For businesses and brands, negative, defamatory or libelous content will have a devastating effect. This can impact customer trust in your business and on your sales. The longer negative content stays online, the greater the damage. And if the site has a high authority – such as a news or media site – it further increases the number of people who will see it.
It’s a real worry – 1 in 3 businesses say that negative content has damaged their business and almost half are worrying about the impact of negative content on their business and its value in the future.
When people search for your business, 90% will only look at the first page of the search results and go no further. So what happens if negative results or content appears on that first page? If defamatory or libelous content appears that what options do you have to get this removed?
The best way of challenging this is to get the content removed. Which will Google will usually delist from its search results within a few days.
There are a few tactics that you can use to remove search results.
This isn’t a likely option, because they made the decision to put it online in the first place. But they may remove it when asked.
Be aware, this can have a downside. The author could add this to the original page, which can encourage comments. Google sees this as refreshing the content, which makes it a stronger page. This may make it appear higher in the search results.
With this in mind, a phone call is usually better than an email. A personal conversation can convey emotions better than an impersonal email. And you have the added benefit that a conversation can’t be ‘cut and pasted’ to the bottom of the article.
This won’t work on personal blogs but could be an option for small to medium sites, like local news websites. There are plenty of online tools available to find out who is the webmaster or publisher of a webpage. Try asking the webmaster to remove the relevant search phrases from the page – like your company name, for example.
These are just some examples and a reputation management company will explore other options with you.
There are always cases where the search engines will remove negative or defamatory information, such as:
Where this kind of information appears, it violates the service agreement with Google. Google will remove bank account details, signature images, and credit card numbers – as this kind of content can lead to financial fraud or identity theft.
Search engines will remove sexually explicit information posted without consent, provided it meets the following criteria
The right to be forgotten applies within the EU only. It involves removing references from search engines, such as press coverage, outdated articles, pictures or videos and social media.
A copyright will protect against theft of your intellectual property and both Google and Bing will remove copyrighted information which falls under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
“Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works.” – For a full list of protected property, see the U.S. Copyright PDF.
Deleting unwanted or negative content from the Internet means that Google doesn’t have the negative result to display in search results so that people won’t be able to find it. But it isn’t easy to remove things from Google yourself, which is another reason that reputation management companies exist.
Igniyte helps businesses and brands with:
By taking control of your online presence it will enable you to present the best possible image of your business or brand. You’ll be able to help prospective customers notice you before they notice your competitors. It also protects your brand from unwanted negative content, by having positive profiles and content that makes it harder for negatives to rank in the first few pages of Google.
Igniyte creates the right online content and optimizes for search engine results pages.
You can’t ask for a review to be removed because it’s negative or you don’t like it. It’s a question we get asked a lot. But that’s not how reviews work.
Review platforms exist so that people can share their honest opinions – the good, bad and the ugly. People reading them can make a decision based on what other product or service users are saying about them.
Reviews impact brand and business reputation.
Taking all of this into account, plus the fact that 51% of businesses say their company has been negatively affected by unsubstantiated online reviews or targeted by trolls, and you can see the impact.
Talk to our team about how we can help you with this.
Speak with Simon our online reputation management expert, in complete confidence.