Have you “Googled” your name (or company) recently only to be shocked to find a negative news article ranking on the first page of Google search results? Are you concerned that the negative news story will have a detrimental impact on your personal/professional life, or ability to generate new clients? If so, we are here to help. This post outlines various strategies and tactics we have implemented for our clients over the past 7+ years to successfully remove negative news articles, or minimize their visibility in Google search results.
*If you would like professional help in permanently removing or suppressing a negative news article as quickly as possible, please fill out our contact form or call us today at 855-239-5322 for a free consultation. If you qualify for our removal service, you only have to pay for our service AFTER the news article has been permanently removed. It’s important to note that you typically only have one shot at getting a negative news article removed – we are here to help!
WHY NEGATIVE NEWS ARTICLES RANK HIGHLY IN GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS
It takes years for individuals and companies to build a rock-solid reputation and only days for one negative news article on the web to bring it all tumbling down. When negative news is published online, there is a high probability it will rank on the first page of search results for your name. You may be wondering why this is happening, especially if the negative news article is ranking above other web properties that have existed for years. There are 3 main reasons why this occurs:
1. Clicks: The #1 search ranking factor in 2021, is the number of clicks a specific link gets over time. Generally speaking, the more clicks a link gets, the higher it will rank in search results. When people search for your name or business, they are much more likely to click the negative news article (than say your website or LinkedIn profile), which causes it to rank higher in search results.
2. Domain Authority: Every site on the Internet has a certain level of “trust” or “domain authority” on Google. The higher a site’s domain authority, the higher the site ranks in search results. The majority of news related websites are highly trusted by Google, which is one of the reasons why negative news articles can quickly make their way to the top of search results.
3. “Virality”/Links: It is not uncommon for a negative news article to go “viral” due to social sharing sites and other blogs/forums/etc. re-publishing the story. When other sites link to the original negative article, it signals to Google that the article must be of value to users, and should rank highly in search results.
YOUR OPTIONS FOR REMOVING NEGATIVE NEWS ARTICLES
If you currently find yourself dealing with a negative news article ranking highly on Google, there are three ways to remove the negative link from search results:
1. Complete Removal: If the editor or admin of a news site agrees to completely remove the article, the associated link will also be removed from search results. This is the ideal scenario and the first option we look into when helping our clients. If a site removes an article completely, a “404 page” will appear as seen below:
2. De-Indexing: If a negative news story is de-indexed, it means that the link associated with the story will be completely removed from search engine results. The main issue with the negative news article is not necessarily the fact that it exists, but rather the fact that it is highly visible in search results. In most instances, having the link to the negative article de-indexed, is just as good of an outcome as complete removal.
3. Redaction: In rare instances, a news publication will agree to redact (remove) your name from a negative news story. This is more likely to happen in situations where you are not the main focus of the article, or if you were the victim of a crime, and the news article discussing the incident ranks highly in search results for your name. If your name is redacted from the news article, the link associated with the article will be removed from search results with time.
HOW TO REMOVE NEGATIVE NEWS ARTICLES FROM THE SOURCE
News sites are unlikely to remove an article from their website, but there is always a slight possibility they will. News sites, editors, and journalists are used to getting requests to have negative and embarrassing articles removed, so coming up with a proper removal strategy is extremely important.
Before attempting removal of a news article, you should consider the following:
- If there are multiple negative news articles, document each URL and its ranking in search results. This will help you get organized and prioritize your removal efforts.
- If you are only aware of one negative news article, copy and paste the title of the article into a Google search to ensure it hasn’t been re-published on other sites.
- Look for ways to contact the website(s) that hosts the article and/or the journalist that wrote the article.
- Most news sites will have a “Contact” page where you can leave a message.
- Most journalists will provide you with a way to contact them (via e-mail, twitter, etc.)
- If there is no contact method available, do a Google search for their name and see if there are any social media profiles (i.e Linkedin) you can potentially reach them on.
- When reaching out to an editor or journalist, never initiate contact in a threatening way, as this will greatly hurt your chances of getting the news article removed, and could make the problem worse.
- If you are attempting to remove a negative news article that is more than a couple years old, use this to your advantage. Historically, news sites are more likely to remove older/outdated news stories than more recent ones.
- It’s important to reiterate that you generally only have one shot at getting the negative news article removed. If you are unsure of the most optimal approach and want one of our online reputation experts to attempt removal on your behalf, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.
SUPPRESSING NEGATIVE NEWS ARTICLES ON GOOGLE (IF REMOVAL FAILS, OR IS NOT A POSSIBILITY)
The reality is, most news publications will not remove, de-index, or redact your name from a negative news articles, leaving you in a position where you must look for an alternative solution. The next best strategy to repair the damage caused by a negative news article is to suppress it deeper in Google search results (page 2+) where it is unlikely to be seen.
The technical term for this process is “search engine suppression”, which involves creating a network of new positive web properties to push down the negative article. The timeframe to suppress a negative news article to page 2+ of Google varies greatly and depends on several factors. In most cases, suppression is not only effective at removing the negative article from the first page of search results, but it also works to strengthen your personal brand and/or promote your business in a positive light.
There are a number of strategies and tactics to suppress a negative article, such as:
- Setting up high ranking web 2.0 profiles and keeping them active
- Starting a personal or company blog and posting high quality, optimized content
- Publishing press releases on high ranking web properties
- Publishing other types of media, like videos, interviews, podcasts, etc.
- Optimizing content you already own (i.e your LinkedIn profile)
- Becoming a guest poster on credible third-party websites
The most important thing to remember when dealing with a negative news article on the Internet is to have a plan and be rational. It can be easy to feel a rush of anger and trepidation when reading a negative article about yourself or your business. Instead, channel that energy into creating a strategy to get it removed or suppressed.
LOOKING FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP?
If you’re looking to remove or suppress negative news articles in search results, our team at Reputation Resolutions can help. The first step in our process is to analyze your specific circumstances and evaluate the website(s) that host the negative news article(s). Once the analysis has been completed, we will provide you with an honest assessment of the most optimal strategy to remove or suppress the negative news article(s) as quickly as possible. If we think removal of the negative news article is a realistic possibility, you will only be charged for our service if we are successful in completely removing the negative news article(s) from Google search results.
Reputation Resolutions is proud to be rated as one of the top reputation online management firms in the U.S. by four independent agencies and is one of the few reputation management firms with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Furthermore, Reputation Resolutions has been selected to join the exclusive Google Partner Program and was also selected by Business.com as the #1 online reputation management firm for removing negative content and online attacks. To see reviews from past clients who have used our services, click here.
SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION WITH A REMOVAL EXPERT TODAY!
If you are interested in a free analysis of your situation, please fill out the form below and one of our online reputation experts will be in touch with you.