Removing Search Results and Web Pages
Some web pages can be removed. Other times the web page cannot be removed, but the search results for the web page can. In still other cases bad web content cannot be removed, but can be pushed down.
90% of online experiences start from a search engine
Negative and defamatory content in Google and other search results can have a huge impact on how consumers perceive a brand or an individual. Nearly 90% of all online experiences start from a search engine query. A separate study shows that in the last one year nearly 45% customers in the U.S changed their mind about doing business with a company because of negative search results.
Source: Search Engine Journal
So if branded keywords return negative search results for a company, it should ring alarm bells.
This is why it’s crucial for brands to have a professional team of search engine reputation management experts who can identify negative results and get them removed from the web before they cause any damage.
Removing Search Results from Google
Removing content from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo can be a delicate task, or very straightforward. Because of the policies of these companies, it is difficult to remove content unless the original publisher cooperates.
However there are various approaches that professional ORM companies use to remove bad search results.
- Content Removal by the Publisher: The most effective way to remove negative search results is for the original publisher to remove it. If this isn't possible, there may be other options.
- Using the No-Index Tag: If the publisher refuses to remove the content, you can request the publisher to add the no-follow tag to that particular piece of content so that search engines do not index it.
- Keyword removal: Another approach is to request the publisher remove certain keywords from the content that are causing direct damage to the brand’s reputation. This causes the page to show up less in search results.
- Request Google to Remove the Results: In certain cases, Google (or any other search engine) can remove the search results that violate privacy or other Google search guidelines. A representative of the affected company can approach Google with a removal request:
However, even after Google removes the content from its search results, it would still be accessible on the original URL.
- The Right to be Forgotten: Individuals in any of the EU countries can request Google to remove private information under this law. However, the results would only be removed from Google’s search results in EU countries. Worldwide search users would still be able to see the results.
Getting negative or private information removed from search engines is a time-consuming activity that requires a deep understanding of search engine policies and local laws. This is why it is strongly recommended that you seek help from professional online reputation management (ORM) companies.
Removing information from the Internet
Apart from search engines, there are many other platforms where negative content can be used to target a brand or an individual. Such platforms may have a mechanism for content removal.
YouTube video removal
YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine behind Google. With more than 1 billion unique monthly visitors, YouTube can be a marketer’s dream platform. But if a negative video shows up on YouTube, it can turn into a reputation nightmare.
But like Google search results, YouTube videos can also be removed under certain conditions.
- Removal at source: The most straightforward way is to directly contact the poster with a removal request.
- Video flagging: If the poster refuses to remove the video, it can be flagged as inappropriate. This works when the video contains nudity or sensitive private information. At this stage, YouTube requires more information as to why the video should be removed.
- Official complaint: YouTube has a complaint form that can be used to report a video in detail. A copy of the complaint is shared with the poster, who is required to answer within a set period of time. Failing to do so leads to an automatic video removal.
Removing reviews from online review boards
There are several leading review sites where dissatisfied customers post reviews that can be damaging for a brand.
Here’s a quick look at three of them
Remove RipOffReport.com Posts
RipOffReport.com is a leading platform for reporting business scams. However, it is frequently misused by individuals and brands to defame competitors. RipOff reports cannot be removed directly, but may be able to be countered in the following ways.
- A rebuttal can be posted on RipOffReport against the original complaint. But this increases the amount of information on the page and refreshes it, which can make the problem worse.
- RipOffReport has a VIP arbitration program that can be used to settle complaints. Some liken this to paying protection money to the mob. This doesn't remove a post on RoR.
- RipOff reports can be suppressed and pushed off Google’s first page by creating more positive content. This can also improve the first page of search results for more than just the RoR, thereby improving overall brand visibility while reducing the impact of the problem.
Remove PissedConsumer.com Posts
PissedConsumer.com is another high-ranking consumer review site. Removing reviews from this site involves three main steps
- Post a public response to the original post.
- Request the original poster to remove the content.
- Seek a court order against the post and force PissedConsumer to take it down.
Reputation X has a high success rate with PissedConsumer removals.
Remove ComplaintsBoard.com Posts
Posts on ComplaintsBoard.com, another high-ranking review site, can be removed either by contacting the original poster or by taking legal action against the site.
ComplaintsBoard.com is another example of a site that Reputation X has successfully removed posts from.
Removal cases often require expert legal advice and a strategic approach, which is why hiring a professional reputation management company is often the best route to success.