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How to Remove Negative News Articles From Google

how to remove negative news articles

No brand is immune from negative news articles. In fact, the more you grow, the more likely online news publications will blast out negative stories about your business. Just think about all the bad press large-scale organizations endure every day.

That’s why online reputation management is more important than ever before. Every piece of information that’s on the internet contributes to your online reputation. To make matters worse, just one negative news article can have an immediate impact on customer decisions, recurring revenue, and investor trust.

So, what can you do to remove negative news articles from the internet? This guide covers the steps required to remove negative content from major search engines and alleviate the damage it does to your online reputation.

Contact us to learn how we remove negative news articles for our customers.

How negative news articles rank in Google search results

Unfortunately, most negative news articles get a lot of air time from Google. In this case, you can take advantage of Search Engine Reputation Management.

Negative news stories have higher click rates

People who search for your name or business are much more likely to click a negative news article than a positive one. This causes the negative link to rank higher in Google search results.

Remember, Google doesn’t care whether content is good or bad. It’s only trying to provide relevant, valuable information and help people find what they’re looking for.

The longer negative online news stories remain in top search results, the greater the risk for your business. That’s why it’s essential to remove negative newspaper articles from the internet ASAP.

Syndicated content increases topic density

First, a quick definition: Content syndication refers to republishing content from other sites to reach a broader audience and drive more traffic.

If a high-profile online news publication writes a negative article about your business, smaller media outlets will likely syndicate the information and share their own article about it. This will increase mentions about the unfavorable event and damage your online reputation.

Online articles are timely

The Google search algorithm focuses on content that’s timely with current interests and issues. If a negative news article was published recently, it’s more likely to appear at the top of search engine results pages. This could land trending negative news stories in common SERP features on Google: Featured Snippet, Top Stories, News Carousels, Interesting Finds, etc.

How to remove negative news articles from Google search results

There are various strategies to get a negative news article removed from Google search and other search engines.

  1. Ask news publications to remove the articles from the internet

You can first try to remove the negative news story by requesting the news publication or individual journalist to take it down. This type of request is known in the industry as “unpublishing”. Deleting the article in its entirety will remove it from all search engines, making this a very effective method.

Whether or not the news organization will agree to remove the negative news article will depend on the policies that they have adopted in terms of unpublishing requests. While some news organizations have strict “no unpublishing” rules, most have no formal policy for these requests. In these cases, it is highly recommended to retain news article removal attorneys to advocate on your behalf.

A lawyer will work to:

  • Research whether it’s possible to remove the content.
  • Find the correct individual within the news site to speak with regarding content removal requests.
  • Convince the organization to remove the article, amend it, or come up with another agreement that will ultimately benefit you.
  1. Contact Google to remove sites that violate their policies

You can report the content that does not follow Google’s Terms of Service or Content Policies. For example, anything published with sensitive financial or personal information would likely be considered a violation. Additionally, offensive images or videos also go against Google policies. If you notice that the negative article violates any policies, you can contact Google and ask for it to be removed.

However, removing negative news articles from Google is not as easy as it may appear. Google will ask you to submit a separate notice for each service where the content appears and perform a complete investigation into your inquiry.

If Google winds up approving the inquiry, the news article still exists. It simply will not appear in Google search anymore.

  1. Request to content be removed from Google search results

On Google’s website, there is a form you can fill out to request certain content to be removed. You can cite different reasons such as:

  • Copyright infringement (copyrighted work is being used illegally without your permission)
  • Counter notice (appeal to remove or reinstate content subject to a copyright complaint)
  • Circumvention (copyright technological protection measures)
  • Counterfeit (sale or promotion of counterfeit products/services)
  • Trademark (your trademark is being used in a way that causes confusion)

While it’s pretty unlikely that Google will actually take the steps to remove the negative article from its search results, this approach is definitely worth a shot.

Suppress negative search results

Oftentimes, it’s very difficult to get negative publicity outright removed from Google, Bing, and other popular search engines. Even if you’re able to get it removed, the process takes a lot of time and effort.

When it’s all said and done, the bad news story may have already done irrefutable damage to your online reputation. Another option for minimizing the damage to your online business or personal reputation is search engine suppression, also known as reverse SEO.

Search engine suppression is a proactive approach that’s more time sensitive and may even be more effective in the long run. You can reverse the negative newspaper articles with search engine suppression strategies. Think of this like fighting fire with fire.

