The internet is a powerful tool and our ease of access to it can be both a positive and a negative. When you run a business, you will likely use the internet to demonstrate the products and services you offer, as well as expand the reach you have. It’s not enough to merely have a presence online; your online reputation must be positive. Removing content, which is negative, is essential.
The Importance of Having a Good Online Reputation
Having a good online presence as a business is incredibly important. The modern consumer isn’t oblivious to the potential that comes with searching online for things. They are very much aware that the minute they click on Google for a product or service that they quite literally have the world at their fingertips. They are also very much aware of the potential risks that come with using the internet as a consumer.
This means that if they see a business that has a plethora of negative reviews or a poor reputation attached to it for other reasons, they are not going to hesitate in disregarding that business and simply look somewhere else. As a result, it is crucial that you maintain your business’s online reputation, engage in crisis management if you receive a negative press release or news story about your company, and ensure that everything that appears when someone searches you are positive.
The Problem in the Modern Age of the Internet
These days, because of how easy it is for us to access the internet and publish content online, any random journalist or blogger can publish an article about you that could have a massive detrimental impact on your business. This means you need to be constantly aware of what people are saying about your business, ensuring positive comments about your organisation are the most visible and removing any defamation.
Can You Remove Content from Google?
You will be happy to know that there are many ways you can remove negative content from Google. These methods vary and each can be effective but in the name of your business, it is important you act fast as word spreads quickly on the internet. You may want to enlist the help of professional reputation management organisations such as Igniyte. Here, you will be put in touch with Niki (or a member of his team), who are our specialists when it comes to removing content from Google.
What Methods Are Used to Remove Content from Google
As previously mentioned, there are many different methods used to remove content from Google. They include some of the following:
- Ask the Author to Delete the Content
In our experience, it is usually unlikely that an author will remove their own content from Google, after all, they are the ones who put it there. It’s always worth asking. The best way to try and get someone to remove the content is to understand what motivated them to post it in the first place. It may be that they have a complaint against your products or services that has yet to be addressed, so if you address it, they might be willing to remove their comments. A lot of businesses use incentives such as charitable donations to remove content. Whilst this can work, it’s a method that needs to be used sparingly as it can backfire.
- Ask the Publisher to Remove the Content
If the author refuses to remove the content (or you don’t think it’s a good idea to ask in the first place) then you should consider reaching out to the site publisher instead. A lot of the time, especially if you are dealing with a personal blog, the author and publisher may be the same person. This is another reason hiring an organisation that specialises in online reputation management can benefit you as they will have access to software that tells them who the owner of a site is.
- Make a Google Removal Request
There are some instances where a search engine will act to remove published information. Some examples of when they’ll do this include:
- When there is evidence of theft or financial harm
Igniyte has managed to get information removed from Google in the past. There are several reasons why Google will do this. One of the major instances is when there is evidence of, or the publication could result in, theft or financial harm. This is usually because the content has information such as credit card details, images of your signature, bank account information, or any other information that could lead to identity theft or financial fraud.
- If the site charges for removal
If a certain site (could be random or could be one of your competitors) has posted negative comments about you, and they request a fee for its removal, then Google will likely be okay with removing the content themselves. This doesn’t apply to websites that have been put together for the sake of reviewing a business and providing details on the experience someone has had with a business as these comments are more opinion based.
- The information is not true
It is illegal to publish untrue information with the interest of damaging a business or an individual’s reputation. As such, these kinds of negative comments can be removed if they are proven to be untrue. This can often involve the court and as such is the last resort, but it is still effective if the writer and publisher are not being cooperative.
Removing Content from Google to Protect Your Businesses Reputation
If you are a business in the modern age, then you will understand that it is more important than ever to maintain a positive online reputation. This can be difficult given how it has never been easier for people to post comments about your business that could damage your reputation and stop people from wanting to engage with you.
If you need content removed from Google, then there are a few different ways you can go about doing this. It doesn’t take long for negative comments to affect your business and as such, if you need some content removed then you should consider enlisting the help of a reputation management organisation such as Igniyte. You will be able to use our expertise to approach removing content in a way that is both sensitive to the situation and promises results. If you would like more information on how we can help your business, then do not hesitate to get in touch.