One of the most common questions we hear is: How do I get something removed from Google search?
Negative search results on the first page of Google can ruin a brand’s reputation. Whether the issue is a bad review, a negative news article, or unflattering personal information, don’t wait for the problem to go away on its own. In this post, we’ll explain how to remove search results from Google. We’ll also explain how to delete negative content and personal information that could affect your reputation.
When you first notice the negative search result, it’s best if you don’t immediately respond in anger. Lashing out at the site owner, or making angry comments could make the situation worse. You also may not be able to contact Google. But there is plenty that you can do. Read on to learn how to remove negative search results from Google before they damage your company’s reputation.
How to Remove Negative Information from Google
The most direct and permanent way to delete something from Google is to completely erase it from the internet. Deleting the content means Google no longer has the negative result to display so people won’t be able to find it. However, it’s not easy to remove things from Google.
It’s easy to erase content from websites or profiles you own, though finding it can sometimes be tricky. However, getting things taken down from internet sources you don’t control can prove challenging, if not impossible. Let’s start with getting negative results off of domains you control.
Removing content from Google that you control
For profiles that you own, such as a Yelp business review page or social media profile, you can attempt to edit your profile so it portrays you or your business in a more positive light. Fill out the profile completely and truthfully with interesting, positive information, such as business or campaign updates. If you don’t think you can salvage the profile, it may be possible to completely delete the account and remove your presence from the site.
Still, this approach is not without risk. Some websites may allow you to remove your business account but the reviews will still remain. It may be better to maintain the account, address negative feedback and commit to earning great reviews.
How to remove negative articles that you don’t own
Chances are good that if you’re dealing with a negative newspaper article in the search results, it’s not on a page or website that you control. This means you’ll need to enlist professional counsel for help in getting negative content removed. This is the most effective approach, as removing a page completely from the internet is better than removing it from Google or burying it under other search results.
First, you can try contacting the website owner by email, but do so under professional advisement to ensure you don’t cause any additional harm. Whatever your approach, be polite and personal. It’s also important to understand that website owners may not be sympathetic to your request.
Removing harmful reviews
You may be able to remove Google reviews that violate the company’s guidelines. Google and other trusted sites value honesty and integrity, so they might be willing to address fake reviews if you provide enough evidence to support your claim. You can also remove reviews from Facebook in certain circumstances. In fact, the social network even removes some complaints automatically.
On the other hand, you may find it nearly impossible to remove Ripoff Reports from Google. Ripoffreport.com states that they won’t delete negative reviews, so you’ll need to invest in a reputation management program to push these complaints down in your search results.
How to remove personal information from Google
If you’re trying to remove personal information from Google, you may be in luck.
Google’s policy allows for the removal of certain sensitive information, including financial information or identification numbers that may put you at risk for identity theft or financial fraud. Google also removes images and videos if they are offensive. You may also be able to have Google remove content that violates the law from search results.
If you have information that falls under Google’s removal policies, it’s a good idea to reach out to the search engine for help, again under professional counsel. However, keep in mind that removing the content from Google is not the same thing as removing it from the internet: the page will still exist, and the link can still be shared.
You may also want to look into laws that can help you stop online defamation. However, keep in mind that a lawsuit or legal action may draw more attention to the link that you’re trying to get rid of. There’s also the chance that it could even generate new negative content about the same topic.
Nothing can ever be completely deleted from the internet
Throughout your removal process, keep in mind that the internet, in many ways, “never forgets.” In other words, if the page has existed on Google, there’s a good chance it’s been archived on the Wayback Machine, or cached by the search engine. Even if you’ve had it removed, content never really leaves the internet. Still, only the most persistent searcher is likely to look that deeply to find information about you or your business, so if you’re able to have the page removed from the internet or the search results, it’s likely sufficient in terms of protecting your online reputation.
Contact us to learn about our premium reputation management strategies.
How to Push Down Negative Search Results on Google
In order to eradicate negative content from the internet or Google search results, it must be extremely sensitive or slanderous information, or the website owner happens to be accessible and willing to help, which is unlikely if they published it in the first place. It’s nearly impossible to get content removed completely.
Moving negative content deep in the search results is another possibility, which will significantly reduce its visibility and impact on your reputation.
Why First Impressions Matter on Google
Statistics have shown as many as 95% of internet users don’t bother scrolling past the first page of search results. What’s more, the first five search results get more than 75% of the clicks. Negative search results appearing near the top of the first page are so detrimental. If you can bump them down where most people won’t see them, you can minimize the impact of unwanted content like negative newspaper articles and bad press.
False accusations appearing online aren’t just embarrassing; they can also ruin a CEO’s reputation and affect the entire company. Therefore, reputation management services for individuals may benefit executives as well as their businesses.
Bury Negative Search Results with Fresh, Positive Content
The main concept behind suppressing negative search results is to create authoritative content that’s good enough to outrank them, which is best done under the advisement of a professional team. The following are common methods for outranking bad results with positive results:
Set up social profiles
Social media profiles often rank very well on search engine results. Having your personal or business name on social media is an easy way to win one of the top spots on Google. Be sure to get on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn at a minimum. We can also help you set up other resources and profiles that make sense for your industry (i.e., local resources, government sites, university domains, etc.)
Maintain active accounts
Typically, the more profiles you can set up, the better. But it’s best to only sign up for as many social media profiles as you can reasonably maintain: active profiles are better than dormant ones for your general positive reputation. Acquire plenty engaged followers and connections, and genuinely build a community on your social profiles. Participate in the network to make your profile stronger.
Own your domain
Register domain names that match your name and business and their variations, as exact keyword phrases will do best on Google. If that’s not available, get as close to it as you can. Add fresh, unique content on a regular basis.
Start a blog: Start and maintain a professional blog on your domains. Blogs provide an efficient way to give Google the fresh content it values. Where possible, create and share multimedia content on your blog (and your social channels), as Google has been known to cater to this type of content.
Optimize your content
Search engine optimization (SEO) improves the visibility of your content. If you don’t have a team or you’re looking to upgrade to enterprise SEO, ask us how we can help. SEO reputation management is much more than public relations, and should be executed by a team of experts.
Be an expert
Show your industry expertise and get rewarded with a high ranking search result by writing an article for an authoritative news site or industry blog. These websites usually earn top placement in search results. If you can get your name on their website with a great article, you’ll likely be able to take over a coveted spot in the results and build your online reputation.
Write a press release: Have your PR team write about newsworthy things that are happening for your business or other high-profile ventures.
Use your real name everywhere
It’s a good idea to use your real, full name on all of the websites you’re using – including blogs and social profiles. Just keep in mind that you should always be on your best behavior online.
Link and share
One way Google knows that certain pages or websites are more important or relevant than others is by the number of links that point to them. To ensure you avoid dangerous link schemes or black hat tactics, make sure you’re working with a reputable reputation management company.
Monitor for trouble
Maintaining your reputation is long term strategy. Even if you successfully remove negative search results from Google, there’s always a chance the issue could surface up on another site. To catch problems before they escalate, enlist the help of a team that offers 24/7 reputation monitoring and consultation.
It Takes Time – Start Now!
The sooner you invest in reputation management the better. Google search results are one of the first places anyone will look when researching you. Protect your reputation and work to own your search results. Contact our team today!