Removing Content From Google

When it comes to running a business and building your reputation online, there is no getting around the fact that Google and other search engines are some of the best ways to get people to come across you and your work. It’s for this reason that so many different organisations use pages on their website as the basis for content that can increase where they appear in a search result.

This is known as content marketing and it is where businesses will use a blog in order to produce content that discusses the industry they work in and solidify themselves as experts. This is all well and good, but what happens if people come across your business because of negative content rather than positive? There is an abundance of sites out there who can write other information about your business or publish unwanted photos that could harm your brand.

This kind of negative content from google search results tend to rank incredibly highly and don’t do your business any favours. As such, it is no surprise that you might want to remove it. So, is this an option?

Why Would You Want to Remove Content from Google?

If you are a business or a brand that is trying to promote itself on the internet, then if there is any content out there on any given page which is negative content or defamatory in any way, it can have a huge negative impact on how users trust you and your site. Any link that they come across that pertains to your product or service will be viewed with scrutiny because of the negative content they have previously seen. The more content or the longer that negative content stays available to view, the greater this perspective damage is and the harder it will be for customers to access your actual site.

The site that this content is posted on will also have an impact on how many users notice and click on it. For instance, if it has been posted on a site that is considered by Google as high authority, like a media site that publish news articles, then the more likely it is to appear at the top of Google’s search results.

This is happening quite frequently. Currently, it appears that there are 1 in 3 businesses who say negative content is limiting access to their web pages due to the fact it is coming up in search results. Many people find themselves worrying about the implication inaccurate information such as this could be having on their business.

As such, it is not surprising that if a business’s reputation is being affected by such content, they are attempting to remove content from Google. This article is going to discuss the different ways that a removal request can be made and what else can be done to assist with the removal process and help their businesses reputation.

What Does Google Consider When It Removes Content?

When it comes to removing content from google search results, the search engine will take into account two things, this includes:

Its Compliance with the Law

There are legal obligations placed on a site such as Google and they will remove content when it is in breach of such obligations. There may be a court order in place that demands Google act as well to ensure such in breach content no longer exists.

The laws in particular tend to vary from country to country and the company hold themselves to an incredibly high standard when it comes to operating within these laws. People can ask the site to remove information if it is considered as law-breaking content.

That being said, the site does not have the technology to identify such breaches on its own. Instead, it relies on different authorities and individuals to contact them to report such breaches of their legal obligations. After this has happened, they will review the information in order to see if it is in fact in breach and work out the best approach to get it removed.

The Protection of Its Users

Google may also remove content even if there is no legal obligation for it to do so. This is usually because it will have an impact on an individual as the content is incredibly personal.

Google recognise the potential harm that could be caused should such information or details fall into the wrong hands (for example, if intimate imagery is published without consent) and therefore it will take the best approach to getting such content removed.

This is again information that Google search is unable to pick up by itself so if such sensitive personal information is online then the individual or authorities will need to bring it to the search engines attention. After that, upon assessment, a decision regarding whether or not to remove content will be made.

Content That Google Will Remove from Google Search

Unfortunately, simply not liking content is not sufficient enough grounds to have it removed from Google’s search results. The search features bring up the most relevant content to an individuals search and you cannot request removal just because it could harm your organisation.

That being said, there are some instances where removing content from Google can be reasonably straightforward as there are legal obligations imposed on search engines. The defamatory or negative content that Google will take steps to remove include:

Any information that has the potential to cause financial harm or result in identity theft

If personal information that could effectively result in someone suffering financial harm or being the victim of identity theft is published then Google have legal obligations to remove it. This is because such content is in violation of the Google service agreement and therefore legal removals can take place. The information included on a page such as this includes the likes of copyrighted material, signatures or bank details. Once a request is made for removal, this is usually carried out within a few days.

Any images that are sexually explicit

A removal request can also be made for some images that are sexually explicit. This does not apply to all images of this nature, but a court order can be made for removal if:

  • You are nude or shown to be carrying out a sexual act and you did not intend for the content to be released online (you thought the content was going to be kept private)
  • The images are of a sexual nature and the person in them is underage
  • You didn’t consent to the act within the media and you also did not consent for it to appear publicly

It falls within the right to be forgotten

Another means by which you can go about removing content from google search results is if it falls within the law of right to be forgotten. This only applies to states within the EU and essentially involves the removal of any old references from different search engines. This means removing content such as old articles, outdated videos and images and also old social media posts.

How Can a Reputation Management Organisation Help With Removing Content From Google?

As mentioned above, Google does not have the technology in order to pick out every piece of information in its search results that can be removed. It is up to different authorities and users of the search engine to notify Google about such content and request removal. It could be defamatory, contain information such as a government id number, be explicit, regardless of the reason, Google will not pick it out themselves.

If you or your business is being affected because of the publication of such content then you will no doubt want to know how you can get it removed. In order to ensure that Google does not display such content in Google’s search results, you may need the assistance of a reputation management organisation such as Igniyte. Igniyte will be able to help your business maintain its reputation and keep its positive brand by helping you in a few different ways.

Challenging Defamatory Content About Your Business

Defamatory content or unsubstantiated content about your business essentially refers to any kind of content about you that is untrue. If you come across any content from google that falls within this category then you have the right to report it and try to get it removed from any kind of Google search results. This can be quite a complicated process and as such, a reputation management organisation can help with that process. It could mean having it removed from either a blog, a social media site, press articles or a review site.

Remove Negative Information About Your Company

Negative information can be very detrimental to your business and your growth and as such removing content from Google search results that can be seen as such is a prime focus of a reputation management organisation. Other content from Google that could be removed include negative images or videos that feature or pertain to your business.

