Removing Negative Results
When an online search of your own name or your company name returns negative links, what can you do to remove those negative search results?
Nowadays, we live our lives online. More people are using search engines to gather information than ever before, and, with 93% of the UK search engine traffic, Google remains the most popular UK search engine by far.
In the online world, it can appear that you have little or no control over what Google shows people about you. As far as Google are concerned, they’re just returning the most relevant search results to match the query – they don’t have any built-in way of measuring whether the information given is negative or could have a negative effect.
Google just wants to give the most accurate results for each query, and it doesn’t have any other aims or objectives than that. For example, search your name: ‘first name, last name’ and Google’s just trying to show you the most relevant information for that name.
Results not about you? Perhaps your name is common, or you share a name with a celebrity, so try refining the search by: ‘first name, last name, town/city’ e.g. Jane Smith Liverpool to see what Google knows about you and, more importantly, what it would show someone searching for information about you.
Don’t like what you see? Don’t know if you have any options? Let’s see if we can shed some light on what’s a massively misinterpreted and overall very simple topic of discussion.
Who Is Searching For Me On Google?
For an individual, searches would most often be performed by current or potential future employers and, occasionally, by colleagues or business contacts. For companies, it’s highly likely any potential customers are searching for you before they buy from you/engage your services.
As many as 85% of your potential customers will research a company online before they buy from it: so if you don’t know what Google’s telling people about you, you can’t judge how much business you might be losing daily.
Can I Change What People See About Me On Google?
Yes, eventually – but it may take some time if the negative/unwanted links can’t be removed from the search engine results (more on this shortly) then you can work with an Online Reputation Management company to bury negatives or push down the negatives, under a flood of newly created high-quality positive content.
It’s important to bear in mind this approach is likely to take at least 6 months and possibly longer, and it will incur an ongoing monthly cost, with some companies charging a minimum of £1,600 + vat per month for the work.
The good news here is that it doesn’t have to cost that much for this service. Our personal reputation management services start from just £495 + vat per month, with free advice and a free bespoke, tailored quote – including setting out targets and timescales – for everyone who enquires with us.
I Want The Negative Google Search Results Removed, Can This Happen?
That depends entirely on what it is, and how old it is. Some common examples we deal with for individuals on a daily basis, and the advice we offer in each instance, include: –
- Requests to remove recent court reports or newspaper coverage of court trials/sentencing: – Google unlikely to remove as will be seen in the public interest to remain
- Requests to remove old court reports or newspaper coverage of court trials/sentencing: – dependant on time passed and whether the conviction is now spent, it may be possible to get this information removed
- Court and/or newspaper reports, of any age, relating to serious crimes: murder, manslaughter, sex crimes or crimes against children: – Google will not agree to remove these as they will be deemed serious enough to remain forever available to everyone as a matter of public interest.
- Court and/or newspaper reports relating to an offence and/or sentence that you’ve since had overturned: – If you can prove that you have been in subsequent receipt of a ‘not guilty’ verdict and had the original sentence overturned, we can help you to get the original press coverage removed.
- Defamatory, harassing or false Social Media tweets/statuses showing in your search engine results page: – can be removed, potentially from both the source and the search engine too.
- Your name, personal information, or image has been used without your consent: – can be removed.
- Revenge porn: – can absolutely be removed, and we offer a discount on our usual service price in this area to enable us to help more people. We will also liaise with police forces across the UK regarding the material posted to help strengthen any criminal case that may be underway.
- Outdated content or information that may now present you in a negative light, or that you simply want to move on from: – can possibly be removed depending on circumstances. In all cases, we’ll give advice and a quote for free, and it’ll probably only take a few minutes of your time to contact us.
My Company Has Negatives Showing On The Search Results, Can They Be Removed?
