Top 8 Reasons to remove Negative Content Online

Image courtesy: Yan Krukov

Unwanted, defamatory or negative online content which someone may have posted about you in the form of images, videos, or more commonly, textual content – can be very damaging to your online reputation because such content tends to rank high on Google. 

For individuals especially, negative content can adversely impact both their personal and professional reputation, and in some cases, cause irrecoverable damage. 

In that light, here are top eight reasons to take down negative content online without delays:

Google controls over 90% of search engine traffic 

What people find about you on Google can not only impact their perception and first impression but also their decision to do business with you or approach you as the “go-to” person for their specific problem. If they come across anything negative, then pretty unlikely they’d approach you for any kind of professional assistance!

In addition, Google controls 93% of all search engine traffic. Factor that in, and also the fact that 90% of people will immediately form a first impression about you when they see your name pop up on the first page of Google. There’s no second opinions or second chances to impress prospects – if those results have negative content, it can spell doom for your reputation. 

Also important to know is that 64% of online searchers trust Google search results during their research – it’s easy to see why you must remove any negative content that pops up. 

Negative articles appearing on Google can cost you financially

Whether you’re working as a one-person show or with other businesses and brands, your personal reputation is something which can bring in high levels of revenue every year. And when you rely on something like your personal reputation online to bring in a high level of sales and revenue, you just can’t afford to have any negative content show up on Google’s first page. 

Did you know that the first ten results on Google’s page #1 can receive up to 91% of all search engine traffic? Furthermore, if the average clickthrough rate for a negative headline is 63% greater than its positive counterpart – then what does that mean for your personal reputation?

If you are working in a senior corporate position or even if your personal reputation is something which brings in the majority of your revenue, then any kind of bad press or personal reputation crisis will make your credibility sink. In a worst-case scenario, those negative comments or bad press can ruin not just you but the business or source of livelihood you’re focused on. In addition to lost revenue and a ruined reputation, any future opportunities might also get lost in the mix. 

News spreads – negative content has a snowballing effect  

The best thing to relate this to, is how rumours spread. It starts harmlessly from one person, who passes it on to another, and so on. Eventually, the entire community buys into the rumour, and it doesn’t matter if it’s even true or not to begin with. Add to that social media, and you have an uncontrollable wildfire. 

But that’s not all – things can often take a turn for the worse due to certain people “twisting” and meddling with the facts along the way. The end result may be far from reality, but the news has already spread. 

In the online world, it pretty much starts off on a fairly harmless note: a negative article about you. But this tends to have a snowball effect, if you will, because it sets the tone for the publication of other negative content – and one thing leads to another – you get the idea. 

Ideally, the moment you see any kind of negative news surface about you on the internet, deal with it immediately and put a stop to it before it snowballs into something that swallows your reputation almost overnight, in some cases. 

It can seriously harm client relations

The day your hard-earned clients are exposed to any kind of negative content in relation to who you are or what you do, it can cause irreparable damage to existing relations, as they will lose faith and trust in you. This can be especially detrimental if you just started growing your reputation and credibility online. 

So ultimately, if you want to expand your consumer base by retaining existing relations and continuing to engage prospects, you need to have a mechanism in place by which you can ensure that there’s only positive news and accounts about you on the internet or what you do. 

It can tarnish your online reputation (often permanently)

Any individual or business who has had the displeasure of having negative content published about them, will tell you that it will dissuade your audience from ever choosing your products and services – even if there’s little to no truth to the negative content. 

In the digital space where each one of your target audience members has access to mobile internet, you need to do whatever possible to assure them that you’re extending a quality service, and that you are a credible source for extending that service. Therefore, positive SEO or reputation management may not be enough – you’ll have to remove the negative content entirely. 

It can cause a lot of headhunting and recruitment difficulties

Have you ever been in one of those situations where a client refused your services at the last moment or a jobseeker that you wanted to be a part of your setup turned down the offer at the last minute?

Well, you might be tempted to believe that they simply got a better job offer – in truth, the individual may have come across a negative review about you on a discussion board, an article or even the job recruitment site he/she applied through!

Approximately 70% jobseekers read Glassdoor reviews before deciding to work with an individual or company. Even though there may be a small chance that the opinions on these review platforms may be false, biased or misleading, they will still affect a prospect’s perception of you. So, you’re looking at a lot of headhunting and/or recruitment difficulties. 

Whether the accusations and negative reviews are true or not is irrelevant – they can cause strained relationships with your current employees and business partners as well, and you have enough to deal with as it is. So, it’s imperative that you take down the negative content to avoid unnecessary recruitment complications.

‘Broadcasted’ negative articles gain momentum quickly (wreaking havoc on your reputation)

A negative article about you – the moment it is published online – will get a lot of social network attention and may be shared across different social media platforms within minutes, if not seconds. And, you can bet that it will be enough to bring an otherwise rock-solid reputation and public image crashing down. 

People are more likely to click on negative articles, it’s that simple (discussed in more detail below). And, people are far more likely to broadcast these negative articles than positive ones. In fact, broadcasted articles tend to increase topic density – the way Google’s search algorithm is designed, it can understand and create associations between different text entities, which are reinforced by millions of text pieces found on the internet. 

What this means is that if a high profile media company, blogger or journalist writes negatively about you, other media sources may follow suit and syndicate that negative content – creating a network of sorts to reinforce the negative story. As you can imagine, articles like these can quickly find their way to the top of Google’s first page of search results, especially when they are continually published by trusted websites. 

People are more likely to click on negative reviews than positive ones

Just to further add from the previous point, people love (truly love) propagating negative content. Some believe that they have a duty to keep with the online community at large, by disclosing every piece of negative news. After all, we have people who do pretty much the same in real life, don’t we? 

It doesn’t even matter if that news is true or not, some people are just naturally curious about negative news and feel that they are obliged to share it with as many people as possible. Look at it this way: are you more likely to share a negative customer service experience with your loved ones and friends, or a positive one? Exactly… 

Next steps:

Get rid of that negative content and reviews ASAP by contacting Balanced Media!


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