It’s a common misconception that once something is published online, it stays there permanently.
Luckily for those who have experienced online defamation, however, that’s not true. Harmful online content can absolutely be removed from the web without crossing any legal or ethical boundaries.
Reputation management companies specialize in getting content permanently removed from the web when it can potentially cause harm to a client’s reputation. Making content removal a priority can prevent a minor issue from turning into a full blown crisis.
Negative online content and targeted attacks can damage the reputations of brands and individuals, affecting their personal and professional lives.
Online privacy takes a backseat to freedom of speech in North America, unlike nations such as the European Union that have “Right to Be Forgotten” laws. This leaves everyone vulnerable to the serious effects of online defamation.
Businesses and individuals deserve to have their online presence protected. The services provided by reputation management companies can assist brands with removing damaging content, which allows clients to take back control of their online reputation.
Why Remove Online Content?
The longer a piece of negative content stays on the web, the more harmful it can become for those who are targeted. With each passing day, harmful content can become more visible in Google’s search results.
What people find when they search for the name of a brand or person will influence the perception of that brand or person’s reputation. If a query returns negative or damaging content, it won’t go away on its own over time.
Due to the nature of how word spreads online, when negative content doesn’t get addressed quickly, it only gets worse.
As long as the content remains discoverable, it can be picked up and linked to by larger publications, or spun and twisted into a story that paints the brand in an even worse light. For businesses, this can amount to a loss of sales and visibility, and for individuals, it can lead to damaged relationships and fewer job prospects.
Businesses and individuals can prevent negative content from making its way to the front page of Google’s SERPs by suppressing it with positive content. That involves publishing original content on a regular basis and ranking it using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
Suppression can effectively bury negative content, though permanent removal ensures the content won’t get found or seen regardless of how hard someone looks for it.
Reputation management companies like Guaranteed Removals specialize in both of these strategies to help mitigate online reputation damages. In many cases, SEO techniques work hand in hand with removals to permanently delete online content, while also creating new, positive content to populate search results.
What Are Your Options for Content Removal?
Businesses and individuals have several options for legally and ethically removing negative content.
That being said, attempting a removal on your own, without knowledge of what solutions to employ for each unique situation, could end up making matters worse.
That’s why reputation management companies, like Guaranteed Removals, offer services to help with going about content removal the right way. They have developed strategies and relationships within the industry to fight for the removal of content that negatively impacts their clients’ lives.
These strategies typically fall into two categories:
Reputation management companies build out detailed cases for content removal on their client’s behalf. From there, they contact the necessary people to fight for the removal of the content in question.
These strategies help convey to publications the negative impact their content has on people’s lives, the boundaries they have crossed, and why the content deserves to get removed.
Best of all, clients can sleep at night knowing the content was removed legally and ethically. In fact, in many cases, legal professionals assist with this process at no added cost to clients.
When publications don’t cooperate by removing content willingly, the next step is to get the content de-indexed from Google’s search results.
De-indexing means Google removes the content from its database so it can’t be found in searches. When content is de-indexed, it remains only accessible through a direct link. While it isn’t completely wiped from the web, the content does get permanently removed from Google Search.
Due to the prominence Google has in the search engine and online reputation landscape, Google de-indexation can have the same benefits as full-on removal.
Google typically only takes action and removes content that presents serious risks or specific harms, though they may make concessions for content containing sensitive information. Common situations where Google will take action by de-indexing content include intellectual property issues, invasion of privacy, defamation, and non-consensual explicit imagery.
With that said, getting Google to agree to de-index content isn’t an easy task, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process.
In addition to knowing the basics of who to contact and what to say, getting content de-indexed often requires a strategic, individualized approach. Reputation management companies specialize in developing these strategies to give their clients the best chance at a successful de-indexing.
When it comes to privacy, where you live can have a dramatic effect on your online rights.
The European Union, in stark contrast to North America, has a law called the “Right to Be Forgotten,” which is intended to prevent defamatory content from following people or brands around forever.
The Right to Be Forgotten law, which came into effect in 2014, gives European citizens the ability to demand that data about them gets deleted from the web. The law only applies to Europe, however, which means the content remains accessible in other parts of the world.
As of now, lawmakers have given people no reason to believe the policies in Europe will extend to North America, where the freedom of speech often takes precedence over the right to privacy. Unfortunately, the internet and social media have left people vulnerable to online attacks, and the effects are ruining people’s lives.
However, while the U.S. lags behind the European Union in these privacy rights, there are ways for individuals and businesses to fight back against damaging and defamatory content.
Control Your Online Reputation
Finding out that you’ve been targeted by defamatory, harmful content can leave you feeling vulnerable, especially when your government’s laws leave you with no legal recourse.
Fortunately, you do have options for dealing with harmful online content.
With expertise and experience, reputation management companies like Guaranteed Removals can help to navigate the content removal process, giving clients peace of mind by developing strategies for quickly and efficiently removing negative content.
Whether you’re an individual who wants to maintain their privacy or a business that needs to preserve their brand integrity, removing negative content is the first step toward taking control of your online narrative.