How to remove unwanted Google results

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A good reputation is everything whether you are an individual or a business and in the digital age, we live in today having a positive online reputation is a must for every business. And since your potential clients and recruiters are more likely to look for information about your company by searching on Google it is important that there are no unwanted search results related to your company. Negative or unwanted search results about you might appear in Google search results if an unsatisfied customer makes a bad post about your company or someone who dislikes you spreads false information about you on the internet. Either way, sometimes it becomes essential to removes unwanted Google results about you but how can you do it?

You can remove unwanted Google results by using the following methods:

  • Remove the WebPages that contain negative information about you
  • Suppress the unwanted Google results
  • Make social media profiles
  • Make press releases
  • Create a mobile application 
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Depending on the situation you can utilize either one or a combination of these methods to remove unwanted Google search results about you or your brand. And in this article, we are going to explain how each of these methods works and how you can utilize them to remove unwanted Google search results so keep reading.

Method 1. Remove the WebPages that contain negative information

The negative information about you that is appearing in the Google search results is present on a website. And the first approach you want to take to stop the search result from appearing is to try and remove the webpage. Now there can be two cases when you are trying to remove the WebPages either you own the WebPages or have the authority to remove the content on them or the WebPages belong to someone else. And the process for removing webpages for both cases is going to be different as explained below:

– Removing content from webpages you own:  

This is probably the most convenient way to remove unwanted search results from Google. And you can follow these steps to remove WebPages from a website you control:

Step 1. The first thing is first if you want to make sure no one sees the negative piece of information from a Webpage you own in Google search results you have to remove the page and it’s content altogether. You can remove the webpage that contains information you want to remove from Google search by logging into the admin dashboard of your website and choosing pages option from the menu. Once you click on pages you will be able to see all the pages on your website and all you have to do next is choose the page you want to delete.

Step 2. Once you have deleted the webpage containing negative information the page might still appear in Google search results as a broken link. So in order to fully prevent the now-deleted page from showing up in Google results simply click on the search result and copy the URL of the webpage that is now removed. Now login to your Google Search Console and click on Google index. Then find and click on Remove URL’s option and then paste the URL of the now-deleted page you want to remove from the Google search index. Under the URL option, you will have to pick a reason for removal of the URL and you can pick the option “Clear URL from Cache and temporarily remove from search”. Once you submit your URL removal request it will take a day or two to process your request.

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Step 3. While a URL removal request should stop the deleted webpage of your website from appearing in Google search results the removal can be temporary in some cases. And the search result might start showing in the Google search results again after some time. And if the URL you requested to be removed starts appearing in the Google results again you can use the robots meta-elements with NOINDEX in the source code of the page or pages you want to remove from search results. You can do that by opening the source code of the page you want to remove and then locating the “<meta name=”robots” content=” index”>” line of the page source code. This code line is located in the <head> tag of the page’s source code. All you have to do is change the value “index” to “noindex”. By changing the value to noindex the webpage will not be indexed by Google and therefore it won’t show in the search results.

– Removing content from WebPages you don’t own:

The scenario where the negative Google search result is from a Webpage that you don’t control is a bit more complicated. The webpage that has posted negative information about you might have done it due to personal differences or due to business rivalry. Nevertheless getting negative information removed from a resource that is owned by someone else can be difficult. With that being said here are a few things you can try in order to remove the negative information from its source:

Get in touch with the owner of the website: Whether it is an angry customer or a crazy ex, people can go to great lengths to take out their anger. One of the ways they can try to harm you is by either spreading rumors or posting a negative feedback about your business by creating a website or blog. So your best bet in this scenario would be to directly approach the owner of the website containing negative information about you and request them to remove the information. Or if they have got some information wrong about you or your business you can ask them to modify the false information. For example, if a customer felt like they were not treated properly when they interacted with your company they might make a blog post about their experience without giving you the feedback directly. And this information can show up in Google results as negative information about you when someone tries to look your company up in Google. So what you can do in this situation is to contact the customer who has posted about their negative experience with your company and try to explain to them the reason why the customer might have been treated improperly. You can get in touch the owner of the website that contains negative content using the following methods:

Look in the contact us page of the website: Most websites and blogs are going to have an about us or contact us/contact me page that contains some sort of contact information. And most of the time the contact information provided in the contact us page can help you reach out to the owner of the website or a representative that might be able to help you in removing the negative information about you from their website.