For businesses, this is again going to depend entirely on what the negatives are. Some of our most common requests, and the advice we give in each instance, include: –
- Negative reviews: – if it’s a genuine customer then the best thing for you to do is to mediate with them directly, then attempt to capture more positives to ‘drown out’ the negative. If you can prove it’s a false or malicious review, we can potentially help to have it removed.
- A negative or harmful blog, a negative article, or a negative website has been created about us and it’s ranking above/close to our own website: – depending on content and circumstance, it’s possible to have that removed or taken down entirely. We’d also likely suggest some SEO work on your own website and a short to medium-term reputation protection agreement to stop it happening again.
- Negative news articles about us appearing online: – dependant entirely on content and circumstance, we would either be able to make a removal request or to bury the negatives with some positive proactive reputation management.
- Negative forum comments or posts: – again this depends entirely on content and circumstance. If it’s just someone’s view or opinion, you may have to employ a proactive reputation management strategy to drown out the negative. If it’s probably false, defamatory and/or harassing in nature then it’s more likely that Google will agree to a de-indexing request.
- Negative social media comments or posts: – again, content and context here will be critical in judging whether they could be removed.
I Want To Remove All My Information From All Online Searches, Is This Possible?
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to disappear entirely. We live in a virtual, digital world, with access to court reports, companies house reports, directors reports, tribunal reports, and many more besides all legally able to be accessed by anybody online; and so it’s pretty much impossible to disappear completely.
I’ve Already Contacted The Website Owner To Have My Information Removed And Been Ignored, Can You Help?
Potentially, we can certainly look into it for you and give you a pretty quick decision as to what, if anything, could be done.
My Personal Information Is Appearing On A Web Page And I Have No Idea How It Got There, Can I Get It Removed?
Absolutely, if you’ve never given your consent to have your personal data – including address, email address, postcode and/or phone number – to be delayed, we can apply to get the information removed from both the website and from Google.
The only caveat here is that your personal information can’t be removed from public registers or .gov.uk websites: – so tribunal reports, directors/shareholders information, companies house information etc will not be suitable for a content removal request.
Is It Possible To Protect My Personal Or Business Brand Online?
Yes, but it may involve a long-term or even permanent relationship with an expert in either corporate or personal brand reputation management. In most cases, we start with an assessment on what’s currently being said about you online before creating a proposal to repair and/or protect for the future.
Should I Only Worry About Google?
Google.co.uk accounts for 93% of the UK’s search engine traffic. After this, Yahoo! and Bing between them accounts for an additional 6%.
Can You Remove Negatives From All UK Search Engines?
For all Clients, we’ll conduct a search of Google, Yahoo! and Bing and offer options for removal from all three (if the negatives are showing on all).
Can You Remove Negatives From The European Search Engines?
We’ve successfully either had negatives removed from, or buried and hidden negatives on, every Google search engine across most of the World.
I Want The Negative Link Removed Because It’s Having A Detrimental Effect On My Life, Why Can’t You Just Get It Removed?
Notwithstanding the potential pain and embarrassment the link may be causing, if we know that Google will simply not agree to remove it then that’s exactly what we’re going to tell you.
We will always listen with empathy and we handle sensitive information and enquiries daily, however, we don’t give anything other than accurate and up-to-date advice: even if it’s not necessarily what you want to hear.
Can Anyone Contact You For Help And Advice On Link Removal Online?
The only time we’re going to refuse to help is if we’re contacted by the perpetrator of a sex crime or a crime against children. However, victims of such crimes, where the information regarding the offence can be found in a search of their name, should contact us in total confidence for help.
What we’d like you to take away from reading this article is that it’s often not as simple as removing an unwanted link from Google. Most cases are a little more complex than that, but the one thing that is simple is coming through to us to ask for our advice.
We’ll do all the hard work in terms of figuring out what should be done, you’ve just got to trust that we’ll handle your information sensitively and give you the appropriate advice. Remember, if you’d like us to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), just ask, and we’ll do one for you before we take any personal information.