Remove Negative Content

Last Updated on June 21, 2024

how to remove negative content from google search resultsNegative content in Google SERPs can have a huge impact on your personal or business brand. However, you can actually control what people see about you, so don’t let negative online content hold you back. In this blog post, you will learn how to remove negative content from Google.

Why Is Online Content Removal So Important?

When negative articles or images appear online about you, they attach themselves to your name. . If Google sees more users engaging with it, it will rank higher than the positive content in search results. 

When this negative feedback or other results rank on the first page of Google, it is the first thing people see about you.

Something as simple as an embarrassing selfie could be harmful. . However, it could also be as serious as defamation, doxing, or even something that connects you to a crime. You should try content removal before it turns into a business reputation crisis or misrepresentation of your brand.

Ideally, you want people to see the positive about you, instead of the bad. For business and individual brands alike, a positive reputation has endless benefits. Some of them include:

  • gain new career opportunities
  • effective networking
  • attract new clients
  • better word-of-mouth marketing

A spotless brand reputation can take your success to the next level. To achieve this, you might want to hire a content removal company. 

How Do I Find My Online Reputation?

Every single thing that you post online leaves behind a footprint. Your online footprint consists of tweets, likes, posts, shares, reviews, blog posts, pictures, videos, and more. If you can name it, it is online, and it all adds together quickly when calculating your online reputation score.

To learn more about your own online reputation, start by setting up Google Alerts. Enter any keyword that you want Google to inform you of, such as your name or your business’s name. Whenever a new search result appears about that keyword, you will know about it.

Understanding Google Search Results

If a stranger were to search your name on Google, do you know what they would find? Negative results could prevent people from:

  • hiring you
  • purchasing from your business
  • even going on a date with you

Whenever someone has a question, they are most likely asking Google about it. Google is the single most popular search engine in the world, with an 81.5% market share overall competition. Whatever appears in Google Search (particularly on the first page) matters for your reputation and success.

market share of top search engines

Google holds 81.5% of the search engine market, according to data from Statista, making it the most popular search engine by far.

Examples of Negative Content

Many different types of harmful content could appear about you in search engine results pages. This includes:

  • Personal information that someone could use maliciously. This includes your home address, email address, phone number, or financial information.
  • Photos or videos that are embarrassing, taken out of context, portray you negatively, or are graphic or exploitative.
  • Distasteful posts on social media profiles. This includes anything that is inappropriate, unprofessional, or offensive.
  • Any article or blog post that portrays you in a negative light or falsely accuses you of wrongdoings.
  • Negative reviews and customer complaints, whether true or false.
  • News stories involving legal issues, disputes, or controversial events.
  • Outdated, unwanted content that no longer reflects your values.

Google also has specific guidelines about posting various types of content, including what they won’t tolerate. You can learn more about Google’s policies here.

Sometimes things we post online come back to bite us far after their initial posting date. People often misconstrue, misunderstand, and blow content from the internet out of proportion. Even if you meant what you said at the time, it may not reflect your values today.

Negative or defamatory  content is like a forest fire. It often starts with one negative piece that multiplies without warning. With enough shares and attention, it eats up your first page of Google results.

91.5% of Google traffic stays on that first page of results, so whatever appears there matters. When building your brand, filling that page with the best links is so important.

do people click past the first page of google

How To Remove Negative Content 

So you typed your name into Google, hit enter, and saw some results that give you major anxiety. Don’t panic –  a few simple tricks help you completely erase negative information from search engine results pages.

Here’s a step-by-step process for online content removal:

1. Ask the publisher directly to remove the content

Any link you find through a search engine comes from an outside website, aka “the publisher”. Your first step should always be to reach out to the publisher. They may be willing to remove it themselves. Use these tips:

  • Click the link of the search engine results that you would like to remove from Google
  • Find a contact number or email on the publisher’s website
  • Explain your removal request
  • Remember to keep your interactions polite and direct with supporting evidence

2. Clean up online profiles yourself

With unwanted online content removal, sometimes you are your own worst enemy (aka you published something bad yourself). In this case, you need to clean up your online profiles yourself. Go through all the websites and social media accounts you own, removing anything that frames you in a bad light. This includes:

  • blogs
  • images
  • links
  • posts
  • tweets
  • videos

You’re not the first to overshare, and you won’t be the last, so don’t be too critical of yourself if this is the case. In fact, 40% of internet users between 18-35 regret posting information about themselves online according to Webroot.

In the future, set your personal accounts to private and avoid oversharing.

oversharing online statistics

According to data from Webroot, 40% of internet users between the ages of 18 to 35 regret posting information about themselves online.

3. Bury negative cotent 

Instead of trying content removal, try your hand at suppressing negative search results by publishing new, positive things. This method puts negative content back on the second page of Google or further.  That way, most people won’t see it, and you keep your reputation intact. 

You can do this by:

  • making your own website
  • creating a blog
  • making new social media accounts
  • submitting your own press releases

For your content to outrank your negative results, you need to use search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is all about improving the quality of your website to increase organic traffic. That way, your own website ranks higher than the stuff you don’t want people to see. Eventually, it pushes bad stuff off the first page of Google.

Closing Out: When To Hire A Professional

Online content removal is possible, but it can be difficult. You probably won’t be able to remove everything, especially as an untrained beginner.

negative content removal

When you’re working on your reputation, you want to make sure you’re doing it the right way. This is where reputation management companies come in.

At Reputation911, we take online reputation management seriously. Our expert team can remove and bury negative content in Google SERPs. We use effective SEO techniques to get you the results you need.

Don’t let negative Google results get in your way. Get in touch for a free personal reputation consultation.

About The Author

William DiAntonio is the Founder & CEO of Reputation911, a reputation management firm he founded in 2010 that has earned the trust of its clients for over a decade by helping individuals, businesses and brands control their online search results.

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