What is a Negative Search Result?

A negative search result is any webpage in the search result that gives out false or negative information about a business or individual. Such results can drastically damage the online reputation of the business or individual, leading to huge losses of revenue and can sometimes bankrupt a company completely. Any efforts to repair the Internet reputation is referred to as online reputation management.


Online Reputation Management by contacting the Webmaster


As a rule of thumb, if the website is a shady, extortion oriented website, don’t contact the webmaster. They will just replicate the content. Contacting the webmaster rarely works but it’s still worth a try. This method can help you remove some negative results from Google and other search engines.

Here’s how to do it:


• Search and download all of the negative search results from at least 10 pages.
• Find the contact email of the webmaster. You can use the Who.is service to find this information
• Contact the owner of the site and request them to remove the negative page/content from their site


When determining whether it’s possible to remove negative news stories, articles, and other content from the Internet, there’s a plethora of factors you need to take into consideration, including:


  • Does the news story in question contain information that is false, defamatory, libelous, or creates a false light or impression?

  • How old is the information? Is then news or news story outdated, inaccurate, or unfair?

  • Is there defamatory, libelous, or inflammatory language in the comments of the article?

  • Does the article illicit defamatory, libelous, or other offensive responses?

  • Is the website publicizing your name or likeness illegally and without your consent, ultimately profiting.

  • Does the information violate copyright or trademark laws?

  • Is there personal information published? For example, your social security number, credit card number, driver’s license information, or banking information.

  • Does the article or news story contain information about a party who is a minor (under 18 years old)?

  • How many sources or websites is the information published on?


Removing Content from Google

The search engine removal process typically has a low success rate. For this reason, most reputation managers prefer the push-down strategy which is aimed at hiding the negative information deep in Google. The logic here is almost no one goes past the second page of search results when they search for something.


Removing Negative Search Results with DMCA

Google has made it much easier for people to request removal from the search results. However, in most cases, it doesn’t work. Google mostly complies with the search results that are a real threat to a person, or when a person is steal intellectual property (copyright infringement).

This means that if you have a negative search result with your name on it, you can ask Google to remove it by filling a form. Keep in mind that Google is rather strict with regards to removal or search results. As such, make sure that when you contact them for removal, you’ve included information about why you want it removed. You should also note that attempts to manipulate the DMCA process can cause Google to take legal action against you or your company.


Unpublishing can still inspire some deeply ingrained resistance in newsrooms, magazines, and other media outlets. It’s an area where newspaper practices and the overall news media have failed to catch up with technological changes, either because journalists still view themselves as writing the first draft of history, or because of plain old bureaucratic inertia.


If the information published about you is malicious and false–and you can prove that–you’ll have a good shot of getting the publication to correct, retract, or delete the information online. Typically, when determining whether information published online is factual and legitimate news, the most important factor in determining whether a removal is possible is by figuring out who the webmaster or organization who published the content is. In most cases, the only way to remove factual news stories is by contacting the publishing organization or webmaster. In other times, organizations and webmasters sometimes don’t even have a formal policy or framework in place to honor removal requests – therefore it’s imperative you reach out to an experienced online news article attorney.


After all, publications stand to lose a lot of money in a libel judgement if they refuses to correct a story that is wrong and defamatory.


In this piece, you’ll see why it isn’t always the easiest task when reaching out to online news organizations and media agencies to remove negative news articles and content.


Libel Removal Tip: In the real of defamation law, the U.S. is generally considered a pro-defendant jurisdiction due to its upholding and enforcement of the First Amendment, while European and other Commonwealth countries are typically considered more pro-plaintiff.


And, when you’re dealing with removing news, articles, and reviews from Google, it’s important to acquaint yourself with their Content and User Contribution Policy, which prohibits the following types of content:


  • Spam & fake content: When dealing with reviews, factual posts, or other content, it should reflect your actual and genuine experience at whichever location you went to. Fake and duplicate content from multiple accounts will also not be tolerated.

  • Off-topic content: Posting content that is completely unrelated to the location or topic in question will be removed.

  • Restricted content: For specific content subject to controls or regulations, with certain guidelines governing their posting, users must avoid using calls to action or other offers for the sale of its products and services.

  • Illegal content: This includes images or content infringing anyone else’s legal intellectual property right, anything depicting sexual abuse imagery, rape, organ sale, human trafficking, endangered animal products, illegal drugs, prescription drugs to the illegal market, graphic or gratuitous violence, and content produced by or on behalf of terrorist organizations.

  • Sexually explicit content: Specifically, sexually explicit content exploiting children or presenting them in a sexual manner is prohibited.

  • Offensive content: Content containing profane, obscene, or offensive gestures and language will be removed.

  • Hate speech: Speech condoning or promoting violence against persons or groups based on religion, disability, race, ethnic origin, gender, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or nationality is prohibited.

  • Harassment & bullying: Using Google to harass, bully, or attack other individuals in prohibited.

  • Impersonation: False attribution to another company or person with the intent of misleading others is grounds for removal.