An old friend recently called to see if I could help with a problem his firm was encountering. The firm’s owner was a high profile figure whose name was often Googled by prospects as part of their research. Unfortunately the first result, which stemmed from the man’s previous career, didn’t really show him as a figure of competence. My friend asked if there was anything which could be done to remove this, as it was not related to the man’s current position.
The usual way to ‘get rid’ of unwanted results like this is to create lots of new ones and try to get them to appear above the unwanted one, pushing it down to irrelevance. However, in this case it turned out that the result in question was a YouTube clip of a broadcast TV programme, so I had to tell my friend that pushing it off the results page by adding new results was unlikely.
There’s a strategy in such cases, however, which is to create a new video that might appear in the Google results instead of the unwanted one – on the basis that Google is only likely to show one video in its listings. A simple interview might suffice. Uploaded along with some judicious ‘video SEO’, and the exercise could well have the desired result.
If you’re in such a situation, it may take a bit of creativity to remove Google results which aren’t helping your business. But it can be done, usually without resorting to legal costs or ‘right to be forgotten‘ claims.