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Unranking a Page - Reputation Management SEO

     
11:33 am on Jan 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Morning,

I have been given a task by my boss to unrank a page on the HSE website.

Basically in 2004 our client breached an act or regulation that caused them to be listed. We never got into details, just that something was breached and they found themselves on the HSE register of enforcement notices for 5 years, which is then moved onto a public register of notices for a further 5 years. They are in an industry where there are very strict regulations.

So fast-forward to today. If you type in our clients brand on Google the HSE website shows just below them with the breach on the page that is ranking. Our client has noticed and asked us if there is anything we can do about it as they are saying that it is quite damaging when people are looking for their brand and then clicking onto the HSE website and finding the 2004 breach.

Our client emailed HSE asking why this notice hasn't been removed. They replied stating that it could be removed in the near future but they do not have control over what information is displayed by internet related searches.

Now we are talking about the .gov.uk website and I said to my boss the only way I can think of is by trying to get profile business listings ranked above that specific page, but it may not be easy and is a lot of work.

Basically I am being asked to get a page to go in the other direction (down). Has anyone ever been given a task like this before, and if so, how did you handle it?

Thanks in advance
TD
2:40 pm on Jan 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Why not use the right to be forgotten process and have the link removed?
5:01 pm on Jan 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm often asked to do this. Most of the time I decline because the clients tend not to change their troublesome business behavior. I don't like working for those types of clients and if I took the money they would probably sabotage my efforts by screwing up again and getting another negative story ranking in the top ten.

Let's say this is the exception and they are awesome people who had an innocent mistake that just won't disappear. Start by looking for their name mentioned elsewhere on the bad publicity domain. Then try to rank that page with a neutral or positive mention of them. Often this will cause Google to swap out the negative url with the neutral or positive url that you are now pumping up in the rankings because Google tends not to like too many results from a single domain.

If that doesn't work, then you need to start pumping up 9 other websites so the bad publicity falls to the second page of the serps. This will require much more money and resources but it is achievable. I like to launch a few new minsite EMDs. If the company is making donations, have them launch a new site for their charitable giving. These minisites won't really rank for anything but the company name which is what we want.

If you are considering SEO sabotage, think twice. Many people new to SEO sabotage do it wrong and this could result in making the negative publicity url stronger in the rankings.

Bottom line - it is not the easiest of projects and most of the people that ask for this help are not the people you want to deal with. If you go down this path make sure expectations are clear and payment terms are solid.
9:25 pm on Jan 30, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I was asked to do this once for a client made front page local news and TV with a high profile arrest and perp walk. I declined. There's no easy way to convince a client (however reasonable they are) of how much time and work is involved, and it's almost impossible to convince them you aren't gouging or taking advantage when you quote them what the effort is really worth.

Even if I'd wanted to do it (which I didn't) - he'd have plotzed if I'd told him what I'd charge.
2:00 pm on Jan 31, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Trouble is that a gov site is going to have "authority". A bad review could be gradually buried by later good reviews but this will keep floating to the top.
11:42 am on Feb 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hi, thanks for the replies..

Isn't the right to be forgotten ruling for individuals only? Have brands used it, or something similar?

I think the problem, as stated, is that the domain is very high authority and it will be lingering around until the page has been taken down.

I have recently found out that they have lost a contract because of this HSE listing, which brought it to their attention. It was a listing from their mistakes in 2004 and they have had no negative reviews since, so it could have purely been bad luck. They are in the asbestos removal industry with a lot of strict safety regulations.

Unfortunately I cannot decline this job as this is in my bosses hands, not my own (much to my dismay).

I'll figure something out :o)

TD
12:26 pm on Feb 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've done similar to this in past for existing clients. I focus on something that goodroi mentioned and tend to work on getting 9 other pages ranking and pushing the offending article onto page 2 etc...
1:25 pm on Feb 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Do they address their history on their site? That might be the only way to really tackle it. Create a page explaining what happened, explaining it was ten years ago, what the company has done to come back, blah blah blah. You might have a shot that way if you can get that page to rank.
3:31 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm in luck, HSE took down the breach codes today. The page is still ranking for their brand name due to an older cache date but at least if they type in their brand name and land on that page there are no more breach codes. There is no mention whatsoever of their brand so I imagine when that pages cache date changes then the page should disappear in Google.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated...

TD
3:56 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Glad it was resolved.
Now we are talking about the .gov.uk website and I said to my boss the only way I can think of is by trying to get profile business listings ranked above that specific page, but it may not be easy and is a lot of work.

My response back would have been "you want me to get websites to rank in locations 2,3,4,5,6,7,8, 9 and 10 on the front page for a term?". Because that's what they're asking for :).

I remember years ago when Virante(?) or someone not only ranked on the first page for everything, but ranked it in order so that the first letters or words of each listing spelled something. That was cool.
4:44 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Situation appears to be resolved, however, another option would be for them to change their company name. A redirect on their home page will transfer a good portion of their incoming link value from the old site to the new. Also a good opportunity to completely rebrand and modernize their company/look.
5:45 pm on Feb 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Changing the company name is often not a good option. The existing consumers will still go to Google and type in the old company name which will show the negative pages. This tends to only help with brand new customers that haven't been exposed to your old brand. Not to mention the headaches/cost involved with rebranding a company.
1:25 pm on Feb 27, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

I read you post and come to know that one of your client has negative links in Google search results.Best action accoding to Google perspective is that either contact website webmaster where negative information showed and convinced them to remove the information.
Second option is to push down negative links on search results with web content that shows your reputation in a positive light.Here are few basic points to push down negative links.
1. Create relevant blogs and update them on regular basis.
2. Create strong business profiles on websites like cruchbase,vator and lot more.
4. Grow your social media network
If you are failed to do it yourself then you can consult with ORM experts.

<snip>

Thanks

[edited by: goodroi at 2:08 pm (utc) on Feb 27, 2015]
 

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