How to Push Down or Remove Negative Search Results from Google

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Last Updated: 4th August, 2023

Online reputation is an integral part of a business. It is essential for building positive public opinion and driving conversion. However, online reputation is significantly affected by consumer reviews on social media sites and feedback forums. The links of these reviews are indexed by search engines and are publicly displayed on search engine result pages (SERPs). They can substantially promote or tarnish the public perception of a brand or individual service provider. To state more precisely, statistical research by Glance, a popular CRM software development firm, has proved that it takes 12 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of 1 negative review. 

Therefore, to rebuild the tainted reputation of a brand or individual service provider, online reputation management (ORM) is a feasible solution. It refers to all those methods and techniques that are used in removing negative search results from SERPs. However, depending on the volume of image-tainting elements, such as reputation attacks (targeted negative reviews), false news, and common misinterpretations on the internet, ORM can become a lengthy process. 

The time taken to remove the negative reviews from SERPs depends on the following factors:

Types of Removal

Absolute Removal: The permanent removal of bad search results that sabotage a brand’s reputation is possible via convincing the publishing author. A major problem with this approach is that the publisher often demands money in exchange for removal. Neither is this method applicable in the majority of cases nor is it always possible to convince the publisher or even trace him in the first place.

Suppression: Pushing down negative reviews on SERPs in an effort to highlight and improve the visibility of positive ones is another approach to online reputation management. In comparison to absolute removal, which may require a brand to pay several publishers, suppression is a more accessible and affordable option. A reputation management company has several approaches to suppression, which render reputation attacks useless in future.

Factors for Removal

Existing Assets and Brand Presence

Positive inbound links from trusted websites and the ownership of subsidiary domains streamline the ORM process. As inbound links are a valuable ranking factor for search engines, they make it easier to push down the negative search results. Whereas, multiple domains that share a common brand name also support the suppression by contributing positive content and reviews.

Along with these, a brand’s social media handles on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest are some other resources of reviews for search engines. By working on these social media profiles and linking them to the business account, an individual can also push down negative links.

The Keywords Factor

Keywords are the search terms that assist in the ranking of websites on search engines. They make it difficult to get rid of the results that display under a brand’s name in a negative search. For example, search terms like ‘company name’ + ‘incidents that ruined its reputation’ are difficult to suppress and require the most amount of time and effort. Similarly, negative links appearing under some specific keyword research are also difficult to suppress. 

Ranking on SERPs

Links appearing on the first page of a search engine result can consume a lot of time to go down because of two facts:

  • They passed the various ranking algorithms of search engines to secure a position on the first page. 
  • They require maximum suppression to go down on the second, third, or fourth page

Source of Negative Link

As covered in the first factor, it is essential to build a reputable social media profile as negative reviews coming from social media sites are diffusive in nature since they are easily trusted by social media users and shared over the internet. On the other hand, negative reviews coming from websites with high DA and PA are also difficult to push down as they are highly trusted by search engines. 

Another worrisome source for ORM is content coming from user-generated sites. Google ranks user-generated content higher than the one published via business accounts, making it more challenging to push down negative links from review and rating sites. 

Miscellaneous Factors

Along with these factors, the length of negative search results removal process also depends on the following.

  • Websites that frequently upload content and have gained immense popularity due to their consistency are also ranked higher by Google. It is difficult to remove negative links coming from these sites due to the sheer quantity and quality of their content.
  • Prompt removal of negative search results is much easier as they take time to rank up in SERPs. By taking immediate action, brands can not only remove the negative link much easily but also prevent it from achieving a high rank in search results.
  • The length of the negative content on a link makes it more difficult to get rid of it. Due to high keyword repetition, density, and LSIs, links with high word counts are able to secure a better position on SERPs. Also, lengthier content is more knowledgeable and shared, adding more resistance to the task.
  • When a link arrives from a country-specific domain, for example, the domains ending with .sg, .uk, and .au, one needs to compete with the sites of that specific geographical region. Meaning, to remove a negative link coming from a .au domain, the entire suppression work must be conducted on Australian websites and domains, which are not easy to find for ORM.
  • The more popular a brand or individual service provider is, the more damage it receives from negative links. Harmful reviews for a popular brand are not only shared easily, but they are also interlinked more and become the word of mouth on social media sites. The same goes for the negative links that come from popular websites.
  • The auto-suggestion feature of search engines is quite problematic for ORM agencies. Even if an internet user is not aware of a particular negative incident or event of a brand, it can appear in the auto-suggestions when he/she enters the brand name in the search term.
  • The language of the negative review is an important deciding factor in ORM. Language-specific websites gain prominence on the internet. If a website ranks higher for publishing Arabic, Mandarin, or Spanish content, it is difficult to displace it from the SERPs. Not to mention, to suppress a review written in a different language, one needs to be able to speak and write that language. He/she also requires to publish content on websites using the same language for ORM

A thorough analysis of the brand’s website and negative links is required to identify the factors that apply in a brand’s situation for removing negative search results and reviews. Several tools are available on the internet for auditing a website for ORM. If these tools are difficult to understand, then hiring an ORM company will help. After recognizing the factors that apply, it can take some time to remove the negative search results from Google. While the absolute removal of negative results is a faster process than suppression, it should be noted that it is not applicable in every situation. 

If you have any doubts or queries about the above-mentioned factors or ORM process, feel free to ask us in the comment section.

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