You can substitute any search engine for “Google” in that headline, but you know the deal by now: Google is the major search engine, so we focus on it. But the information that follows works for any search engine.
It’s always troubling when something negative appears high on search engine results pages (SERPs) when people Google your business (or you).
If something negative appears on page 3 or page 4, that’s not as big a deal — a lot of people don’t go that deep on their searches.
If it’s on page 2, that’s more concerning. If it’s on page 1, especially if it’s among the first four or five hits, you officially have a problem.
In general, you’ll have much more luck pushing the bad result down in the SERPs than getting rid of it. Google takes an extreme hands-off policy to negative results.
Essentially, it would cost you an arm and a leg, and then another arm and a leg, and then a few other people’s arms and legs… and then Google still won’t remove it. So there’s little point to trying.
If you have any sort of leverage with the webmaster of the site showing the negative result — for example, if you can prove the information is clearly inaccurate or libelous, something along those lines — you might be able to get the bad result deleted from the site’s server. If not, it still can’t hurt to ask, but an actual removal doesn’t happen often.
Most often, the most effective way to deal with a negative result is to bury it under a large quantity of positive results. This is the basic concept of reputation management for your business.
By creating new positive results — or optimizing current positive results through SEO practices — you can push the negative results down on the SERPs. When the negative result falls to page 3, it’s exponentially less damaging that when it’s on page 1.
Here are some top ways to achieve this:
- If you don’t have one already (this caveat also applies to following items), create a Linkedin Company Profile page. Linkedin gets excellent SEO love from Google, and company profile
- Create a Google Plus Business page for your company. These pages rank quickly with Google, they take only minutes to set up, and they can be activated as ad extensions in Google Adwords — a great way to improve your conversions. For greater benefit, link to it from your Twitter or Facebook account once it’s live.
- Create a Wikipedia page for your company. It’s best to keep this page as fact-oriented as possible, but the more solid, objective content you can add to it, the better. Wikipedia pages also rank highly with Google and other search engines.
- Create Pinterest/StumbleUpon/Reddit/Twitter/Facebook social media accounts and name them after your company name. An efficient way to lock up all these social media profiles in one swoop is KnowEm.com.
- Create an account at TwitterCounter. Google is known to rank this site highly in results very quickly, at least for now.
- Create a CrunchBase business profile and name it after your company. It only takes minutes, and it ranks highly with Google in as little as 72 hours.
- Make sure you’ve claimed your Foursquare business listing and encourage check-ins with your customers/clients. Even if your business is service-based, people can check in at your listed business address.
- In addition to these methods, you should optimize your current positive listings in every way you can. One option is to link these results through BrandYourself.com. Also, contributing to influential blogs and media sites through your company name can provide high-ranking positive results.
If you’re looking for more ways to produce positive results and push down negative ones, just inquire with your Ring Ring Marketing representative. We have lots of great strategies to employ!