Negative Search Results Hurting Your Reputation?
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Been losing sleep due to negative reviews or content about you or your business found in Google search results? You are not alone, and also, its more than likely that you’ve read through other websites and perhaps even hired online reputation management companies to no avail. That’s because removing negative content from Google search engine is well, its nearly impossible if you don’t understand how Google works.
These are the common search patterns people or businesses usually ask Google
How to push down negative reviews from Google
How do I erase my name from internet
My competitor is saying negative things about my business how do I remove them
How to remove negative articles from Google
How to get negative search results taken down Google search results
No Money Upfront, No Risk . As the most trusted authority in online content removals, we’ve helped thousands of customers improve their online reputations. W
e can delete or remove negative content from a number of websites. When we can accomplish this, it means that the negative content will be removed completely and will no longer appear on the website, or in search engines. This process typically takes 2-4 weeks and is backed up by our Service Guarantee.
The Facts About Removing Content from Google Search
The fact: apart from Google information removal policies, and apart from the information you want gone from Google search results being on Google’s own products/services. You are left alone at the mercy of these website owners who post and publish your details.
And not to mention the sharks, some are just as bad so called Online Reputation Management Services (usually promise you to remove the results) (which in itself is a lie for 99.99% Google search results). Because, online reputation management services must also adhere to Google policies. And perhaps just like you, they will contact the website owners who will usually ignore your email messages.
If you are unsure as to who owns the website your details are at, simply conduct a Whois search, and also note down as much details about the website hosting company (usually emails found with Whois search will reveal which company hosts the website online) (which you may actually contact if contacting the website owner doesn’t result in any response) (you may want to send a letter of abuse about the domain in question to the hosting company. Note that even if the web hosting company takes action, the website owner can easily find another web hosting company to re-put the same detail).
Before you spend a penny, cent, dime, shilling, bitcoin or whatever else currency you are using just remember this
Google does NOT Own or Control the Search Results as they are automated information and links pointing to other public internet domains.
That means, those who guarantee removal of names or negative reviews usually follow retarded ways to manage reputation (usually, low quality (cheap articles) with so called SEO for higher Google rankings, low quality free for all Web 2.0 backlinks). WARNING: stay away from such practices or else your content found on internet will be even harder to manage because once a company begins on this path, they actually can’t remove that additional information they place on such low-quality websites, as a result causing more harm than good. You can visit Google help section here to Manage your online reputation.
What then happens is that information you want removed may actually go down (if its located on poorly built unpopular scam type of sites) for a little while (this is because Google has a long memory and tracks people’s behaviour once they visit a link from Google search results).
However, if the information you want buried from Google search is on popular websites, then you need to be thoughtful about the dilemma you are facing. Meaning, the more popular the website the information you want buried is at, the harder you will need to work at pushing down those unwanted content
Our team of Internet Defamation Lawyers will help you permanently remove:
Posts from Stalkers
Civil Legal Documents
Videos and more.
Deciding on the right online reputation management strategy (ORM) can be a challenge. It can be jarring to find yourself in the midst of a reputation scandal. But it's important to remain calm as you pinpoint the cause of the problem and develop (and follow!) an action plan can help lessen the impact. As a business owner, there's nothing worse than discovering your business has a bad search result associated with it. You work hard to ensure your customers are satisfied with your products and service. You work even harder to make your business a success. Unfortunately, they're common in business transaction and interactions. We're in the age of information, and people are eager to share their opinions online. Sometimes, these opinions are not positive.
The most common reason for submitting a DMCA takedown request is if the offending material infringes on your legal rights as a copyright owner. If someone is clearly using your material without permission (photos, written content, audio, video, etc.) you can submit a request by going to your DMCA Dashboard and creating a new notice.
You’ll need to be able to identify and describe the copyrighted work, show an authorized example of the work, and provide a URL to the allegedly infringing material.
