How to Remove News Articles From Google And The Internet

Considering that damaging criticism can show up in search engine results, damage revenue and become very costly to repair, it is certainly worthwhile to take action so to minimize such criticism. In fact, shedding light on the best content about you or your firm is a way to capitalize on how little amount of information people will actually consider during research these days. This has often called reputation marketing.

 

We wrote an article recently about how an ORM company can allow you to Control the narrative of your business; This includes having several of your own professional websites, full of high-quality content and reviews, and an active presence on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. When a business’ website and social media sites are professionally built and updated, it becomes less possible for negative reviews to not only come in undetected, but outrank all the positive information and reviews. With proper effort and attention, your business can build a veritable shield of positive information and reviews that help to protect your online reputation so thoroughly that even the most ill-intentioned reviews cannot easily penetrate it.

 

Online reputation management takes time, effort and SEO expertise. Firms that promise quick wins often rely upon legal scare tactics and short-term black hat SEO tricks that won’t last. And they certainly won’t be effective against major news outlets like the The New York Times or syndicated networks.

 

Want the truth?

It’s incredibly difficult to completely remove negative content from Google search. In fact, there are only a few rare instances in which that’s even possible. In almost every case, the only viable approach is to bury negative search results in Google where people won’t find them.

 

Most newspaper articles will remain on the web and in search results indefinitely. This is usually due to one of three reasons:

 

  • News sites and journalists are under no obligation to remove news items from the internet unless it is proven the offending information is misleading, unverified, false or libelous. 

  • News publications and blog platforms have little reason to remove a bad news article if that item is getting views, which often translates into ad revenues for the publisher.  

  • News articles are often shared and reposted on other sites across the web, meaning even if the post is removed by the original website, it’s likely still out there

What’s more: each news and blog site have their own strict, step-by-step process and criteria for requesting the removal of a bad online article. This can make removing even the most salacious or unfounded of negative news articles nearly impossible.

 

This positive content now has to be found right at the top of search engines. This is where our ORM company comes in.

 

  • Is the owner of this content anonymous or spiteful? It would be great if you could just email someone and they would immediately remove this negative content, no questions asked. That’s obviously the ideal situation, and while it is possible to get content removed, there are some known risks and issues associated with taking this route. If you’re dealing with an anonymous or spiteful troll, then proceed with caution. Asking this kind of person to remove the offending may not go as planned. There is always the chance that the owner not only refuses to take the content down… but could make the situation worse for you. Depending on the particular circumstances regarding your negative results, if you are dealing with somebody who has it out for you, there is always the chance that this person will choose to make it worse for you by becoming even more active and retaliate against you online. We have seen this happen many times, so it’s a smart idea to take a moment and analyze the situation. Sometimes it’s better left alone when it comes to contacting the site owner, and spending your time on other strategies to bury negative Google results.

  • Is the owner of this content a government website or news outlet? If you’re dealing with a government site, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get documents that are of public record removed. However, you should feel free to do a bit of digging on the government website (or by calling them) to see if there are any processes in place to maintain your privacy. And when it comes to dealing with a news outlet – if something is factually inaccurate, you can of course email them to write a retraction or correction. However, that may just give even more authority to a link or story that already looks damaging based on the title or URL.

  • Does this negative content fall outside of the realm of the Right to Be Forgotten (EU) or Google’s takedown policy (US)? If so, it’s unlikely you can have the search engine de-index this result for your name. This means you will have to push down the negative Google result if you want it to stop being an issue.

 

What needs to be pointed out is that many people jump to this option, but don’t think about the possible downsides of requesting content removal.

 

News sites are unlikely to remove an article from their website, but there is always a slight possibility they will. News sites, editors, and journalists are used to getting requests to have negative and embarrassing articles removed, so coming up with a proper removal strategy is extremely important.

 

Before attempting removal of a news article, you should consider the following:

 

  • If there are multiple negative news articles, document each URL and its ranking in search results. This will help you get organized and prioritize your removal efforts.

    • If you are only aware of one negative news article, copy and paste the title of the article into a Google search to ensure it hasn’t been re-published on other sites.

  • Look for ways to contact the website(s) that hosts the article and/or the journalist that wrote the article.

    • Most news sites will have a “Contact” page where you can leave a message.

    • Most journalists will provide you with a way to contact them (via e-mail, twitter, 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.

  • When reaching out to an editor or journalist, never initiate contact in a threatening way, as this will greatly hurt your chances of getting the news article removed, and could make the problem worse.

  • If you are attempting to remove a negative news article that is more than a couple years old, use this to your advantage. Historically, news sites are more likely to remove older/outdated news stories than more recent ones.

  • It’s important to note that you generally only have one shot at getting the negative news article removed. If you are unsure of the most optimal approach and want one of our online reputation experts to attempt removal on your behalf, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

 

Long are the days when your company’s carefully concocted press releases and media exposures in traditional advertising made up your reputation. Word-of-mouth has traversed to digital chatter, and now anyone and everyone has the ability to damage your reputation in a matter of minutes.

 

Your current and future clients and customers aren’t going to take your word for it anymore when they see that perfectly polished television ad. They desire brand transparency, and to truly decide whether they can trust doing business with your company, they’re going to do their research.

 

Our ORM experts understand that the more transparent you are about your business culture and practices, the more open you are to criticism. However, the only way to gain customer control is to be transparent. Sounds like a double-edged sword, doesn’t it? Thankfully our ORM experts are trained to protect your brand and reputation from any criticism that may come your way.