5 Smart Steps to Bury Negative Online Content

Emma Grant

Head of SEO

Results-driven Emma heads up our SEO team. A champion of best-practice SEO strategies for search engine success that lasts and delivers best value, Emma’s work focuses on boosting clients’ online visibility with the ultimate goal of increasing sales. Emma applies her extensive skill and experience to create strategies that pay off quickly for faster results. She knows precisely what to do to reduce clients’ paid ad spends for greater profits, and how to boost organic leads for better long term return on investment. After close of business, when she’s not organising exciting travel adventures, you may hear Emma strumming classical guitar tunes or working on her jazz riffs.

How to Bury Negative Online Content

In an ideal world, it would be possible to make a request to remove any out of date, unfair or negative material that’s damaging the online reputation of an individual or a business, or both. But in reality, most online content is not going anywhere, unless there are special circumstances in which an order can be made to remove it.

From unfounded allegations to malicious comments and dropped charges, there are plenty of people who have found themselves the victims of unfounded and unfair online content. And when that content has a negative impact on a business, the ramifications can be devastating.

The issue is that there is no law in place that allows anyone to force a publisher to take down content, even if it’s outdated. You may be able to get a court order to have unlawful content removed, but this can be a long and costly process.

The best advice is to take steps to remove what you can; by all means try asking for outdated stories to be un-published. But as for the rest, the most effective course of action is to bury it under positive content. So, how do you do that?

How to bury bad content with something good

There are a few tactics you can use to boost up your positive content and tip the search results in your favour, so that anything bad gets pushed down.

1. Create and manage online profiles

There are a number of websites that naturally appear at the top of the results when searching for people or businesses. The simple action of creating a profile for you or your business will help to suppress negative results in favour of your new listings.

Be sure to set your privacy settings to public, and only post content that you know will stand the test of time. The likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora and Reddit are all good places to start.

2. Post online comments

Publicly commenting on the likes of online news articles, blogs, social media posts and forum postings under your name or the name of your business (whichever is in contention), will also help push any negative content further down the search results.

Whilst these types of posts won’t necessarily rank as well as the platforms in our first tip, they will cumulatively add to the volume of positive content that will eventually outweigh the negative.

Based on the fact that anything you say online is likely to show up when someone Googles you or your business, you can use your posts to your benefit. Be sure to comment with expertise and authority, be helpful and be professional. Double check your grammar and spelling, because it’s all got to be perfect to help shape your positive reputation.

3. Publish online press releases

Whatever news you have, write a press release about it, and publish it online. If it’s a particularly newsworthy story, such as an award win, promotion or major client acquisition, you could take it a step further and pay for a press wire service such as PR Fire or EIN Presswire. Alternatively, you can use a free self-publishing press release platform like PR Log.

Newly posted press releases tend to rank quite well, and paid press wire services also share the releases across their social media platforms too, giving your positive press even more fuel to rank above anything negative.

How to bury negative content

Newly posted press releases can rank well, so will help to push negative content down the rankings.

4. Interlink your online platforms

Google uses inbound links to determine where a website should rank in the search results. The more links coming into a piece of content, the higher it will rank.

You can help boost your inbound links by linking to your content yourself via your social platforms. Interlinking all your platforms is a great way to do this, as is sharing positive content that bears yours or your business name.

The more you use your accounts and interact online, the better chance you have of other people linking to your content too, driving your positive results up the rankings even more.

5. Play the word association game

It may be that a search for your name or business name is generally positive, but when it’s combined with another word, that’s when the problem search results start.

Say for example a search for ‘John Smith’ is positive, but ‘John Smith Landscape Gardener’ brings up negative results.

If you start using the full phrase in your positive content, then it will eventually be associated with a good reputation.

Looking to boost your online reputation?

If you could use some help boosting your online visibility, reputation and authority, talk to Figment, a renewal Digital marketing agency. We’ve been working with businesses throughout Surrey and London for several years, helping them grow through strategic SEO campaigns. We’d be delighted to do the same for you.

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