Google gets millions of these requests every month, so don’t expect to get any results unless you can make your case crystal clear. You should also be aware that any request you send will be tied to your name and all requests are made public on chillingeffects.org so think carefully about the risks before you move ahead with this request.
Fortunately, there are a handful of techniques and strategies, used primarily by companies in the online reputation management industry, to make negative content vanish. Similar to SEO (search engine optimization), which uses strategies to make your business more noticeable on web search engines like Google, Reverse SEO uses a variety of techniques to make a particular site less noticeable. This is the backbone of how ORM (online reputation management) experts mitigate the impact of negative content about your brand.
Essentially, there are two ways of doing this: removal and suppression.It is very difficult to get search results legally removed because people can say pretty much anything they want online. Even if you have a strong case proving defamation or libel, the legal process can cost you thousands of dollars and take many years to settle. The court system is a notoriously difficult place to solve these kinds of problems.
If you’re interested in hearing about your legal options, definitely speak with an attorney. Just remember that a lawyer may come back to you with the upsetting news that there is nothing that can be done to take down your negative result — and still charge you for their time.
Solving the problem that caused the negative feedback is paramount. Address that immediately to avoid further complications later down the road. But even after that's been done there is more work to do. Here are some sample strategies:
Remove results directly from Google
Remove from the source through negotiation
Remove from the source via legal channels
Weakening of negatives
Development and optimization of branded content
Review improvement and management
Optimization of existing content
Reputation problems can range from bad reviews to negative blog posts or unflattering online newspaper articles. Since most content cannot be removed, a reputation management strategy centered around suppressing or pushing down bad search results is the most common strategy after review management. If you notice a bad review, defamatory remarks, or other negative content showing up at the top of search results when you search for your name, your first instinct might be to try and have it removed. Removing a link from the internet permanently disassociates it with your name, and it makes sure consumers never see it again. It's effective, but it's hard to do. Links to negative content will be content you control or content that someone else controls. Obviously, removing content on a page you own is much easier than one you don't.Aside from the “right to be forgotten,” there are only a couple instances where it makes sense to ask Google to remove something.
The first is the above mentioned DMCA request. The second is regarding highly sensitive personal information like bank account numbers and signatures. The third is revenge porn. Google decided to start honoring requests to take down those kinds of damaging results as of June 2015. You can read more about that on Google’s public policy blog.
There are effectively three ways to completely remove a negative search result at the source. You can:
1. Have the web site owner remove the page entirely.
Although it may seem like a shot in the dark (spoiler alert: it almost always is), it's still worth a shot to ask the owner of the page to remove it. It's low risk and high reward. If the owner will remove it, then you can stop reading this article. If they won't, continue reading for other tactics to remove or suppress negative search results. On-page Ranking Factors
Quality Content: Google rewards sites that have amazing content that provides lots of value to users. Content that is longer, well-written, and original is considered higher quality (from an algorithmic standpoint) than short, thin, and duplicate content.
Keyword Optimization: Keywords are the core words and phrases you want to rank for in search results. In this case, the primary keyword will be your full name or business. Keyword optimization does not mean unnaturally stuffing your keyword onto your site — that kind of behavior can earn you a nasty Google penalty. Focus instead on writing engaging content and weaving your keyword in naturally when it is appropriate. Some obvious places to include your keyword are in the URL of your website, the title, the header tag, and an About page.
Outbound Links: Outbound links, the ones you use to link out to other sites, are seen as signals of trust. Link out to authoritative sites in your industry that provide real value to the user. As a general rule of thumb, don’t exceed 25 outbound links per 1,000 words.
Site Architecture: You want to make sure that your site structure has a logical hierarchy and that you are linking to all your pages in an easy-to-use navigational menu. Give your URL slugs appropriate titles and make the process of getting around your site as simple as possible.