What is search engine suppression?

Search engine suppression is a type of search engine optimization (SEO) that involves building up positive content to try and repress negative search results. So, instead of trying remove news articles, you’re trying to suppress them.

The goal is to get positive content to outrank the negative articles in Google’s search results. According to the most recent data from Advanced Web Ranking, user clicks significantly drop off after page one.

If negative articles are on page 2+ and your positive content ranks on the first page of Google, users are much less likely to find any damaging news article. By bumping negative content down within major search engines, your online reputation will be better off.

Now that we’ve thoroughly covered the goal of search engine suppression, let’s discuss some strategies to push down negative content and ensure it rank low across all major search engines.

How to suppress negative content online

You can suppress negative information with the following steps:

1. Optimize owned content and add backlinks from owned assets

To suppress a negative news article, your highest priority should be optimizing any owned articles and ensuring that it ranks higher. This is content that you can edit and control directly. For example, your web pages, personal blogs, social media accounts, and landing pages are all considered forms of owned content.

For search optimization, it makes sense to start with the pages that rank directly below the negative content. Ensure that the page is targeting the keywords it’s attempting to rank for.

Here are some opportunities to optimize owned content:

  • Use the core keyword in the title of the page.
  • Make sure the keyword is also integrated into page headings.
  • Then add the core keyword several times throughout the content.
  • Ensure the page implements internal linking and includes relevant images, with file names and alt text.
  • Improve page content with valuable and accurate information

2. Create new landing pages and publish consistent content

Another successful marketing strategy for burying a bad news article is to develop new landing pages or even full-out websites. Such pages should include domain names with the keyword you want to rank for. This will help the website perform well in search results.

For example, try to create a domain that directly uses your business’s name in the URL (www.businessname.com). the domain contains the exact keyword you’re trying to optimize for, which stands a good chance of ranking well overtime.

You could even expand on this strategy and create other domains associated with your brand as well. Even if they don’t have the exact keywords you’re trying to rank for, Google will likely mark the pages as relevant and may even rank them for your keywords.

3. Create social media profiles

After you’ve optimized owned content, it’s time to expand your reach across all major social media sites:

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

This will create new pages that Google and other search engines can rank according to your brand and core keywords. In fact, social profiles hold a lot of power when it comes to search. When a user searches for your name or your company’s name, oftentimes, your social profiles will show up on the first page of Google.

Now, if you’re constantly quoted or regularly contribute to other news sites, your social profiles will end up ranking even better.

5. Get positive news articles published online through third party sites

Third party platforms, like news websites, already have authority within the digital ecosystem. This makes it easier for them to rank well in search.

By contributing related blog posts to third party sites, you are adding relevant content to the topic. As a result, your personal name or company’s name can appear on the first few pages of search results. You are essentially capitalizing on the platform’s authority in the space.

This is a great way to create new content that can rank above the bad articles. You can do interviews, develop author pages, or contribute to guest blogs. These digital assets will work toward your overall ranking on main keywords.

6. Optimize for Google featured snippets

Featured snippets are highlighted text excerpts that appear at the top of Google search results in what is called ‘Position 0’. Essentially, they provide users quick answers to their informational-based search queries.

Appearing in a featured snippet is a great opportunity to rank high and bump down negative news articles. You can do this by optimizing owned assets and controlling the narrative based on which content you want to appear first.

This will involve restructuring and possibly even rewriting content to give a direct answer to commonly asked questions on the topic. You want the page to give relevant information in a concise manner.

Online reputation management company

If you have a lot of negative content surrounding your brand, it’s definitely worth looking into an online reputation management company. Removing negative results from Google is extremely difficult. Instead, you may want to pivot to a professional service that offers a wide array of different reputation management solutions.

Many large-scale organizations have reported losing tens of thousands of dollars due to negative online content. Reputation management companies use online search, monitoring, and media tools to build data-focused online reputation strategies that work for brands of all types and sizes. These comprehensive services can help to save time and money in the long run.

These days your brand’s perception on the internet is everything. With negative information on the rise due to online review, social mentions, and search results, it’s critical that you tackle the issue head-on before your online reputation is badly damaged. Opt for digital reputation management services to do all the heavy lifting for you. This approach will help to quickly repair, protect, and elevate your company’s online reputation.

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