Why It’s So Hard to Get Rid of Negative News Articles on Google (and How to Do It Better)
If you’ve ever Googled yourself to check on your online reputation, or even searched with another engine like Yahoo! or Bing, you may have noticed something – those pesky negatives articles from news sources (even tiny unreliable sources like a badly managed small town newspaper) seem to stick in the same place on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) no matter what.
Why? The answer is simple, and once you understand the problem you’ll have a better idea what you can do about it.
Google and the other major search engines exist for one reason: to bring their users the content they want as fast as possible. I’m sure you know by now that each of these search engines has a complex algorithm to determine what pieces of web content are relevant to a user’s search, but there may be some things about those algorithms you don’t yet know.
To get so many results to users so quickly, each major search engine’s algorithm has a couple shortcuts built in. These shortcuts are designed to put the content Google and other search engine users want the most at the front of the pile, faster than a speeding bullet.
What kinds of information and other content does Google prioritize? Often things such as Wikipedia, major social media sites, and news take up the top half of a Google SERP for a person or business name. But why is this?
First it’s important to note that the traffic on all of those sites is extremely high. Even small, local news sites get huge amounts of traffic compared to businesses or blogs based in the same areas.
Secondly, it’s by design. According to this great list of techniques to rank higher on Google, sites like those run by news organizations almost automatically hit all of the right buttons when it comes to search engines.
In addition to high traffic, they boast a high volume of relatively meaningful and relevant content, and also usually have a ton of internal and external links boosting their page ranking.
All of this taken together could explain why some bad news regarding you or your business is still haunting you, sometimes even years later. But what’s more important than understanding why this problem exists is understanding how to beat it.
Remember this: news is time-sensitive. However, because Google may not have any new news articles on you or your business in its index, those old articles will keep showing up. The solution to this problem is simple, though it’s often hard to implement: you have to create new news that shows you and your business in a more positive or at least neutral light to push those old negative articles to the back pages where they belong.
This is actually one of the main techniques our staff uses to improve our clients’ reputations so quickly: by crafting professional, well-written press releases that we send to our various contacts in the news industry.
Getting yourself in the news for a good thing is never easy – especially considering how much people love to read bad news – but it can be one of the best investments you make in terms of your internet reputation.