2. Have the web site owner add a NOINDEX tag to the HTML of the web page you want Google to ignore.
A NOINDEX tag looks like this:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">
It tells a search engine to ignore the page. This effectively removes the page because it removes it from search engines without actually taking the page away. Within a few weeks, the page is normally removed automatically from search results.In some cases, your Facebook or Yelp page may return negative results. Perhaps it's a bad review or a negative comment. You can try updating your business profile information to be more positive and interesting. Alternatively, you can respond to comments in a professional and helpful way. If the situation is dire, you can even remove your profile altogether and create a new one. Keep in mind, some websites will keep the reviews public, even if your profile is removed.
3. Change the content on the page so it is no longer relevant for the target search query.
Ask the webmaster of the site containing the information to remove the search phrases from the page. For example, if your company name is mentioned on the page and/or description of the page (in the HTML), and/or Title of the page (also HTML), the webmaster can change the words so your company name no longer exists on the page. Off-page Ranking Factors
Backlinks: Links still matter a ton because search engines use them as signals of trust and relevancy. The important distinction today is that the QUALITY of the backlinks matter. One link from a highly authoritative site like the New York Times is going to be far more effective than hundreds or even thousands of links from no-name sites. The opposite is true too — spammy backlinks from link farms can do your site more harm than good. Focus on creating incredibly useful content for a target niche and you’ll be well on your way to getting a variety of links from relevant websites.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your network to politely ask for links to your website. Appropriate places to start might be your business or a philanthropic organization that you’re heavily involved with.
Social Engagement: It’s not clear how much weight Google gives to social connections and interactions as a ranking factor but there is a correlation between social votes and high rankings. Build your personal or corporate brand across your social network, grow your following organically, and share your content to get the most out of your social connections.
Personalization: Local search is becoming an increasingly more important factor for search. There are many ways to take advantage of this factor, including registering your business’s address in Google+ and setting your location in your social profiles. If your site is getting loads of links from sites related to your location, it is more likely to rank, at least in that target location.
All of these methods rely on the website owner to do the work. Therefore, the only way to remove negative search results at the source is to convince the owner of the page to remove it. There is a fourth option! Hack the site to remove negative content, but we cannot condone this option (sorry, Reputation X doesn't hack).More often than not, a negative search result will happen on a page you don't own. A blogger might publish a post about a bad experience with your company, or somebody may post negative personal information about you on a website. When you don't own the site, removing negative content from Search Results is much more difficult and for those that are not familiar with SEO or internet marketing, it can often require professional help. While it's not easy, however, in many cases removal of negative content from a third-party website can be done without any assistance. There are several ways to do this:
Contact the website owner and ask them directly. For example, you can ask a blogger to remove their post. If you can explain why they should remove it, they may reconsider their stance on your company. Even as recently as a few years ago, you could get away with using “black-hat” SEO techniques, tricks used simply to game search engines like Google. These were things like link farming, cloaking, and keyword stuffing.
Today, these techniques will do you more harm than good. Google has gotten much better at detecting these tricks and penalizing the websites that use them. If you remember one thing about the future of SEO, it’s this: The arm of SEO is long, but it bends toward user experience.
Want to know the best SEO trick in the book? Do things that real users would do. Create incredibly engaging and valuable content that makes other people want to share it and link to it. Play by Google’s rules, and you’re much more likely to win in the long run.
Contact Google to remove sites that violate their policies. For example, publishing sensitive financial or personal information is against Google policies. Anything that can be used to commit fraud is not allowed. Offensive images or videos are also a violation. If you notice negative content that violates any of these policies, contact Google and ask for it to be removed. Bear in mind, the page will still exist, it just won't appear in Google results anymore.
Finally, there are cases where negative content may be unlawful, in which case you can take legal action. For example, online defamation, discrimination, copyright infringement, and other illegal content can be removed. This is risky territory, however. It could end up costing you thousands in legal fees and could even draw more attention to the negativity you were trying to remove in the first place. Consider the weight and the risks of taking legal action before you do so. You can find out more about removing unlawful content from search results here.
