Have you ever been tempted to Google your personal name or the name of your business, only to discover that all of the top results are negative articles or reviews? If so, you might rightly be concerned about your personal reputation or that of your brand. Whether something is true or false has less importance than the impact negative items can have on potential customers, clients and investors. If you are looking for some effective ways to get articles removed from Google, check out the guide below.
The truth is that negativity ranks well. It can take years, sometimes decades, of continuous hard work to build a great reputation, only to have it destroyed overnight with one negative tweet, article or influencer video. Wherever something negative featuring your name or company name is published, it will almost certainly rank higher than existing positive content – at least initially. There are 3 core reasons why this occurs:
1. Click numbers
A core SEO ranking factor is “number of clicks” and the more clicks on a title link, the higher the article will feature on search engine results pages (SERP). Often, when people search for your name or brand name, they’ll naturally gravitate towards clicking on negative items as opposed to official LinkedIn profiles or Facebook pages. This means negative articles stay on the first page of SERP.
2. Domain authority
All websites have a “domain authority” SEO factor or URL public trust level. The higher a website’s authority, the better pages on the site with rank. Mainstream news websites are viewed as highly trusted credible sources by search engine ranking algorithms, which is one reason negative articles show up so quickly after publication in top search results.
3. Going viral
Negative write-ups go viral quicker because of blogs, forums, social media, and shares. When lots of domains start linking to a page, Google assumes the page is providing value and assigns a high rank.
Removal Options For Negative Articles
If you are currently looking for ways to deal with a negative high SERP ranking article, you generally have three methods for issue resolution:
You have the right to request the editor or website administrator to remove content from their website. If they comply with your request, the link will soon stop appearing in search results, and you don’t need to do anything else to get the item removed from Google. This is the most straightforward manner of ripoff report removal.
When an article is de-indexed, the link to the article will no longer be featured in search results, be it will still be accessible to anyone with the link. This is a handy second defence approach if your first removal request fails. Visibility removal is what matters.
In a few cases, a website might agree to completely remove your personal name or business name from a negative article. The request is optimal if you aren’t the main article subject or you were one of the crime victims in a report. Once your name or brand name is removed, the link won’t show up when people search for it.
While it’s rare for new sites to completely remove an article, there is still a chance of them agreeing to do so – the right approach matters. Here are some tips:
- Document all the URLs the article has been reposted to along with their rankings.
- Put the article title into Google to see all the sites where the article appears.
- Contact the writer of the article or the owner of the website it is published on.
- When trying to get an old article removed, centre your request around the lack of relevancy.
- Ensure your request is respectful for the highest chance of success.
Keep in mind that you often only have a single chance to get a negative piece taken down. If you aren’t confident that your approach is right, be sure to consult with an online reputation manager.
Suppressing Negative Articles
A different approach to combating negativity besides removal is suppression. This means deploying tactics that push the article down in Google search results to such a position that it is unlikely to be found. Here are some tips for doing that:
- Create positive social media profiles and publish posts on them frequently.
- Start a new blog with unique, high-quality, 2020-relevant content.
- Publish interviews, press releases, videos, and podcasts.
- Refresh your existing content, like a LinkedIn profile or Facebook page.
- Become a guest blogger for reputable websites.