If you have scrolled through the news lately, you have probably seen some pretty shockingly negative news articles…
“Local Man Accused…”
“Neighborhood Business Owner Indicted…”
“Arrest Made in Neighborhood Sting Operation…”
These are some of the types of headlines you might find in your local news section. Anyone that has had the misfortune of finding their name featured in a negative news article will know the feeling of helplessness.
You might immediately have the fight-or-flight response. Should you leave town or change your name?
Wait just one minute… This is just one side of the story. Your story.
One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘how to remove negative news articles from Google search.’
Let’s discuss some ways you can remove a negative news article from the internet.
Have you ever heard of the news cycle? Once a news article is published, the next edition is not published until approximately twenty-four hours after the previous edition was released. A news cycle is a one-day time period between each daily edition. The term was originally associated with newspapers but is now used in all forms of news distribution.
Once the next news cycle is published, this should wash away any negative news about my name, right?
The short answer is, no.
According to Google Trends, the average “big story” lasts about 7 days before the public moves on to the next shocking headline. However, if you are like everyone else, you don’t get news published about you every day. So, unfortunately, this will be the most important thing that Google has to show for your name until something new is published.
Unlike physical news articles that would disappear the next day of recycling, internet news articles will typically stay online unless it is necessary to take them down. You must take proactive steps to remove the news article from the internet.
Most newspapers don’t even know their story is negatively affecting your life. Most wouldn’t care even if they did.
When someone gets found not guilty or some new update to the article comes to life, most reputable publishers will update or remove the story. However, they have no legal obligation.
This is not something that should be counted on as your solution to remove a negative news article.
A published paper cannot be removed from a website/database unless there is a serious flaw. In this case, it is called being retracted. A corrigendum is used to correct minor errors.
The only way to remove an article from the internet completely is if the publisher removes it. The editor will have the final say over what is published or removed from their newspaper. Don’t waste your time contacting the reporter that wrote the article as they will have to get approval.
Online newspapers will usually not remove any article from their websites, but this is the only way to fully remove a news article from the internet. Editors are used to getting numerous requests to remove embarrassing articles from their websites. Most will take the stance that they do not remove any articles.
Dear (Editor name),
I am reaching out regarding an article that was published in (date). An unfortunate event that truly turned my life upside down.
Please see the link to the article below:
(Insert article link)
Everyone who was both directly or indirectly involved is still recovering from the stress that this article has caused and we are all trying to put this unfortunate event behind us.
I would like to request that you please remove the article from your website so that everyone involved can continue with their lives without the dark shadow that this story casts over all of us.
I am confident that you will make the right choice and allow us to progress forward after completing a long road to vindication.
It is important to develop a strategy for removal before contacting the editor. If the publisher refuses to remove the article, you should suppress the articles in search results.
In the case you locate some misinformation, you can demand a retraction. A retraction won't affect the quality of the previously published works. However, if the citation patterns change, it could indicate that the retraction has affected the reputation of the researcher.
If the website refuses to remove the article, the editor can add a no-index tag to the post or any images that are showing up in search results. The no-index tag will allow the article to remain on their website but it will not show up in search.
You can block a page or another resource from appearing in Google Search if you include a noindex header or meta tag in the HTTP response.
To prevent most search engines from indexing a page on your site, place the following meta tag into the <head> section of your page:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex">
To prevent only Google web crawlers from indexing a page:
<meta name="googlebot" content="noindex">
A no-index tag is a good alternative for publishers to keep their journalistic integrity while still accommodating the victim of the negative news article.
There are limited cases in which Google may remove links to the information from Google Search. If you believe your request meets the requirements in that article, you can make a removal request as directed in the article.
Google also removes content for specific legal reasons, such as DMCA copyright violation reports and child sexual abuse imagery.
Collect all the information that will help Google make a decision and file a report.
The decision to file a lawsuit can be a very serious one. The defamation case against the news outlet will be dismissed if the statement is proven to be true. Worse, the lawsuit could make the truth of the statement public, leading to more negative publicity.
These concerns are particularly strong when the publisher is a major news outlet. The press has many legal protections that are not available to other organizations. Larger news outlets also have additional resources to fight the lawsuit than a smaller news outlet will have.
A cease and desist letter will sometimes be enough to convince the publisher to remove the negative information. However, if the cease and desist letter is ignored, a court order is often the next step.
Requests for the removal of content are often accompanied by court orders to support their claims. These court orders do not result in action taken by Google in many cases, according to their transparency report.
After you have received your court order to remove content, you can submit it to Google to begin the removal process.
The decision to remove a negative news article from Google is more likely if the statement in question is not a crucial piece of the story. A subtle change in wording can result in the article no longer showing up for your name in Google search results.
Reputation management companies have experience working with editors and Google to get negative news articles removed. This is a great solution for people who don’t have the time or resources to focus on successful removal.
A reputation management company can work directly with the publisher to get an online news article removed.
The effect of a negative news article can have a big impact on your company and personal reputation. Getting the content removed quickly is essential.
If you have found a negative news article has been published about you, contact us today for a FREE consultation. We will provide a detailed strategy to repair your online reputation fast.