How to Remove Negative Articles from Google

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If your reputation has suffered as a result of your online presence, you probably have negative links on the first page of the Google search results. If that’s the case, you will have likely Googled ‘How to remove negative articles from the internet’. Whether they are reviews, articles, or forum discussions, they can harm both you personally and your business in the long term. Not only can it impact future job opportunities, but it can harm your ability to close sales and grow your business.

When there are negative search results online, most people’s priority is to get them deleted for good. While total removal of negative articles from Google is a possible option, there are other techniques you can use too. Read on to find out how to remove negative articles from Google.

Where Do Negative Links Come From?

The source of a negative link can vary widely. It might be press related to your past, reviews of your service, or maybe even a defamatory or libelous post online. That means some may be fair or justified, while others may be unfairly damaging. Either way, it’s still not something you, nor your potential customers want to see.

Why Are Online Links Hard to Take Down?

When people Google a company or person, they will inevitably be drawn to the negative. As a result, it becomes a difficult cycle to break out of because those pieces will continue to rank highly. Larger companies will have to manage this on a daily basis. For smaller firms and startups though, a few negative pieces of coverage can be far more harmful.Removal of negative articles from Google, in particular, can be tricky, especially when they are published with a reputable outlet.

How Can Online Reputation Management Help?

Online reputation management is the process of monitoring a person’s whole online presence, including but not just limited to articles. This could mean removing or weakening online links, or producing new content to improve search rankings. Detailed in our recent blog post about online reputation management, it doesn’t necessarily mean erasing the past, but rather boosting your brand image and producing more favorable search results.

How to Remove Negative Articles From the Internet

The most desired and permanent solution to remove negative articles from the internet search results is complete removal. And one of the most effective ways to ensure removal can actually be the most simple. Simply contacting the publication, reviewer, author of a review, or a Reddit moderator, and asking them to kindly take it down, is the first step. When they hear how it might be affecting your business, finances, or personal life, they may just take it down. Or they might not.

How to Remove Negative Articles From the Internet

The most desired and permanent solution to remove negative articles from the internet search results is complete removal. And one of the most effective ways to ensure removal can actually be the most simple. Simply contacting the publication, reviewer, author of a review, or a Reddit moderator, and asking them to kindly take it down, is the first step. When they hear how it might be affecting your business, finances, or personal life, they may just take it down. Or they might not.

Incentive 

A different approach to remove negative articles from the internet is an incentive, possibly a financial one. It’s not the more desirable way to go about managing your unwanted links, but it is something some people will respond to, and does solve the immediate problem.

Legal

In some circumstances, there may be a case for legal action. It could be something like libel or in other cases discrimination or even copyright. While a PR firm may have internal legal counsel, you could also approach an external party, depending on the complexity of the matter. 

Contact Google

You might be able to argue that an article violates Google’s terms of service. This could be related to images or personal information. Google addresses this information here, explaining: “We recognize that sometimes you may want a way to remove content about you that you found on Google Search. In limited cases, Google may remove links to the information from Google Search.”

Suppression

If removal of negative articles from Google doesn’t work out, a typical approach people will use when managing their online reputation is called suppression. It is the process of creating positive links with a high domain authority to suppress the negative links. This could be through press releases, sponsored articles, or guest posting, and it should be combined with SEO optimized copy. Once the links are onto the second or third page of Google, people are less likely to look further back. It will help to decrease traffic on these pages and make them rank lower down.

Does This Work for Larger Publications?

The larger and more established publications like national newspapers will very rarely remove their articles. Journalists will fact check and write articles in a way that prevents them from running into legal trouble. Therefore if a dated article that contains truth is still ranking highly, it is likely there to stay. But when researching how to remove negative articles from the internet, there are some companies such as Guaranteed Removals who will exhaust all options to remove unwanted pieces. But this may only apply to smaller sites.

Be Active Across Social Media

An easy way to regain control of your top Google search results is to optimize and become active across all your social media. This means making sure your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles are updated as a minimum. You might also consider starting a YouTube channel or podcast. Sharing and updating regularly will help those posts to rank highly in Google searches too. You can also sign up for sites like Crunchbase where you can register business information.

Start a Blog 

Author pages on blogs and publications tend to rank well in Google search results. So if you start your own blog, write regularly, and SEO optimize it, this will help to boost those articles up the Google rankings. The open publishing platform Medium is another option that ranks highly. Then you can link everything together so you direct people to your social media and other pages. 

Guest Blogging

In addition to publishing via your own blog, guest blogging is a great way to get your name on higher domain authority sites. Not only does it help grow your reputation as a thought leader, but it creates more credible links about you. It also means opportunities for more backlinks.

Leadership Networks

When you have built up a writing portfolio you will be in a good position to apply to a leadership network. Reputable outlets like Entrepreneur and Forbes allow thought leaders to sign up to membership networks that allow them to publish articles. Other publications like TechCrunch take submissions for review of high-quality guest articles without a fee. 

New Press

Strategies to remove negative links can be combined with PR. That means if your business has a great story that is not currently covered in your online links, a reputable outlet might be interested pushing something on your. In turn, this helps to push older links down the search rankings.

Backlinks

A factor that determines how highly something ranks is backlinks. This means how many other sites are linking to that piece. Therefore if new, positive press has more backlinks pointing to it, Google will likely push it up the rankings. A PR firm can help boost backlinks by facilitating new pieces of content and requesting backlinks to previous articles. You can read our blog post all about building backlinks here.

Help a Reporter Out (HARO)

It’s not always easy to land new press, but HARO is a great way to find new stories. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is one of the most popular media request services. It provides opportunities for people to contribute quotes or interviews for stories. Sources simply need to sign to receive three daily emails full of journalist requests. Some you may not hear back from, but if you are consistent you are likely to land an opportunity that is a good fit. If you want to know other ways to find journalist requests, we dedicated a whole blog post to the topic here.

Information Pages

Sites like Wikipedia and Wikitia and Wikipedia, if you meet the requirements, will rank very well on Google. Not only this, but they often get a high click volume and good read through rates. 

Removal of negative articles from Google can be extremely tricky to navigate, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t other options to create a more positive online presence. A combination of online reputation management and PR is often the winning ticket.

Find out how Otter PR can help you with public relations and online reputation management by booking a free consultation.

Hollie Geraghty

Hollie Geraghty

Hollie Geraghty is a versatile media professional with four years’ experience across journalism, content writing, social media and public relations. Specializing in entertainment, culture and the arts, she has written for national and regional publications in both print and online. In her spare time, she can be found ticking films off her watch list, and planning new travel destinations.
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