For businesses and brands, negative, defamatory, or libelous content has a devastating effect on customer trust in your business and on your sales. The longer negative content stays online, the greater the damage. And if the site it is posted on is high authority – such as a UK media site – it further increases the number of people who will potentially 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.
Get in touch with Niki our online reputation expert today, in complete confidence.
What content will Google remove from search results?
You can not remove online content simply because you don’t like it. It has to fulfill certain criteria for it to be considered eligible for removal.
But there are always cases where Google and other search engines will have negative or defamatory content removed.
- Information that might lead to identity theft, or cause financial harm.
If this kind of information appears online, it violates the service agreement with Google. Google will remove bank account details, signatures, or credit card numbers.
- Sexually explicit information
Search engines will remove sexually explicit information when posted without consent if it meets the following criteria;
- You’re nude, or shown in a sexual act.
- You intended the content to be private and appears online without your consent, e.g. revenge porn
- You’re underage
- You didn’t consent to the act, and the image appears publicity without your consent.
- It falls under the Right to be Forgotten
The right to be forgotten applies in the EU only. And it involves removing old referencing from search engines, such as outdated articles, pictures, videos, or social media content.
The cost to remove articles or images under the Right to Be Forgotten can vary depending on the amount and types of content. Prices start from £750, plus VAT per removal.
Removing negative content online – removing search results
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 search results yourself, which is another reason that reputation management companies exist.
Igniyte helps businesses and brands with:
- Challenging defamatory or unsubstantiated content about your business, brand or people online, removing it from blogs, social and professional media profiles, review sites, press articles and forums.
- Removing negative company information or images.
- Addressing copyright issues online.
- Consultancy on the complex area of law surrounding removing links.
- How to deal with Internet ‘trolls’ and protect against them.
- Safeguarding your business and brand from potential threats to your online reputation.
Removing negative reviews
Reviews seriously impact brand and business reputation.
- 93% of people say online reviews impact their buying decisions.
- 89% of consumers are 'highly' or 'fairly' likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
- 67% will consider leaving a review for a positive experience.
- 86% of potential customers will not buy products or services from a business with negative reviews.
Just a single negative review ranking online can drive away 22% of customers, costing a business around 30 customers and around four or more negative reviews can drive away 70% of customers. That’s painful, and avoidable.
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.
A common misconception, and one we get asked about a lot, is asking for a review to be removed because it’s negative or you don’t like it. That’s not how reviews work.
Review platforms exist so that people can share their honest opinions – the good, bad and the ugly so that people reading them can make a decision based on what other product or service users are saying about them. But you can ask for reviews to be removed from sites where the reviews clearly breach site guidelines, are defamatory or you can prove they are fake.
Talk to our team about how we can help you with this.
You can also read our blogpost on how to spot and remove fake reviews.