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:
- Is there a way to find out how long those 2 links have been showing up in the top search results?
- 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...
- 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...