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.
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.
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.