Removing Negative Google Results Taken Too Far
Removing negative results from Google can be an individual’s or a business’ worst nightmare. Result removal requires individuals to go to court or to consult an online reputation management firm, both costing thousands of dollars. Recently, business owner Michael Arnstein from The Natural Sapphire Company was arrested for forging and attempting to forge a judge’s signature. In 2012, Googled agreed to remove 54 negative reviews of his business. Instead of returning to court, Arnstein photoshopped the documentation from 2012 with new review links, dates, and signatures that he wanted down. His goal was to save money which backfired quickly. However, Google is the best ranking country in the world. Hence, Google is not a company one should try to fool. They check the legitimacy of their documentation by contacting external sources and in the case, the judge themselves.
The links that Arnstein submitted may have been to tamper with competitors, boosting his company’s reputation relative to his competitors. Some of the links that he has submitted for removal are not reviews though. Arnstein also submitted links to Google that he had poorly built or led to low domain authority websites. There are many things that Arnstein could have done to avoid his current situation:
- Pay the money required to get the other links removed by Google
- Build quality links from the beginning of his business’ website existence
Many amateurs in online reputation management have self-inducted a poor online reputation with careless link building. Often, when start-ups begin their website(s), they apply SEO tips and tricks that they found on the Internet. However, these are usually written by individuals that have no qualifications, credibility, or experience in the field. Quality guest blogs require finding reliable content writers and website owners. Building a relationship with the owners is crucial because you are trusting them with content that represents you and/or your business. If that content is tampered with, it can defeat the purpose of the blog post.
There are many factors to developing and managing your online reputation. Arnstein has proven that the 2 most important factors include trust and patience. Removing negative reviews from Google can be costly, especially when one uses unethical tactics. Rather than getting to the point of no return, actively manage your online reputation. Use quality guest blogs, gain authority with patience, and consult an SEO expert to design a strategic plan.