Subscribe to the newsletter of the website: If the website doesn’t have any contact us, about us or contact me page then you have to get a little resourceful in order to contact the website’s owner. And a great way to find out the email address of the website owner is by subscribing to the newsletter of the website.Once you have signed up for the newsletter of the website you want to contact you will receive email updates about their latest posts and publications. When you receive an email from the website note down the email address from which the update is being sent from or open the newsletter and look for any email addresses that might be present in the newsletter. And by sending an email to address the newsletter is being sent from you will be able to request the website owner to modify or remove negative content about you.

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Use a tool to find out who owns the website: If you couldn’t contact the owner of the website containing negative information about you with the help of the first two methods then it obviously means the website owner doesn’t want to reveal his/her identity. But there are some tools that allow you to find out who owns a certain website and the contact information linked to that website. One such tool is WHOis.net and it is an online tool that allows you to find out the information linked to a certain domain. You can use this tool by simply opening the WHOis.net tool and typing or pasting the web address of the website you want to know the information about. By clicking enter you will be provided with all the information that is linked to that domain including the name of the owner or the name of the country, the email address linked to that domain and even the phone number that was used to register the domain. Once you have this information you can use it to contact the owner of the website and politely ask them to remove the negative information their website contains about you or your company.  

Method 2. Suppress the unwanted Google results

Unless the unwanted search result that you want to remove is coming from a website you own or have control over removing negative content rarely works. Chances are that the person who has published negative information about you might demand money in return for the removal of the content they have published as ransom. And if the owner of the website that is causing unwanted search results to pop up on Google hasn’t provided contact information on their website chances are they don’t want to be contacted by anyone let alone accept content removal requests. So the next best option you have to remove an unwanted search result about you or your company from Google is by suppressing it. Suppressing a Google search result refers to the process of forcing the negative search result to move further down by adding positive search results that show on top of the unwanted search result. And you can suppress unwanted Google results by following these steps:

Step 1. Create a website: If a Google search with your name brings back unwanted search results then chances are you or your company don’t have a very effective online presence. So a first step to building your own website is to buy a domain that matches your or your company’s name. Doing this will make sure that when someone searches for your business or your name the first thing they see on top of the search results in Google is webpages from your own website with a domain name that matches your name. You can buy a domain with exactly the same name as your business or something that is close to your company’s name or your own name. There are plenty of websites that allow you to purchase a domain and register it in a few minutes. By putting up a website not only will you be able to control your online reputation you can also make sure someone who searches anything related to you or your business gets positive search results on the first page of search results. 

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Step 2. Publish positive content on your website: Once you have set up a website with a domain name related to you or your business now is the time to start optimizing your website with keywords that relate to your business. You can do this by publishing positive content in the form of blogs and positive customer feedback on your website. When you are going to use terms and phrases that people are likely to search in Google about you when creating blogs on your website then the first thing that pops up when people look you up is the blog post on your website with positive information about you. And as you keep posting more and more positive well-optimized content with related keywords on your website it is going to cause the negative and unwanted search results to move further down in the list of search results. And ultimately the unwanted search results are going to move to the 2nd or 3rd page of Google search results. Notice what keywords and phrases bring up the unwanted search result when you search them on Google. And try to target that key phrase or keyword by using it in your blog content. And since people are less likely to visit the 2nd and 3rd pages of search results the negative search result will basically get buried under positive search results.

Step 3. Keep posting relevant content: If you want to make sure that the unwanted search results that you want to suppress stay on the 3rd or 4th page then you have to make sure you are constantly posting up to date content on the blog. Make sure that the blogs you are posting are valuable to the reader and potential clients and they just focus on the qualities of your company. For example, if you are running an IT company try to write blogs that are helpful to people who are looking for IT solutions. Keep in mind that the search engine is not serving you instead Google wants to show results quality and relevant content for its users. So if you want to make sure that your WebPages overtake the negative and unwanted search results then make sure that you are posting blog content that has value for the reader. If you produce content without keeping the end reader in mind and only focus on improving the ranking of your website then chances are Google is going to detect that the content isn’t reader-friendly or relevant and your website’s blogs won’t be able to push down the unwanted results to get to the top of the search results list.   

Step 4. Encourage customer feedback on your website: While there are many websites such as Yelp that allow customers to post reviews about a company there are chances that reviews on the third-party websites might get manipulated by the rival companies. So it is a good idea to add a section to your company’s website where customers can leave reviews about their experience with your company.

