You may be in a situation where you are finding yourself feeling like there is nowhere to turn when it comes to removing that internet stain on your name. You may have done nothing wrong, but someone has made something up about you, or one of your past employees created a negative post with false information (because everyone knows how easy it is to do that). Whatever the case may be, if you are finding yourself looking for a way to erase negative downloads and searches of your name on the internet – we have found 7.
Why This Matters: Of course, this can affect your daily life by limiting your job opportunities, or it could impact your personal life and relationships. For example, if one person goes and does a simple Google search on you and all that comes up is something negative about how you “just don’t care” about their child – who do think they’re going to trust? You’ve just lost that family as a client because somebody got upset with you for some reason.
Thing You Can Do: There are several ways you can achieve erasing those negative searches on the internet. For some, it may be as simple as taking the time to sit with your search engine provider and having them remove negative articles via their removal policies (if this is Google). If you are not the one who happened to put up these articles in question – then, unfortunately, you can’t do anything about removing them yourself. You might try sending a notice (via writing) that they will be sued if they don’t take the information down (and therefore prove that what they’re saying is false).
Other options for removing negative searches:
1) Claiming Copyright Infringement of Photos or Videos – Sometimes people will post photos or videos of you without your permission. Sometimes it could be even work-related. Whatever it may be, you can attempt to claim copyright infringement on some of the sites that are hosting these images. This will help remove the content from all the sites (at least temporarily) and it may even make them take down other photos or videos they might have of you as well.
2) Disavow – A new Google feature allows you to disavow any links determined by Google to be an “unnatural link” that was intended for harming your site’s ranking (even though it may not necessarily be hurting your search rankings). You can use this option if you feel like there is a certain website out there that has linked back to your site with negative intent; however, according to New Orleans SEO, keep in mind that this can hurt your SEO efforts as well.
3) Claim or Request Removal – For some, it may be possible to have the owner of the website where your negative search results are located simply take them down if you can prove they’re false. This is typically good for those who only have one or two pages that are blatantly defaming you with no facts to back them up.
4) Issue a Cease and Desist Order – Sometimes this may solve the problem quickly because some people will believe what they read on the internet so adamantly that they don’t want to risk being sued over it. The downside for this would be trying to find all the parties responsible (which could include not only individual bloggers but websites as well). You might be able to sue certain individuals if you are able to find out who is responsible, but it would be nearly impossible to sue every single website that had the information.
5) A Powerful Approach – Don’t hold your tongue. You can put pressure on websites by having a PR firm do an online outreach for you, letting them know about the negative content and why they should remove it because you have proof it’s false information. This may also help convince them of the damage that this content causes people’s lives (to some). However, many people believe that if they are allowed to post anything on these sites without being sued, then there shouldn’t be any repercussions for not removing something just because someone asks nicely.
6) Looking Good for It – If none of these previous options worked for your internet reputation repair, you might want to consider making a charitable donation in the name of the person who is posting negative information about you – sound crazy? Well, this may be a way to “bribe” them into removing it for you because they’re human beings and everyone likes feeling good about themselves.
7) The Law – If none of these options work out, then your last resort would be filing suit against that party (or parties). This can get expensive fast (lawyers fees are through the roof), but sometimes people don’t care how much money is spent on getting rid of libelous content; they just want it gone.
Conclusion: All in all, there are several ways you can attempt reputation management. Some of these will work, and some of them won’t. Keeping a positive attitude is very important because sometimes it’s not the negative things that people say about you that hold you back from success, but rather how you let those things affect your life that does.