Why is removing negative search results so important?

When negative content shows up about you or your business online, the effects can be catastrophic to your online reputation score.

Whether it is something as simple as a grammatically incorrect post made in the comments section of a blog, or a news article that connects you to a crime, you will want to remove negative content before it leads to a reputation crisis and a false representation of your brand.

How do I find my online reputation?

Everything we post online leaves behind a footprint – tweets, likes, posts, reviews, articles, blogs, pictures, videos – you name it, it’s there and it adds up quickly when calculating your online reputation score.

For successful professionals, both personal and business, having a clean and honorable online reputation can help you gain career opportunities, network effectively, get new clients, open your doors to new connections, and ensure you a spotless brand that can take your success to the next level.

Understanding Google search results

If someone who knew nothing about you did a quick Google search, would they want to hire you? Would anything pop up that might stop them from trusting your business? Maybe it might even be something as simple as a first date, would they be apprehensive to call you back after seeing a questionable search result that might just have ended up being fake news all along?

When someone has a question, they’re most likely going to go to Google. Google is the single most popular search engine in the world, with an 81.5% market share over all competition.

Search Engine Graph

What they see when they Google you or your business or brand, your first page of results truly matter when it comes to your reputation and success. What to do when your name has negative
search results on Google

So you typed your name into Google, hit enter and saw some results that might cause you to feel anxious and confused. Negative results may not always be so obvious, so make sure to check your image results as well and the sites they are linked to make sure they don’t have outdated content on them.

Negative search results that might cause red flags:

  • Distasteful social media content
  • Negative online reviews or complaints
  • Defamatory articles or posts
  • News stories involving legal issues
  • Graphic or exploitive content
  • Hate speech

Sometimes things we post online end up coming back to bite us far after their initial date of posting. Content online can be misconstrued, misunderstood and blown out of proportion. Like a forest fire, it can start with one negative article and grow quickly without warning, eating up your entire first page of Google search results.

On average over 75% of Google users find their answer on the first page of search results. If you are an individual or business trying to grow your success, you can imagine how truly important it is to fill that page with the best links to prove your trust and honorability to that individual behind the screen.

There are specific guidelines when posting and various types of content that Google will not tolerate. If this is the case, it is the publisher’s duty to remove the content themselves immediately, which also puts them at risk for a compliance review, link and account disabling, account suspension, and ad disapproval across their entire site.