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Need Some Help Concerning Old/bad Listings For A Specific Search Term


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9 replies to this topic

#1 josh1r

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:42 PM

Hi all.  I wasn't sure what category to put this in, but I really need your help.

 

A company that I know (but don't want to mention at this time as I don't want any of this post showing up on Google) has asked me for assistance.  

 

This is a relatively small, local company in which many/most of its customers (who are local to area) will search Google for the company name either to simply find the website or just get basic information (a somewhat similar example, and I'm using a totally made up name, would be a local day care facility called 'Sunny Daze Day Care', where someone recommended it to you so you typed in 'Sunny Daze Day Care' to see what came up.)  

 

What is happening to 'my' company is that when someone searches Google for the company name, their website comes up first, Google+ comes up next, and then their Facebook page 3rd (all fine of course).  

 

However, the next 2 results (and I know it can fluctuate but for me has been steady the past few days, and for at least a few days before that other people were noticing this as well), are articles from a major newspaper (like the NY Times, but not the NY Times) from nearly 4 years ago, both concerning a very negative topic (which, by the way, has since been proven false).  

 

Using Sunny Daze example, it would be as if you searched for Sunny Daze Day Care and saw its website, facebook page, and then twitter page, but then the next 2 results were from the NY Times 4 years ago about something bad that may have happened at Sunny Daze (but was since proven to not have happened).  I assume because there are relatively few pages concerning my company (or Sunny Daze) and the major newspapers carry a lot of weight, these stories are showing up so high.  

 

Nobody is certain how long these 2 links have been present, or why they are still (or suddenly) showing up given how old (and no longer relevant) they are.  It would be one thing if it was 4 years ago and the articles were showing up, but a lot of time has passed and the issue has gone away, so why are these links so high up in the results?

 

So my questions are:

  1. Is there a way to find out how long those 2 links have been showing up in the top search results?
  2. Is there are specific company (or kind of company) you recommend for assistance with this (I'm thinking some sort of 'traditional' PR company that also handles online PR/marketing, but that has a good 'crisis management' division, or something like that... 
  3. Is there anything you recommend we do on our own (me helping or just the company itself) to try and push up other search results so that the 2 old/negative links falls farther down?  Given that it's a small local company (with under 6,000 Google results when searching the company name in "  "), might it be easy enough to put out some press releases, try to get mentioned in local newspapers, other local websites or yellow pages type listings, local blogs, day care forums/review sites in the case of the example,  etc... and then have those results jump to the top and push the bad links down?  We're not trying to get top rankings for something like "used cars", we would simply be trying to get more rankings for something like "Sunny Daze Day Care" which, again, doesn't have that many search results in Google.

Thank you for any thoughts and sorry I can't be more specific but, as mentioned above, I don't want this page showing up the search results for the company name...

 

 



#2 Jill

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:56 PM

Online reputation management is what you're looking for (ORM). But don't count on those listings disappearing, necessarily. Google actually wants/likes to show diversity in the search results. 



#3 josh1r

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:07 PM

Online reputation management is what you're looking for (ORM). But don't count on those listings disappearing, necessarily. Google actually wants/likes to show diversity in the search results. 

 

Thanks for the info Jill.  I will do some research on that type of company.

 

If anyone wants to provide me (via PM) with any suggestions (if that's allowed) it would be much appreciated.



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:58 PM

1: No

 

2: There are some 'companies'  that will take money off you, and tell you they they will 'fix it', while in reality there is nothing they can really do.

 

3: Stop thinking that everybody sees the same results as you do.


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#5 josh1r

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 01:31 PM

Thanks again for the info everybody.  I'd like to ask a simple (not really) follow-up:

 

what would you do if you were me/the company with the 'problem'?

 

For example, if a search of highrankings forum had highrankings.com at #1, but 4th and 5th (generally above the fold) were some very negative stories from the NY Times (for example), and those listings had been there for months with no sign of them moving down/going away, would you do anything at all?  What if you had noticed a decrease in your traffic/conversions coinciding with these negative stories popping up?

 

Thanks again!



#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:28 PM

Thanks again for the info everybody.  I'd like to ask a simple (not really) follow-up:

 

what would you do if you were me/the company with the 'problem'?

 

 

I have lived through three poison pen campaigns conducted through search results.  None of them, so far as I know, have ever led to people not doing business with me.

 

I did virtually nothing about the attack articles.  One of them is still there in an important query.

 

Take that for what it's worth.



#7 josh1r

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:31 PM

 

I have lived through three poison pen campaigns conducted through search results.  None of them, so far as I know, have ever led to people not doing business with me.

 

I did virtually nothing about the attack articles.  One of them is still there in an important query.

 

Take that for what it's worth.

Thanks for the feedback.  Just to clarify, these aren't 'poison pen campaigns' (I don't think), these were, at the time, legitimate news stories.  But they are now several years old and were proven false.  The problem here is that the company is childcare-related so anything as negative as these stories immediately puts a bad notion in a parent's head...



#8 Michael Martinez

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for the feedback.  Just to clarify, these aren't 'poison pen campaigns' (I don't think), these were, at the time, legitimate news stories.  But they are now several years old and were proven false.  The problem here is that the company is childcare-related so anything as negative as these stories immediately puts a bad notion in a parent's head...

 

I understand your (and your client's) concern.  I was falsely accused of blackmailing people (perhaps due to a case of mistaken identity, but that's too long a tale here).

 

Just a few days ago someone sent me an email asking me to remove an article from one of my sites because it appears in search results when people search on his company's name.  My article has nothing to do with his company and he acknowledged that, but he said that a few people have raised the issue with him (my article discusses some unethical behavior).

 

I can see how people may lose business from incorrect content being published.  But that's not something you can control.  What I feel works best is putting your effort into showing people what you do in the best, most reasonable way.

 

Reputations aren't built in a day.  They are built continually.  Your client may be able to reach out to other organizations and develop some community-related ideas that lead to new press coverage.  I would focus on that.

 

I once had a reputation management client whose staff kept demanding that I come up with a strategy to push down all the bad news.  I finally sat down and said to them, "Look, if you want all that bad stuff to go away tell your boss to give $1 million to charity and it WILL do the job."

 

Whether he listened to me or already had that in mind, that is exactly what the guy did and sure enough his bad press problem stopped being an issue.

 

Saving babies from runaway trains works miracles in reputation management.  You just have to figure out how and when to do that.



#9 josh1r

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:48 PM

 

Reputations aren't built in a day.  They are built continually.  Your client may be able to reach out to other organizations and develop some community-related ideas that lead to new press coverage.  I would focus on that.

 

I once had a reputation management client whose staff kept demanding that I come up with a strategy to push down all the bad news.  I finally sat down and said to them, "Look, if you want all that bad stuff to go away tell your boss to give $1 million to charity and it WILL do the job."

 

Whether he listened to me or already had that in mind, that is exactly what the guy did and sure enough his bad press problem stopped being an issue.

 

Saving babies from runaway trains works miracles in reputation management.  You just have to figure out how and when to do that.

 

Thanks so much for the further thoughts!  I was starting to think along these lines as well and I think it's probably their best bet.

 

Thanks again.



#10 chrishirst

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 03:16 PM

You are aware that if real people find nothing but glowing reports they will be less likely to trust the 'reviews'.

 

EVERYBODY gets it 'wrong' sometimes, it's how you deal with getting it wrong that counts with prospective customer. Trying to hide mistakes makes people believe the 'bad stuff' even more readily.

 

Declare your mistakes AND the steps you took to ensure it doesn't happen again. Life and business is a constant learning path, No one learns from getting it right every time.






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