Since 2006, citizens of Argentina and the European Union have been protected under a law that mandates Google remove search results from their index under certain circumstances. This is called the Right to Be Forgotten, and although it has been surrounded by controversy since its inception, numbers of people have called foul through its legal weight.
Some search results can be removed from Google's web index through legal action. This involves a petition to Google for removal. Google will remove some tax ID numbers, bank account numbers, credit cards, signatures and sexually explicit images uploaded without the subject's consent. They also de-index according to legal requests such as Digital Millennium Copyright Act requests. If a removal seems possible we will advise clients to take that route first.
Content can be removed, or hidden, at the source. If it is to be removed from a web page the publisher would remove it themselves. Another method is to request the publisher add a specific meta tag to the web page in question that causes search engines like Google and Bing to "overlook" the page. The page still exists, but search engines no longer index it.
The most used method to push search results down is the development of content that is better than the page that you want to push down. This method uses aggressive search engine and content marketing techniques and aims to dominate the first page or pages of search results using quality as brute force. It takes time to see the results, but it is a very effective method that is sure to deliver.
Suppression seeks to remake the first page or pages of search results in a way that is both relevant and helpful to searchers, but that also represents the subject fairly.
Examples of successful suppression campaigns:
The first step in a suppression campaign to push bad search results off the first page is to contact Reputation X. We will perform research that will inform us and you about the feasibility of the project. If we find the probability of the project’s success to be high, we will develop a proposal that outlines the target goals and steps of the campaign.
We will then send our proposal to you, allowing you a review period. Adjustments can be made to ensure that your needs are met, as well as the overall criteria of the campaign. Once these things are approved and in order, we will set off on our mission to clean up the search results.