5 Extreme Tactics for Removing Negative Results from Google’s Index

5 Extreme Tactics for Removing Negative Results from Google’s Index

With online reputation management, repairing a damaged Google reputation is often the hardest task to achieve. Just as a scandal sells newspapers, so too it generates lots of backlinks to your attacker’s web page.

Success is typically measured by your ability to push the negative Google result off of the first page–fewer people click-through to page two, when conducting reputation research. However, there are a few tricks you can try to completely remove your attacker from Google’s index.

1. Did they violate their registrar’s policies?

TechDirt points to an interesting outcome which involved an attack on Ryanair by the site IHateRyanair.co.uk. While airing your grievances is not something that will normally violate a registrars policies, placing affiliate ads and earning money from said grievances is a violation–at least for the registrar Nominet. IHateRyanair.co.uk earned £322, which was enough for Nominet to order the domain name be turned over to Ryanair.

Lesson: Find out where your attacker’s web site is registered and hosted. Does it violate any of their terms and conditions?

2. Are they violating your copyright?

Copyright laws and “fair use” are minefields best navigated by lawyers. However, most attackers have limited knowledge of copyright laws, and even more limited funds to hire an attorney to help them figure them out. Filing a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and sending it to Google, could be enough to get that negative page removed from Google’s index.

From my understanding, Google will remove the page, unless the notice is contested by the person that published the content. If they do that, it gets a lot more complicated. However, it doesn’t cost anything to file a DMCA notice, so it’s worth a shot. Just don’t abuse it. If there’s not actually any copyright infringement, then you’re opening up a can of worms.

Lesson: Google will acquiesce to an uncontested DMCA takedown notice.

3. Is the site spamming Google?

Take a close look at Google’s spam guidelines, then hire an SEO to take a close look at your attacker’s website? Are they using invisible text? Cloaking? Duplicating their content across multiple websites? Each of those are a good reason for Google to kick them out of their search index.

Lesson: You want Google to have the best index right? So, help them clean it up by reporting any spammers! 😉

4. Did they violate Google’s AdSense policies?

Perhaps a more effective strategy is to look for violations of Google’s AdSense rules. Does the attacker have half a dozen different AdSense units on each page? That’s a violation. Are they displaying text to encourage visitors to click on an ad? Another violation. Heck, even a simple pop-up is a violation of Google AdSense’s policies!

Violation does not result in the removal of the site from Google’s index, but it does remove them from AdSense. That could be the only way the attacker makes any kind of revenue. If they lose that, it could be a big deal! I’m not saying you should blackmail your attacker into removing their attack on your company, but you may want to point out that they are violating AdSense’s policies. 😉

Lesson: A site that loses its revenue source, loses its motivation.

5. Obtain a summary judgement/court order.

If you can’t get your attacker to take down their post, maybe you can get it kicked out of Google’s index. If you can obtain a summary judgement from a court, you might be able to get the judge to order the removal of the page from Google’s index. Google’s too busy organizing the world’s information to argue against the thousands of similar orders sent its way each month.

There’s a lot more to this, than I can speak to here. Consult an attorney and see if there’s any kind of defamation or trademark infringement you can build a solid case on.

Lesson: Out of Google’s “site,” out of mind!

There you have it! Some out of the box tactics for combating a negative listing in Google’s index. I should probably state that I am not an attorney and this post is not meant to be legal advice. It is merely for your entertainment. Always consult an attorney before undertaking any legal strategy….blah, blah, blah!

ByAndy Beal

Andy Beal is The Original Online Reputation Expert™. A bestselling author of two critically-acclaimed reputation management books, a keynote speaker at dozens of events, and brand consultant experience with thousands of individuals and companies.

    13 Comments for “5 Extreme Tactics for Removing Negative Results from Google’s Index”
    1. Great tips to help remove an attack, this is becoming more of a problem. It makes it harder when the intent of the attack is to damage your reputation and using web 2.0 sites to do so.

    2. Interesting list…definitely doesn’t hurt to enumerate the nuclear options.

      With Google’s recent emphasis on serving more brand-related sites for brand-related search terms, don’t you see rep management to be a little simpler now?

    3. @Jason – unfortunately the brand-related search changes are still to few and far between to help the majority of those that face a negative Google reputation.

    4. Google is too easy to game and no one’s doing anything about it. I think they like negative search results more than positive ones, because I’ve been trying for months to rank my actual accomplishments above the made-up rumors.

    5. Repairing an online reputation isn’t easy but in many cases it’s doable. If you’re in the UK for instance there’s a better chance the Big G aka Google will take you more seriously depending on how you present your case. Here in the USA, sleeves must be rolled up and preparations made for search engine algorithm battles. Most of my clients here at Wired Marketing Agency dot com in the US, Canada, UK and Australia start seeing results after a 60 to 90 days but there is no written in stone, hard fast rule to this.

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