Google Endorses Reputation Management, Says Stop Asking Them To Remove Content

Google already offers PPC advice and SEO advice. And now, with “Googling yourself” becoming a common part of the language, Google’s now offering reputation managament advice, too.

The actual advice is basic, to say the least: Create a Google Profile. Ask happy customers to review your business online. Publish positive content about yourself.

But it’s interesting to see Google offering tips about how to “get stuff that you want people to see to outperform the stuff you don’t want them to see.” Reputation management can sometimes be a hot-button issue — some people believe it’s unethical to create and optimize content for the express purpose of pushing negative content out of sight. Google’s endorsing it in today’s blog post, and offering suggestions for how to make it happen.

I also suspect, from reading the blog post, that Google is trying to do some pre-emptive customer service here. You can imagine the amount of emails (and perhaps phone calls) Google gets from people who are upset about what they see when they Google themselves. The blog post basically says, Would you stop asking us to clean up the search results mess you don’t like?

“Rather than immediately contacting Google, it’s important to first remove it from the site where it’s being published. Google doesn’t own the Internet; our search results simply reflect what’s already out there on the web.”

It’s probably not just emails and calls Google wants to stop. You may recall that they’ve been sued over “bad” listings appearing in the search results, too.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • ulistc

    Matt – while Google states, “our search results simply reflect what’s already out” the fact is that with new features like Google Sidewiki and Google Local Business – the reality is that Google is taking some ownership of the content on the internet. There are probably other examples too. When people using Google Toolbar are able to freely comment at a business marketing website and Google owns that data – I believe that the statement that Google only reflect what’s already out… is no longer true. Google is not a neutral observer.

    Cheers – David

  • nickstamoulis

    Hi Matt,
    This is interesting indeed. I agree and think that Google mentioned this do decrease the vast amount of complaint emails they receive regarding personal and business rep management issues. Proactive reputation management is very important, being active online where your interests lay (personal or business). Often too many times people wait until it is too late and either their online reputation is tarnished or the loss of business from the negative listings impacts their sales.

    Often too many times the rep management issues are real and are due to a poor business practice or personal legal issue that has hit the local newspapers. I think there is a difference between slander and true happenings that affect an online reputation…anyway that is my 2 cents… :)

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