What are negative search results

Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world, racking up 63,000 searches per second and a whopping 2 trillion searches per year. When we have a question, odds are we’re going to Google to get our answer. It’s our directory and endless index of information on the world around us, and the people who are living in it – emphasis on people.   

Understanding Google when burying content

When you type something into a Google search and hit enter, you’re instantly directed to hundreds, thousands and millions of results, broken down into pages and text snippets linking you to external web pages that are in some way directly related to whatever it is you typed into Google. 

Google is a system of yellowpages, directing you to millions of page suggestions that could possibly answer your search term. Google does a lightspeed read of the web, and does it’s best to answer your question. Pretty amazing isn’t it?

Out of those 2 trillion searches a year, 750,000,000,000 will find their answer on the very first page of Google search results.

When someone types your name into Google, you can imagine how important that first page of search results is to your reputation. 

Source: Association of Internet Research Specialists 

Why is burying negative search results so important

What happens when you type your name into Google and you immediately see a link, or a few, to some very unfavorable and negative search results that could potentially tarnish your online reputation and stagger your success, and even sever your from important relationships and opportunities? 

Personal Reputation

  • Applying for a new job
  • Applying for a college admission
  • Personal networking
  • Exceeding in your career
  • Dating

Business Reputation 

  • Establishing your personal brand
  • Making new client relationships
  • Nurturing current client relationships
  • Business networking
  • Online reviews

Source: Moz

In this day and age, your online reputation is incredibly important to any working professional or business looking to succeed. Just as easy as it is for us to find information online, outside entities can create and publish content online that could be very harmful to one’s online reputation. 

Sometimes, things we post from years ago can somehow find their way back to current news, and be misconstrued and blown out of proportion into fake news.

Unfortunately, the internet is an open range for anyone with a wifi connection. Likes, tweets, posts, pictures, updates and soundbites can be twisted and turned into something that can very well turn into a serious matter and wreak detrimental havoc. 

What is a search term?

In order to be able to bury any negative online search results, you need to understand what your search term actually is. 

If you are interested in your personal search results, your search term will be your full name, or any name that people associate with your entity. If you are looking to work on your business’s search results, your search term will be your business name.

How Google understands search terms

Google reads your search term on the web and finds the most relatable sources that can be filtered to Google search results. The most prevalent and best performing articles will be at the top of your search when you hit enter, followed in descending order flowing down into the first page, second page, and so on.

The more your name is mentioned, the performance and optimization of the content, relevance and date published are all considered when Google chooses which articles to best match your search term, which in this case is your name or business. This is also known as SEO or search engine optimization. 

How to bury negative search results

Now that we know how pages and search results are ranked, we can now grasp how to create our own content based on Google’s guidelines to help bury, suppress and push down those links to negative results. 

Your mission is to take control over what Google is choosing to be the best result matches for your name or business. In order to do that, there are several helpful ways to create new avenues of information for search engines to read and create new matches between results on the web and your search term.

Remove unfavorable results if possible

I know we’re talking about burying and suppressing negative content, but it’s important to consider the ability to remove any outdated or unfavorable images, posts, links, comments, tweets, etc. that might read as a supporting document for any negative results. 

For example, if you are trying to clean up your online image results, it’s in your best interest to go through all of your social media accounts and make sure there are no pictures that could be misconstrued to support a result that might paint you in a bad light.

Perhaps someone posted several pictures of you from a night out where you had a little too much fun. Now those pictures are circulating and getting more views, and before you know it they’re on your first page of Google results.

The more eyes on the article, the higher it will rank. That’s not always a good thing when those eyes are on something you don’t necessarily want people seeing. When in doubt delete it if you can.

Utilize social media accounts

Speaking of social media, creating and updating social media accounts can also be a great tool in suppressing negative search results. The more accounts you create, the more avenues you build to create a network for yourself.

The most important aspect of utilizing social media is to fill out your profiles fully and truthfully, incorporate your search term throughout that profile, and use it to your advantage based on your own interests, hobbies and topics you are knowledgeable in.

A few platforms to consider: 

  • Linkedin
  • Facebook 
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram 

Make your own website

Now this might seem daunting at first, but it’s not as scary as you might think. Building a website for yourself is an incredible way to publish rich text that incorporates your search term throughout the site, telling Google “hey, this is really what [insert name] is all about. This is who they are, what they do, this is their past work, these are their interests, and this is how you can contact them.”

Creating your own website puts the pen back in your hand, and allows you to be the writer. It’s an easy way to show off a bit, so don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. 

There are some very user friendly website builders out there, like Squarespace. Website builders like Squarespace makes creating a website easy with predesigned templates and layouts to choose from. All you have to do is add text and images and you’re on your way. Just make sure your url contains your search term! 

Start a blog

Just like a website, a blog is also an easy way to get your name out there and offer up some fresh content. Keep your blog SEO friendly, and associate positive key terms with your search term. 

This can actually be pretty enjoyable, it gives you an outlet to write about the things that interest you, or things you know a lot about and could possibly help others by sharing some valuable insight on it.   

Create a network for yourself

Now that you’ve got a handful of social media accounts, and a beautiful new website showcasing you and your talents, it’s time to tie it all together and create a network. 

The idea is to cross reference yourself to build up the authority and SEO of the platforms. In your posts, tweets, pages and blogs, try linking interchangeably to your other accounts. This will boost each site’s performance, and help them to rank higher and higher on Google. 

Make your own press release

Creating a press release for yourself and getting it shared on and outside web source other than one of the accounts you own will give you outside linking and validity to your own accounts. 

When an outside credible source links to one of your sites, Google will read that as a friend vouching for you. The more friends you have vouching for you, Google will begin to read your sites as more meaningful than any fake news, and ultimately bury your negative search results.  

Stay consistent

Lastly, it’s important to stay consistent and post regularly on your social accounts and blog. You want to avoid coming off as “spammy,” so just do your best to stay truthful and look at it as a way to take back control over your own personal brand. It might take some time, but in the end the secret to success is constancy of purpose. 

When to get a professional involved

If you’ve exhausted all options, or simply just don’t have the time, hiring a trained professional to help you gain control over your online reputation is an honorable decision for someone who takes their success seriously. Put you mind at ease and take refuge knowing Reputation911 puts their reputation on the line to save yours.