As complete removal is comparatively rare, it is necessary to understand how negative online content can be suppressed. Although the word 'suppression' may be an inaccurate term because, for the most part, what is really happening is promotion.
In a word, yes. But "manipulation" isn't as good a term as "engineered." In most cases, no funny business is necessary to change search results. Purchasing website traffic is another “black hat” technique used to game the system and is therefore inadvisable. It might seem like an attractive short-term solution, but it is unsustainable and can actually hurt you in the long run. Google has released multiple algorithmic updates to penalize this kind of dishonest traffic-building behavior so your efforts are likely to be for naught.
Instead of buying traffic, focus on creating quality content — useful content that adds real value — and you’ll have a sustainable source of traffic for months and years to come. If you want to use some disposable income on your campaign, try strategically using paid campaigns for sites like Twitter, Stumbleupon, or Outbrain to increase your content’s reach.
Let us say that a negative search result is identified and it cannot be removed from the source or from the search engine (Google, Bing, Facebook, etc.). The next step is to identify positive search results that exist below the negative. Your other option for minimizing the reputation damage of negative content is with search engine suppression, also referred to as Reverse SEO. This is akin to fighting fire with fire. Instead of trying to remove content, you simply create more in an effort to bury the negative content in the search results. In most cases, suppression via Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - i.e. Reverse SEO - is not only effective at removing negative content from the first few pages of search results, but it also works to strengthen your online branding and/or promote your business in a positive light on search engines.
Most consumers will only visit the first few links returned in search results. As you create SEO-focused content, your page rises to the top of the search ranks, while other pages move down. If you can get the negative content pushed to the third or fourth page, it's likely that consumers won't even see it. Google uses a number of on-page and off-page relevancy factors to determine the rankings in search results.
That negative result from years ago may not be relevant anymore but it’s probably built up lots of authority over the years. Even if it’s a static page, the rest of the site that it’s associated with might be constantly updated, which lends extra authority to that static, older page.
All the properties you’re creating for yourself will be keyword optimized and updated regularly with content, which puts them at a distinct advantage. But your properties are newer and they haven’t built up enough authority yet to overtake that ancient negative result. Here’s an example for you to visualize what happens over time.
We call these PBNs or 'Positives Below Negative.' These are search results that search engines think are relevant, and therefore deserving of high search results. But they tend to be returned just below the negative.
We assume the search engine thinks the content is good, but not quite good enough. So we help search engines to understand that the PBN is actually more relevant than the negative, thereby causing the positives to rise. With enough effort channeled into improving PBN rankings, you can effectively "bury" negative reviews in search results.There are plenty of ways to bury the bad links on search results, all of which are very manageable and very effective:
Setting up new social media profiles and making sure you're active on all of them.
Starting a company blog and posting excellent content regularly.
Publishing other types of media, like podcasts, images, and videos.
Optimizing content you already have on the web, like pages on your company site.
Leaving comments on other influential websites within your industry.
Become a thought leader by publishing expert advice in professional forums.
Create quality content and link from your content from a variety of authoritative websites that are topically relevant to web pages you're promoting.
Suppressing negative content is much like traditional SEO because the new content you create should be optimized for page rank. The more types of content you create, and the better the quality it is, the more likely it will be to rank above the negative content and make the negative item less noticeable.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with negative content about your business is to have a plan and be rational. It can be easy to feel a rush of bad emotions when reading unpleasant reviews or other unflattering content about your business. Instead, channel that energy into creating a strategy to bounce back and make the content disappear. Do so by getting the bad reviews or negative content removed or pushing it into the depths of search results, where studies have found that a very small percentage of people will actually reach when searching for a business on the internet.
