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How to Remove Negative Search Results from Google?

Posted on

May 17, 2024

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Removing negative, bad, or unwanted search results from Google and search engines alike is a tricky process.

There are two ways to successfully remove negative search results – the first one is when the search results violate the Google’s Content Policies. In this case, you can report this content and request for removal from Google SERPs.

The second way is to delete the content from the sites on which it is published. After deletion, the content will be automatically removed from Google SERPs. However, there’s a catch – this way only works if you own the content, are the administrator, and are in full control of it.

But what if the Google search results that you want to remove do not violate any of the content policies, and you are the sole owner of the content?

Well, let’s find out.

How to Remove Negative Search Results from Google?

To remove negative search results from Google, follow these steps:

  1. Report with Google’s Online Forms
  2. Submit Individual Removal Requests
  3. Delete Content You Control
  4. Contact Third-Party Sites
  5. Seek Legal Help
  6. Suppress Negative Content

1. Report Negative Content Using Online Forms Provided by Google

A very people know about this, but Google provides an option of removal of web results from their search.

For the same, they have some online forms – each one of them dedicated to the type of content that you want to be removed. Here’s a rundown on the type of content/search results that you can report and get removed:

negative content search results that Google allow to remove

                                                                        Image Credit: Google

Here’s the online form that you can use to start removal request and report negative content on Google:

content removal form by Google for negative search results

                                                                          Image Credit: Google

So, after you submit a removal request:

  • You will get an email conformation of the same
  • Google will review your request
  • They will ask for more info if required
  • They will notify in case any action is taken

What happens is that Google does its checks and sees whether the content is eligible for removal under its policies or not. If it is, then they will remove the search result from their SERPs. If not, they will reply to you with a brief explanation related to it.

2. Submit Content Removal Requests Individually on the SERPs

Bad search results can also be removed individually via the SERPs. Here’s a step-by-step process to do it:

  1. Search the keyword on which negative search results are appearing on Google.

search the keyword on which negative Google search result is appearing                                                                             Image Credit: Google

      2. Click on the three-dotted menu to the right of the search result. A sidebar on the right side will open, which will have “remove result” option. Click on it.

click on three-dotted menu and remove result                                                                        Image Credit: Google

      3. Next, select the reason behind you requesting removal of the search result.

select the reason due to which you want to remove the negative search result                                                                         Image Credit: Google

      4. Add further related such as name and contact info.

add your details such as contact and name                                                                       Image Credit: Google

      5. Finally, click on send request.

click on send removal request                                                                       Image Credit: Google

      6. Your request will be sent. Also, you’ll be provided with an option to see your previous removal requests.

removal request sent successfully                                                                       Image Credit: Google

Like in the online forms, Google will send you an email notification when the request is submitted. Again, it will review and ask for more info if required. In the end, whatever their decision will be, they notify you of the same.

3. Delete Negative Content that You Own and Control

You may not realize but you may have control over some content that appears in the Google search results.

Your old social media posts, blogs written and published by you, other social profiles, and unwanted accounts that you don’t want to show up in the SERPs can be deleted if you have access to their admin end and have ownership control of them.

So, just go to the website or platform where the content is being hosted, log into your account, and delete the posts that are hurting your personal reputation.

While it may take time for those results to get completely removed from the search results page, eventually you will be able to get rid of them, ultimately cleaning up your online reputation.

A bonus tip here is to check and set the privacy settings on all the content you own on the internet. Limit the visibility of all the content. You can do this by going to the privacy settings of each account whether it’s your Google account, shopping site profiles, subscription accounts, or other social media profiles.

4. Contact Third-Party Sites to Remove Negative Content

So, what if there’s bad content related to you on sites that you can’t control? Well, to remove content from these third-party sites, you’ll have to reach out to the owners/webmasters of these sites.

To do that, visit the contact page of the respective website fill out the info, and put in a polite message there that explains the reason behind your request for removal.

If the contact form is not available on their site, try finding their email and contact them via mail.

In case, the owners of the third-party websites do not accept your request to remove unwanted content, then take legal help.

5. Take Legal Help to Get Unwanted Content Removed

So, Google online forms haven’t worked, manual SERP removal requests haven’t worked, deleting content is not possible, and third-party sites have also denied removing negative content.

Now what? You’ve got to go the legal way. Contact a lawyer who can help you with this issue. Tell em what’s the exact issue.

However, you must bear in mind that you can file a lawsuit against third-party sites or Google only if the grounds of the lawsuit are copyright infringement or a defamation attempt. Other than that, you might fail to prove the lawsuit.

6. Suppress Negative Search Results

To be honest, there are very rare instances when going legal helps in case of a bad online presence. The only option you are left with suppressing negative search results.

Suppressing, pushing down, or burying negative links on Google SERPs works because people do not scroll beyond the first page that much.

According to the latest 2024 study of Google SERP Click-Through-Rates, there are only 2.15% people who scroll beyond page 1 of Google and go to second page. And this number keeps going down when it comes to third page, fourth page, fifth page, and so on.

So, pushing down negative links makes sense. But how?

Well, for that, you’ll have to launch a negative link suppression campaign.

The purpose of this campaign is to create positive assets, blogs, articles, social profiles, and other type of positive content and promote it so that it can outrank the negative links on the search results page and eventually suppress them from page one to two to third to fourth and so on.

This strategy is effective, long-term, and eventually pushes down the negative content on Google.

Further Reading: How to Suppress Negative Search Results in 2024


How to get rid of negative search results?

To get rid of negative search results create positive content, SEO optimize the content, create social media profiles, engage on social media, get your content removed from third-party sites, take legal help, or get help from a reputation management company.

How to remove negative news articles from Google?

Removing negative news articles from Google involves contacting the source website and requesting them for removal. Another way is to use Google’s content removal option, but it will only work if it violates Google’s content policies. If any of it does not work, you’ll have to opt for content suppression tactics.

How to move search results down on Google?

To move search results down on Google, create high-quality, relevant content, and build authoritative backlinks to new or existing pages. Optimize for user intent and ensure technical SEO best practices are followed.

What are negative search engine results?

Negative search engine results are web pages or content that portray a person, business, or brand in an unfavorable light, often appearing prominently in search results and potentially harming reputation.


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