internet, particularly on online platforms that you do not own or control. In essence, the process aims to reduce the visibility of negative content online by burying it in search engine result pages (SERPs), helping your business build customer trust. Without customer trust, your business is unlikely to survive and thrive.
This is because more than 80% of consumers will continue to use a trusted brand frequently and more importantly, will recommend the brand to others. It is important to note that today more than 90% of adult consumers in the US research products online before making a purchase decision and additionally, they deem customer reviews as highly or extremely helpful.
1. REMOVAL OF THE NEGATIVE NEWS ARTICLE
First off, news sites are very unlikely to remove an article from their website, but there is always a slight possibility they will. News sites, editors, and journalist are used to getting requests to have negative and embarrassing articles removed, so coming up with a proper removal strategy is important.
Before attempting removal of a news article, you should consider doing the following:
Make a list of all the websites that host the negative news article
An easy way to do this is by copy and pasting the title of the article into a Google search.
Find a way to contact the website(s) hosting the article and/or the journalist that wrote it
Most news sites will have a “Contact” page where you can leave a message.
Most journalist will provide you with a way to contact them (via e-mail, form on the site, etc.)
If there is no contact method available, do a Google search for their name and see if there are any social media profiles (i.e Linkedin) you can potentially reach them on.
The amount of time the news article has been published online
If the article is considered “old news”, you may be able to use this to your advantage.
Any libelous/defamatory statements and/or factual inaccuracies
This is helpful to document for two reasons:
1. You can request that the news site update the article to remove any factual inaccuracies.
2. In certain cases, the news publication can be sued for defamation. This is typically not pursued due to the legal costs involved and difficulty in proving defamation & associated damages.
Pro Tip: When attempting removal of a news article from a website, never initiate contact in a threatening way, as this will greatly hurt your chances of getting the news article removed.
2. BURY THE NEGATIVE NEWS ARTICLE
If your removal attempt fails, you can minimize the reputational damage caused by the negative news article with a process known as search engine suppression.
At its core, search engine suppression involves using advanced search engine optimization strategies to push down the negative article and replace it with positive/neutral information.
In most cases, suppression is not only effective at removing negative article from the first few pages of search results, but it also works to strengthen your online brand and/or promote your business in a positive light.
There are a number of strategies and tactics to suppress a negative article like:
Setting up web 2.0 profiles and keeping them active
Starting a company blog and posting high quality, search engine optimized content
Publishing other types of media, like videos, interviews, podcasts, etc.
Optimizing content you already own (i.e your Linkedin profile).
Become a thought leader by publishing expert advice on credible third-party websites.
Create quality content and link from your content from a variety of authoritative websites that are topically relevant to web pages you’re promoting.
The more types of content you create, and the higher the quality, the better chance you have to push down the negative news article to the 2nd page of Google where it is unlikely to be seen (studies have shown 94% of searches never go past page 1).
Reputation, an intangible and hard-to-measure asset, can account for as much as 75% of an organization’s value, making it the biggest risk factor for an organization.
This is according to a 2005 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, an arm of the Economist Group based in London, UK. Out of the 269 senior risk executives who took part in this survey, more than 50% said that reputation risk was more significant than credit risk (29%), human capital risk (41%), IT risk (35%), market risk (32%) and regulatory risk (41%).
Moreover, about 30% of the survey participants reported suffering a substantial financial loss at some point in their careers due to bad reputation. It is worth noting that more than 50% of a brand’s reputation can be attributed to its CEO, according to a 2003 international study involving 1,400 influential stakeholders.
Unfortunately, in the age of social media and other methods of instant communication, the Internet has the power to make or break a business’s reputation. Simply put, your business’s online reputation is at the mercy of online communities. In a recent consumer survey by eMarketer, for example, about 83% of the respondents said that online reviews influence their perceptions about companies.
A similar study by the eTailing Group put that number at more than 90%. Digimind, a global social media monitoring and competitive intelligence company, says that a mismatch between the buzz and the reality accounts for about 80% of reputation damage risks. Fortunately, you can take certain measures to protect your brand’s online reputation. Below is a guide to reputation management
The most important thing to remember when dealing with a negative news article on the Internet is to have a plan and be rational. It can be easy to feel a rush of anger and trepidation when reading a negative article about yourself or your business. Instead, channel that energy into creating a strategy to get it removed or suppressed.
Are you looking to get expert help to have a negative news article removed or suppressed? If so, fill out the form below for a FREE consultation:
DON’T LET NEGATIVE SEARCH RESULTS DEFINE YOUR BRAND:
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.
REPAIR & RESTORE YOUR COMPANY’S REPUTATION TODAY
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 2013, 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.
Given the democratic and anonymous nature of the Internet, it has never been easier to tarnish the hard earned reputation of someone online. All it takes is one rant from an ex-girlfriend, upset customer, or an online smear campaign driven by a personal vendetta to damage your reputation.
A common misconception in today’s age is that online reputation issues are confined to individuals that are engaging in unethical, criminal, or fraudulent activity.
This could not be farther from the truth.Not only do we guarantee our work, but we have solidified our own reputation as one of the most prominent and results-driven online reputation management firms in the United States.
With that in mind, online reputation management involves a wide range of activities aimed at cleansing and controlling a brand’s online reputation in order to build customer trust. Most of these activities involve suppressing negative information about a brand in search engine result pages (SERPs). Search engines typically rank content based on various factors.
Google, for instance, ranks content based freshness, quality and trust, among other factors. This means that content that adheres to Google’s ranking criteria typically ranks high in SERPs, whereas content that fails to adhere to this criteria gets demoted in Google’s SERPs.
The goal of online reputation management is to get your positive content to rank high and your negative low in SERPs. To achieve this goal, you need a good online content strategy to allow you to create and publish new, high quality and authoritative content online.
In particular, your content strategy should help you achieve the following objectives:
• Build positive ratings on multiple review sites
• Ensure your business/brand is listed accurately on review sites
• Ensure the positive reviews are up-to-date in order to decrease the negative reviews
• Respond to both positive and negative reviews,
• Reach out to customers who have had a bad experience
• Ensure the positive reviews get as much visibility as possible
• Monitor the Internet for negative material about your business
It is important to note that online reputation management is not only about getting rid of the negative material about your business online, but also your brand look amazing online. For this reason, online reputation management often involves a lot of hard work and effort, especially if the negative material appears on popular and trusted websites and online platforms such as trusted news sites, popular review sites or government sites.
For your positive content to have the desired impact, you have to publish it on the right platforms including authoritative sites, trusted professional and business listing sites.
Online Reputation Management (ORM) versus Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
While both SEO and ORM aim to increase traffic and conversion rates, each of these processes serves a distinct purpose, meaning they are different processes.
For starters, the former aims to improve a site’s ranking in SERPs, whereas the latter aims to build trust and credibility. Secondly, SEO typically targets one website at a time, whereas ORM typically covers multiple sites and platforms at once.
Thirdly, SEO covers websites owned by the subject, whereas ORM covers websites and other online platforms not owned by the subject including discussion forum, review-rating websites and social platforms.