The art of removing negative search results | IQ SEO

The art of removing negative search results

Bury that sh*t!

You may or may not know that negative search result removal is actually a ‘thing’, but it is, and it is a lot of fun to do! It is something I have done for a number of companies and individuals now, but I do have to also have some morals – there are certain things I won’t remove because I believe they have a right to be there and for people to read about. If you are a convicted criminal that terrorises old ladies, don’t expect me to take on your work.

But being honest, there isn’t really a lot that I won’t help with because for the most part, it is companies who much want to remove a negative review in Tripadvisor or a news article that slams a local business because of a past indiscretion and it is now harming business. A recent high-profile example of someone trying to do this and seemingly getting it wrong, was UC Davis who hired a company to try and bury the negativity. This didn’t go well for them! This is known as the Streisand Effect.

It goes to show that if you want to get rid of some bad press, then you should take a long hard look at what it is first and then decide on the best way to proceed. Some things are better left to busy themselves over time.

What to do when it all goes wrong?

Apart from getting in touch with me, if something has happened and people are posting negative activity, the first thing to do, is nothing. Don’t do a single thing other than assess the scope of the issue and what possible outcomes there are for a range of scenarios.

You need to manage expectations and understand that in the vast majority of circumstances, simply contacting someone to remove a negative post, won’t work. If someone has a grievance, it might be better to bite the bullet and deal with it head on. In this way you can stem the flow of others backing up the originating claim and turn it round to being someone who is approachable and who is interested in resolving your concerns. You will get a lot more kudos for handling it in this manner.

When to take the next step?

This is going to differ from one client to the next. For some, this is going to be the first step because simply being approachable isn’t going to help. You might have had a negative review of a product so you need to create positive ones to counteract these. There are a range of techniques to do this.

Is burying negative press legal?

Absolutely. As long as you aren’t asking someone to lie for you, then just simply creating positive buzz is business as usual – except it is business as usual with a specific goal. You aren’t going to be doing anything that is against any Search Engine’s TOS or that will land you with a law suit.


If you hire me to remove your negative search results, then I don’t announce the fact you are a client to anyone. You don’t appear on my site as a client I have worked with or in any promotional material.

Any questions? Use the links above.