Recently, Google released a comprehensive transparency report
pertaining to removal requests that the company has received from various companies
and government agencies in several countries.
Although some search results, YouTube videos and other content on
Google's platforms are affected by these removal requests, not every request is
honored. Roughly 65% of formal requests
(such as court orders) and only 47% of informal requests receive Google's
Google's refusal to comply with all removal requests comes
as no surprise to those familiar with the search engine's philosophy. Google has long opposed censorship on the Web
and has even publicly derided proposed bills such as SOPA and
PIPA which concern online piracy. As a leader
in Web search, Google's stance on censorship is of particular importance to not
only Internet marketers, but to their clients as well.
Many individuals and businesses have established an online reputation, for
better or for worse. Social media
platforms such as networks and blogs, product and company review sites and news
publications all provide an outlet for any Web user to voice their opinion on a
given company or individual.
Unfortunately, such opinions are not always resoundingly positive and
can potentially damage an online reputation.
As Google continues to support freedom of expression, the
removal of such negativity from the SERPs can be a daunting task. While it can sometimes prove difficult to
entirely eliminate unfavorable reviews, comments or articles, it is possible to
affect the popular opinion online.
How to Remain
Re-structuring a reputation on the Internet starts within the SERPs. It is first necessary to locate negative
content and keywords and then diminish the rankings of those pages by building
greater authority to pages with positive content. It is also important to generate new,
positive content and drive traffic to those pages, as well.
P.R. initiatives are particularly useful in reputation
management campaigns and due to the high authority of legitimate news and
media sites, they are ideal candidates for placement of positive,
With Google's support of a "Free Web" remaining
intact, it is unlikely that reputation issues will simply disappear from the
SERPs any time soon. The Internet is an
open forum and thusly, it is imperative for every business and individual to be
mindful of their online reputation and manage it accordingly.