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 Is then news or news story outdated, inaccurate, or unfair?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 and likeness illegally and
without your consent, ultimately profiting.
Does the information violate copyright or trademark infringement 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?
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.
One means of removing articles from Google is the unpublishing method. This approach involves making a removal request directly to the webmaster,
the author, or the publisher.
However, there are a few things you need to know about the unpublishing method before we begin to break it down. It’s not only time consuming, it also requires a nuanced understanding of the publishing industry and the editorial process.
It’s important to take an extremely methodical, gentle approach to contacting
the owners of these stories.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, contacting the publishers or writers of negative newspaper articles can do more harm than good. So use extreme caution.
Newspaper publishers view themselves as stewards of essential, historical documents. They rarely entertain requests to remove articles from news publications
just because the subject views it as unfavorable.
Your chances of unpublishing content are better if there are factual inaccuracies or sensitive personal information that could bring you physical or financial harm.
Here are the steps to remove negative news articles by contacting publishers:
Call the news agency and work your way up the chain of command until you have the right person. You want to speak with the individual responsible
for greenlighting each article.
Be polite. Publishers often take tons of abuse from disgruntled readers and subjects. Even if the person you are speaking with is cold and impersonal,
it’s always best to be considerate and kind.
Voice messages often go unanswered due to the volume of tips new outlets receive. So, it’s usually best to follow up by email instead. Be persistent, but remain polite.
If the negative story is on a site or web properties you control (such as Facebook,
Twitter, Yelp) you can explore options to remove it but consider if responding to the issue is more effective than simply removing it.
You don’t want a backlash occurring because you removed a complaint.
Again, having a plan and process is critical.
Google has provided a tool to remove listings that a brand does not like if they meet certain criteria – results they class as “irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate”.
If you think you can meet these criteria and progress with this option,
remember this will not remove the article from the internet,
just from search results: it can still be linked to and shared
Do not attempt to intimidate a publisher through legal threats or court orders. This will only make matters worse for you should the story get out of your intent to influence.
It is highly unlikely that a publisher will remove negative news articles at your behest.
In fact, it is so rare that a large publisher removes an article, it often makes the news when they decide to do so — which could turn a single post into a viral news cycle.
If it is a newspaper result that is causing you issue, you can use relationships
with a journalist or a blogger to help improve matters.
A good PR team will already have these relationships, through years of experience. Explore options for a follow-up piece with more positive content or interview where you can put your side of the story across or discuss what has been done about it.
Change that negative into a positive.
This needs to be balanced against the potential for increased negative feedback and remember that you won’t have 100% control over the final story. Sometimes it is simply a case of finding the webmaster and contacting them or offering a more positive press release that includes the domain name and business name.
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 removal is possible is by figuring out who the webmaster or organization who published the content is. When dealing with the media, be sure you are not making any new or additional false allegations or statements, as these can only make your situation worse.
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 judgment
if they refuse to correct a story that is wrong and defamatory.
Removing Negative items from google is always the best option. You might think it is easy but far from it. Getting editors or webmasters to remove content is harder than ever with so many news outlets protecting themselves with the F
irst Amendment Right and Freedom of Information.
Everyone goes crazy when they see a negative link on google search results regarding their business or even favorite brands or their name.
Imagine if you own a restaurant and you see something about your restaurant having cockroaches in the food and it is not true!
The internet can turn a normal individual into a dangerous criminal without being one. Crazy but it happens. It is a lie written out of pure slander and spite. what do you do? Some people rebuttal these negative reviews, which can make the situation even worse. Now you have more comments. Each comment will bring this link up
higher on Google and with more search variations.
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
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.
ou can use Google’s love of authoritative websites to help “push down” negative stories.
If you don’t already have them, build up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other existing platforms. These are powerful and authoritative websites with many backlinks in the eyes of search engines. Your profile on them can start to rank for brand queries and displace negative stories further down the first page or onto page two.
You do need to keep these channels updated. This requires a strategy and on-going commitment and resources. A major benefit of engaging in social platforms such as these is that it allows you direct communication with your customers.
Also, consider using Google’s PPC Ads platform to push down results
by creating a campaign for your brand name.
Google tends to rank PPC ads above regular listings, so it pushes them down. The downside is that you will pay for traffic you were already getting. Brand terms tend to be low cost so it can be cost effective technique to deal with negative listings and you can always switch it off when you are happy with the organic results.
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.
99% of the time, news websites will refuse to delete negative content. For one, deleting or changing original news content is a journalism ‘no no’ and in fact, some professional organizations will ban journalist from membership if it’s known they change or delete content as it negatively affects journalistic integrity, so they say.
Luckily, if a news website refuses to take down their negative content
about you or your business, we still have options.
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 is prohibited.
Impersonation: False attribution to another company or person with the intent of misleading others is grounds for removal.
Additionally, if you’re wondering how to remove outdated content from Google, you can request removal of outdated content by:
Going to the “Remove outdated content” webpage,
Entering the URL (web address) of the page with outdated c
ontent that you would like removed and deleted,
Select “Request Removal” and following the onscreen steps.
Those negative articles appearing on news sites for your brand terms are not ranking because they are inherently negative.
They are ranking because the story contains your brand name.
Pushing positive stories to media outlets gives you an opportunity to change the conversation and perception around your brand.
A PR team should be doing this for you anyway in reaction to a negative story.
Ensure the name of your business is used in the article title to give it the best chance of ranking for a query related to your business.
in one way or another and get that particular article deleted.
A negative article about your company is published online; it then gets social network attention and is shared on various social media platforms, spreading like wildfire. This is often enough to bring an individual’s or company’s previously rock-solid public image crashing down. What is Google’s role in this sequence of events?
Its ubiquitous search engine uses advanced algorithms that work on two parameters:
Query Deserves Diversity (QDD): When a user queries a brand, Google aims to produce a balanced and mixed result. And if not a lot of different perspectives are available, then one perspective will dominate the results page. Articles from trusted sites,
such as the BBC, generally appear on the first page of results.
Query Deserves Freshness (QDF): Google aims to show results that involve current articles. Frequently searched queries support the “top stories” feature. The stories are continually refreshed and are up-to-date.
If your brand was recently subjected to negative publicity, chances are that those damaging stories will appear on the first page of Google’s search results.