Method 3. Make social media profiles

This method is going to supplement your company’s Google search ranking because making profiles on high ranking social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Linkedln allows you to use the high ranking of these websites to make your social media profile appear on top of the unwanted search results. Basically making profiles of your company on these popular social media platforms is another way to suppress the unwanted search results and make them move further down the Google search results list when someone searches your company’s name or related information. When you make a public profile on a popular social media website the high authority and popularity of the social media website makes sure that the information you have provided in your social media profile shows up on top of the search results when someone looks up your company’s name or other related terms. And just like your website you have to make sure that your social media profile is active and constantly posts updates related to your business on the social media profile.

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There are more than 2 billion profiles on Facebook alone and all that exposure you are going to get by creating social media profiles is going to translate into more customers. Moreover, your customers can leave reviews on your social media profiles especially on Facebook and positive reviews on social media profiles are going to help you in repairing your business reputation that was harmed due to the unwanted search results. Besides potential clients are more likely to trust the feedback from real people that they leave on your Facebook page rater then believing on an anonymous webpage that is appearing in the Google search results.

Method 4. Make press releases

Just like method 3 where you are supposed to use the highly popular social media websites to suppress the negative search results we can do some serious damage control and improve business reputation by making press releases. This method is going to be especially helpful if your own website doesn’t have a high authority because while it can take a lot of time for a blog posted on your low authority website to rank in Google search results a press release that gets published on a high authority news website can quickly rank and remove the unwanted search results to the 2nd or 3rd page. You can also use a press release to clarify or correct the negative information that is appearing in the unwanted search result. This method is going to be especially effective if the negative search result that you are trying to suppress has been published through a news website as well. Google gives higher authority to news and press websites which might be the reason why the negative search result is ranking so high in the Google search results. So by publishing a press release in a high authority news website your chances of surpassing the negative search result and even clarifying it are very high. For best results, you should try to regularly publish press releases through various high authority news websites.

Method 5. Create a mobile application

Applications aren’t just useful for companies that belong to the IT industry. McDonald’s is a fast-food company but it has a mobile application. Coca-cola has a mobile app as well we hope you get the point. Google has started showing mobile apps in the Google search results which provides companies with a great opportunity to rank higher in google search results and you can use this strategy to overtake and suppress unwanted search results. The application doesn’t have to very feature rich or complex. But it is going to help you achieve your goals of suppressing unwanted search results.

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Full length portrait of a casual businessman standing and using mobile phone indoors

How long does it take to suppress a Google search result?

How long it is going to take before you can see the unwanted search result going lower in Google search ranking can depend on a few factors.

Search volume of keywords: This is an important factor when it comes to how long it is going to take to suppress a Google search result. Search volume refers to how many times Google users have searched for that keyword on Google. Usually, the higher the search volume of a keyword is the longer it is going to take for you to rank in that keyword. So if the keyword that brings up the negative search result in Google has a high search volume then it can take several months to suppress that search result. But if the keyword that is returning the search result you want to suppress has a low search volume and is only being searched a few hundred times per month then you can suppress that search result sooner by using the methods we have explained above.

The authority of the website that contains negative information: Google ranks webpages based on their authority and websites with higher domain authority are harder to suppress. So if the search result you are trying to suppress is let’s suppose an article on a high authority news website then it can take a lot of effort and time to suppress it. On the other hand, if the unwanted search result is coming from a website that consists of only 2 or 3 pages, has poor design features and the content quality is also low then such website is not going to have a very high authority according to Google algorithm and it might go down in the search ranking by itself within a few weeks.

Keyword competition: Apart from keyword volume keyword competition is another determinant when it comes to how much time it will require for your website to surpass the negative search result in Google ranking. Now keyword competition refers to how many websites are competing for the same keyword as you. If you are trying to suppress a search result that is ranking high on high competition keywords that are more popular have a higher keyword competition. For example, if the negative search result is appearing when you search a keyword like “SEO” then it is going to be extremely difficult to suppress the search result and it can take years to suppress such a search result. But if the negative search result is coming up by searching for a keyword such as your full name then it is going to take a few days to suppress such a search result.

Conclusion

Unwanted search results can be really damaging to a company’s online and offline reputation and while sometimes they may get suppressed on their own other times it requires a fair bit of effort to suppress or remove them. And by using the methods we have explained in this article you can make sure that the negative search result doesn’t harm your reputation.