Address Different Copyright Issues

There are a lot of different copyright infringement issues that could have a negative impact on your business and how you rank on Google search results and as such, it is important to focus on these as well. A reputation management organisation will be active in removing content from google that could constitute as plagiarism, infringe on your ownership of something or breach any kind of copyright laws. A court order is usually required to assist with taking down content from search results that infringes on copyright and as such, having professionals by your side to help is massively useful.

Act as Consultants on the Complex Law That Surrounds Removing Links

As previously stated, when it comes to removing links from Google, it can be a very complicated process and this is usually because the law that surrounds moving such content is complex. You will need the ear of an expert to assist you on this journey and that is where a reputation management organisation come into play, they will be able to talk to you about the key concepts of GDPR, defamation and copyright laws that could apply to your situation.

Dealing With Internet Trolls

All you need to do is go on the internet for a small amount of time, regardless of what your intentions are whether they are personal or professional and you will eventually come across an internet troll. These are people who will intentionally take to the web in order to make some statements that could be perceived as rude, inflammatory or in the interests of businesses, defamatory. Most do this for their own amusement or there may be other instances when they do it with an agenda in mind.

Dealing with trolls can be difficult as a lot of the time the advice given on how to deal with them involves ignoring them. Whilst this might be the best way forward for personal reasons, it doesn’t work as well for businesses who need to sell products or services if they have annoying trolls spreading false information about them.

Of course, doing something about it is often tricky too because of the fact a lot of trolls work anonymously. This means that they usually use a fake name and so pursuing any kind of legal case against them and getting a court order to remove content or stop posting about a certain topic is difficult. This is where reputation management organisations can come into play and help as they will be able to assist with how to deal with internet trolls.

How Important Are Reviews to Your Business?

Reviews are an absolutely massive part of your business as they are what a large amount of customers refer to when deciding whether or not they would further like to engage with what you have to offer. It is not enough anymore to merely appear in people’s search results but you need to have your brand affirmed by previous customers.

There are a number of benefits to have positive reviews surrounding your product online, which include but are not limited to the fact that they can:

  • Act as social proof of your business and what it offers, driving sales as a result.
  • Improve where you rank on google search results and make you more visible as a result.
  • Give your business the view of being trustworthy.
  • Allow customers to engage in a dialogue about you.
  • Have a positive impact on your organisations overall sales.

How Do Negative Reviews Impact Your Business?

Though the above is a good indication as to how positive reviews can have a subsequent positive impact on your business, negative reviews act in a way parallel. If there are a number of negative reviews about your business that come up in search results then it can seriously impact your companies reputation.

Statistics show that a lot of people who use online shopping will refer to customer reviews when it comes to choosing somewhere to buy from or work with. In fact, a recent survey showed that 85% of consumers who shop online trust reviews that come up in search results as much as they would trust a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.

As such, having some negative reviews about your business could cost you customers and result in a serious loss of potential profit. You could end up driving away business which would have been yours were it not for the negative reviews that customers were faced with when they looked up your business.

When you take the above into account and factor in the likes of defamatory information that could be published and the presence of online trolls, you recognise that it does not take much for your organisation to be negatively impacted by content that does not put your business in a good light. This is why it is so important to get positive information about your business online and flaunt what you do well so that customers are going to be a lot more willing to engage with you and what you do.

What Can Reputation Management Organisations Do About Negative Reviews?

There is a common misconception when it comes to the world of reviews that a reputation management organisation can get involved and simply remove those that do not show your business in a good light. Granted, there are some laws in place that could prevent you being the victim of libel or internet trolls, but if a review is negative and is an honest account of someone’s experience, it cannot simply just be removed.

The different platforms that are used online as a place where people can write about their experience with an organisation are important because they provide a place for people to share their honest opinions, good and bad. It means that individuals are able to make an opinion when browsing online taking into account what other people have said about different products. Though you cannot simply review the ones you don’t like, you would be within your right to ask for them to be removed if they are a blatant breach of the sites guidelines or are the work of an internet troll writing defamatory statements.

A reputation management organisation will be able to help with having these defamatory reviews removed as well as improving your online reviews so that you are flaunting the positive ones to prospective customers.

If you would like any help on the best way to move forward then you should consider speaking to a professional team.

How Can a Reputation Management Organisation Benefit Your Business?

As the digital revolution continues to work in full swing and businesses everywhere are using the internet as a means to get their name out there, having your content rank highly in google search results is more important than ever. Of course, this then begs the questions as to what content is ranking highly on Google and what picture does it paint your organisation in?

There are going to be some people who create content that pertains to your business which puts it in a negative light and this can be damaging to your business as a lot of perspective customers will not be interested in working with you as a result. Of course, just because this negative content exists and appears in Googles search results, that doesn’t mean that it necessarily has to stay there.

Removing content from google can be tricky but there are instances where you are able to. There are a couple factors that Google will take into consideration before removing said content. This could include whether any laws have been broken (e.g. if the content is defamatory and false in nature and has been posted by an internet troll) or whether it could harm an individual (meaning it contains personal information or explicit images that haven’t been consented to).

Navigating the world of removing content from Google can be incredibly tricky as the law changes from country to country and a lot of the time, the person who posted the content may well be acting anonymously. As such, if you need help in this area then it may be worth contacting a reputation management organisation for some assistance. Organisations such as Igniyte are going to be able to help your business as they know more about how to remove content from Google that can legally be removed. For other negative reviews as well, they will be able to ensure your positive reviews are put in a better light so that potential customers will see these and still be interested in working with you.

If you have any more questions about removing content from Google or what your business can do to improve its online reputation, then do not hesitate to get in touch.