Sometimes we find an article that has been written about us personally. When we find things like this when we Google ourselves it can be distressing. One example that I recently found was:
I have deleted my Facebook account but yet it still shows up my name and username which I used elsewhere when you Google search for it. In YouTube I also deleted my account but yet these comments which others made still come up with my name. I am desperately wanting to delete them but do not know how. I am never going on Facebook or YouTube again I just want it all deleted and specially those with my name on it.
I was able to ask why they wanted to vanish from the Google index and what they might have done. I received an interesting reply:
I didn’t do anything really bad only replied to someone on YouTube video comments section. He didn’t like my reply and found out me name. I suspect it was from Facebook where I couldn’t hide or delete my email which included my username. I better be careful what I say on here will everything here be copied and put on the net also? I just don’t know what this is all about. Anyways I got me name to be deleted from that video comments section by contacting YouTube and the video uploader. If it takes months to delete this Google cache then it’s bad news.
So this person has some serious issues. From a marketing standpoint this needs to be cleaned up quick. Negative reviews about you and your company need to have quick action to resolve them.
The other main issue the person had was that the person was harassing them after finding out their email address. I always take the standpoint that anything posted on the web is fair game for anyone. Now to clean this up there are a few actions you can take. Since this person’s issue started with YouTube, I would contact them and the poster of the video to remove the comment.
The next action only involves Google, I will not talk about the hundreds of other search engines out there as they all have a different way of removing indexed content. If you are being harassed and you know who the person is then report them to a local law enforcement agency so that they can take appropriate action against the individual or individuals at fault.
Google actually has a page dedicated to helping people that I have linked below.
If you want to remove content from Google’s search results, that content should first be removed from the web or blocked from search engines. We run into a lot of people who think that Google runs the web and controls all the sites on it, but that’s really not the case. The sites in Google’s search results are controlled by those sites’ webmasters.
To remove content (including a snippet, title, page content, or an entire URL or site) from search results, the site owner—whether it’s you or somebody else—has a few options. The site owner can remove the concerning information from the page, take the page down from the web entirely, or indicate that Google shouldn’t crawl or index the page. There are varying requirements depending on the type of content you want to remove, and these are described below. Want to remove an image from search results? Check this out first.
If you own the site, you’ll need to make the changes to your website yourself and then request removal of the problematic page from Google’s search results using the URL removal tool in Webmaster Tools.
If you don’t own the site, your first step is to contact the site’s webmaster and request that the content is removed. (Note that depending on the type of removal—see below—some other changes may also be necessary). Once the changes have been made, you can request removal of the content from appearing as a cache copy or snippet in Google’s search results by using the public URL removal tool. (It bears repeating: The site owner—whether it’s you or somebody else—must have first made the required changes to the site, or this process will not work to remove the content from search results.) The site owner will be able to see your removal request in their own Webmaster Tools account.
If you want, you can also use the Removing Content From Google tool which can help you in your process.
What you say will show up on Google if you post it on a web page, forum, or even a comment on a YouTube page. So in all keep in mind there are some crazy people out there that take things to the extreme. I have been tempted to write many things and I usually pull back and think “Do I want this comment associated with my name?”
No matter what you choose to do keep in mind you can remove your web presence but this will take time.
If you want to increase your web presence to push down negative reviews or content that has been written about you and your company is why you want good SEO. A good SEO plan will help your company always stay above the negative side of people.