How to Remove Negative Google Search Results

When confronted with negative search results on Google that are hindering your business or damaging your reputation, our best advice is to try to remain calm and make a sound assessment.  While the first reaction may be to try to blast away at the hate blog, defamatory post, negative news article or nasty review, we have found that it makes more sense to slow down and figure out a strategy before confronting the source — assuming you can figure out who posted the negative information in the first place.

You Have the Right to Remain Silent
While silence can be a big mistake when dealing with a traditional public relations crisis, this is not the case with online issues.  By responding to the negative search result, you may be adding credibility to untrue allegations and fueling the fire of a renegade blogger.  If you are a business dealing with a negative review, a response may be warranted; but in most cases, silence is a good first step.  Figure out if you want to develop a legal strategy, removal strategy or suppression strategy.  Review your options and then move forward.

First, Do No Harm
We have found that every complex online reputation issue is a little bit different.  Some site owners can be confronted and will comply with requests while others will stand firm.  Some have developed processes to handle removal requests and will only follow their procedure.  Make sure that whatever your first step is, that you don’t harm the situation and make it worse.

Can it be Removed?
Contrary to popular belief, you can remove negative Google results.  It’s not always possible, but there are situations where it can be done.

1) Go directly to the source.  Google is the gateway to the Internet and you can get rid of bad search results if you can get the original site to take down the offending content.  We have had success reaching out to site owners and negotiating with them to remove offending content.  For instance, a website that publishes nightclub photos had images of client in an “inappropriate” pose.  We contacted the site directly and asked them to take down the photos.  They complied.  In some instances, it’s helpful to have a third party like us to ask on your behalf.  If the content is truly defamatory, we might suggest a legal approach.  But negotiation directly with the source does work.

2) Go to the host.  In some cases, negative content is posted on a message board or forum-style site.  This content is indexed by Google and ends up appearing on search results.  The owner of the website may not even know what type of content is being published on their site, and if they did, they would be surprised.  On several occasions, we have reached out to websites hosting negative posts and negotiated for removal.  With the right approach, it often works.  Once the content is removed from the site, it will eventually be removed from Google search results.

3) Take a forensic approach.  Every website host has thousands of terms and conditions which must be complied with in order to continue publishing.  We have found that many negative posts are in violation of these terms and conditions, and we have had success getting them removed completely or removed from search results.

The main point, though, is that before you jump into any strategy or tactic, you assess the situation (we believe along with an expert) and develop a plan of action that has the best chance for success.


Call me to discuss your online issue at 888-960-0086, ext. 701

Call me to discuss your online issue at 888-960-0086, ext. 701