Instead of relying on wishes and luck, we take a more systematic approach to suppressing negative content. First, we identify existing content. This means we look at your social media presence, articles, blogs, and Wikipedia pages. Technical aspects of each existing content piece are examined, as are the types of content, and search engine optimization factors. We're really trying to understand "user intent" so we can solve your problem more effectively by understanding what people are actually looking for. This helps us understand why people and engines think certain content is deserving of high marks. A number of internet privacy and reputation management companies now offer services to help people and businesses get things removed from the internet, either by
Complete removal of the unwanted content from the website(s) that've published it, or
Suppression of the negative search results on Google, Bing and other conventional web search engines.
After this, high quality additional content based on the objective is created. We work to make the experience better for the user. In so doing we not only help our clients, but make the web better for everyone.
We find gaps in content by looking at the online profiles of competitors and similar entities. For example, unreported charity work may be leveraged, and images, news articles, press releases, websites, and so on, may be designed, developed and populated. This gives search engines more to consider when deciding which results will be sufficiently honored to be placed on the first page of search results.
In the past, a large part of web reputation management strategy was the creation of obscene amounts of online content. Then, well... prayer. This used to work; however, times have changed. This was the "build it and they will come" mentality. While the majority of reputation management companies still use this method with far less success than previously, nowadays it's important to promote existing and new web properties so that search engines consider them to be good enough to rise above the negative search results. It takes both content and promotion.It depends how you’re measuring results. If your goal is to beat a negative result, there will be plenty of smaller successes along the way before you finally push the negative off the first page. Properties will begin to rank on the first three pages and you’ll start to displace other irrelevant results along the way.
If you’re not seeing any of your properties rank on the first three pages after 6 months, then it may be time to re-evaluate the situation. Is the keyword extremely competitive? Do you need to put more firepower behind your efforts? Is it time to restrategize the way your sites link to each other? Are there easy link-building opportunities you’re leaving on the table? Speak with a SEO specialist to come up with a new strategy to reflect what you’ve learned.
Web reputation promotion is expensive because it involves research, outreach to publishers, content creation, negotiation, administrative costs, and much more. There are a lot of people involved because the majority of the effort cannot be automated. Inferior online reputation agencies don't execute real search engine marketing, but since it's essentially invisible to the client no one's the wiser.
In order to effectively suppress negative search results, it is essential to build relevant web properties, populate them with first-class content, and employ search engine optimization.Firepower: Online reputation campaigns can routinely take longer than a year depending on the competitiveness of the keyword and the amount of firepower you put behind your campaign. If your properties are ranking on the first few pages, you can be sure you’re on the right path. Keep up the good work and consider increasing the amount of time you put into your campaign.
Branding: Your online presence is not just a means to an end. It’s your personal brand and it tells a truthful, relevant story about you. That negative result may still be ranking, but it no longer defines your online presence. Are your other web properties ranking on the first page? If so, they’re mitigating the negative page’s impact and telling viewers the full story. Are you earning more monthly website views than the amount of Google searches for your name? If so, then you are beginning to really define the way you are perceived online.
It's also important to refresh the content. Freshness and up to date web content is a big indicator of the quality of a web page; as are social indicators such as Facebook Likes, tweets, and so on. Therefore, the execution of a good online reputation strategy must incorporate all these points.
That's a problem, but not insurmountable. For instance, a company like The New York Times has an outsized voice online. If they write something unflattering about a brand it could crush the company, causing millions in damages. This is because a company like the New York Times has massive authority to search engines. What they say is essentially more important than what the average blogger says by default. Since large publishers tend not to remove content, the only path to saving the brand is through a combination of online reputation strategies designed to beat them. That means better content, better promotion, and higher authority. It's tough to do, but quite possible.Pushing down a negative image requires the same process as a negative search result, but a different focus. You’ll still need to build SEO-friendly web properties and generate consistent quality content, but you’ll want to remain focused on the images you upload to your sites and social profiles.
Perhaps you’ll add a gallery page to your website and embed many more images into your articles. Whatever you decide, remember to optimize your images properly: use your keyword in the file name, rename the title, and give it appropriate keyword-related alt text. Bonus tip: reduce the image size to the minimum you need for your site so you don’t slow things down.