If you have ever had any experience using the Internet, then you are probably aware that not everything on it is accurate or true. The same applies to the website named Google . While most of what you find in your search results will be truthful and useful information, there may be times when certain websites are posting false content about individuals or companies. If this has happened to you, there are ways to remove these negative things from come up in web searches done through Google.
You can get rid of negative reviews on Google if they appear next to your business name or personal name. However, keep in mind that while it’s possible for sites like Ripoff Report and ScamBook , two popular complaint sites, to take down defamatory content, websites like Facebook and Yelp are much more difficult to deal with.
If you’ve tried all the steps described below and your negative review is still showing up on Google search results, you can always contact Google directly. However, since Google won’t remove content unless it violates their webmaster guidelines , there’s no guarantee that they will take action. You can file a form online to request removal of information about you from one or many sites for privacy reasons. The process takes several weeks but could be worth it if the information in question is causing irreparable harm to your reputation or business.
Getting Rid Of Negative Reviews
Get rid of negative reviews by contacting the site where the information is posted. If it’s someone else’s website, you can take action to get your review removed.
For example, if Ripoff Report has a negative review about you, contact them in order to remove it from their site. Sometimes these sites will remove false or unverifiable content upon request so long as they are not legally obligated to keep it up.
To begin this process, either call or email Ripoff Report and provide them with your name and personal information such as full name , phone number, address and email address . You will also need to provide proof that the offending post does not contain any verifiable claims of fact and poses no harm to anyone mentioned in it. Once this information is verified, the review will be removed.
Where Are The Negative Reviews Located?
If you notice that a Yelp page has false or misleading information about your business location or staffing, call them directly and explain the problem. Most of the time they will fix this type of error as it’s easy for them to do so since all their content is user generated . Their contact number can be found here: https://biz.yelp.com/support/contact_us .
However, if negative reviews on Ripoff Report , ScamBook and similar sites cannot be removed by contacting the website administrator due to legal reasons, there are professional reputation management services that can help get rid of these damaging posts for you. Many businesses offer this service so you don’t have to go through the process alone.
Contact A Reputation Management Company
Companies can also help you remove reviews from your Google+ business page . If necessary, they will create a new account for you so these reviews won’t affect your reputation or search rankings. They can do this for both free and paid Google accounts.
To find a reputable company to handle negative reviews on the web, just enter “online reputation management” into a search engine and read reviews about companies in your area that specialize in this type of work. You might want to ask for references or check with the Better Business Bureau before you hire any firm.
In some cases it’s possible to get rid of bad reviews on Facebook by contacting the person who posted it directly. This will likely have to be done by a friend or family member who can send the message on your behalf.
To do this, you’ll need to find the person’s profile and use the “send personal message” button under their cover photo . Once you’ve sent them a private Facebook message , they should remove the review.
If all else fails, there are still other ways to get rid of negative content by contacting Google itself. The process takes several weeks but could be worth it if the information in question is causing irreparable harm to your reputation or business . You can file a form online to request removal of information about you from one or many sites for privacy reasons. The process takes several weeks but could be worth it if the information in question is causing irreparable harm to your reputation or business .
Next, send documentation via mail or email verifying your identity by sending them either your driver’s license , passport , state-issued ID card , military ID card or any other photo I.D with both your name and address on it. Photocopies are not acceptable.
Finally, include a note explaining why you want the pages or posts to be removed. You can use this example letter to help get you started. Once all of this information has been verified, Google will send an email letting you know that your request has been received and reviewed for removal .
If your request is approved by their team, this negative online content should completely disappear from any search results within 15 days . However, if it’s determined that approving your request would go against the public interest , the data will remain in place until Google decides what action should be taken next. This decision must be made within one month after approval of your request but there is no limit to how long Google can take to make a decision.
Even if your request is denied, you have the right to ask for a review of Google’s decision by sending them another form within 15 days of being notified . In the event that incorrect information is published about you online, this could be a good way to get it removed so you can sleep better at night without worrying about it affecting your search rankings or business in the future.
It is worth mentioning that trying to remove reviews from Google+ pages through this process will not work since these reviews are indexed separately from other search results and exist only on a company’s Google+ profile page. If they’re posted from another user you cannot delete them yourself, nor can anyone else with access to the account, and Google won’t remove them either.
Was Identity Theft Involved?
There is another option available if you can prove that those reviews were published as a result of someone committing identity theft against you. In these cases, Google will actually remove the content for you since it involves impersonating your business with intent to defame .
To do this, follow the same procedure as listed above by filing a form online and sending documentation via mail or email verifying your identity. Then send the following letter:
“I am writing to request removal of content posted on “search engine name” that pertains to (business’ full legal name). The content in question appeared as a result of identity theft which occurred outside of my control.”
Once Google has removed the questionable content you will receive an email confirmation and the content will no longer appear when people search for your business name.
Google can also help you with removing or updating outdated information in their knowledge graph, which are the snippets of information that pop up next to certain searches . To request this type of update send an email to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
“I am writing to request removal of outdated information in the Knowledge Graph displayed on “website URL”. The exact URL where the outdated information is displayed is “page title”. This data appears in large text below a search result.”
This process can take anywhere from one day to several months depending on how busy Google is and how quickly they can process the request. However, keep in mind that the more often you request this type of change for an outdated listing (even if it’s not yours), the less likely they are to help you since it could make them look bad if too many people use their site this way.
While getting negative reviews removed from Google is possible, it’s best not to count on it . Instead, focus on generating new content and building your online presence so new visitors see your best side before reading any negative comments left by a few disgruntled individuals.
Check out our article on How To Handle Negative Reviews and reach out if you have any questions!