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OT - Search Engine Optimization - Non Video Question

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Rob Grauert
OT - Search Engine Optimization - Non Video Question
on Jan 6, 2011 at 9:22:20 pm

This questions is completely irrelevant to what is generally covered on this site, so I apologize in advance. I figured someone here might have an answer.

I know someone who was falsely arrested for something completely ridiculous. Now if you search his name on Google, a newspaper article covering his false arrest comes up as the first result. Even though the charges were dropped, the newspaper company won't change the original story to say so.

His problem is he's worried he won't be able to find a job since employers typically search their candidates before hiring. He hired a reputation defender for $1000 to move the search results way to the bottom, but they actually didn't do anything. The search results remain the same.

Is there any way someone experienced with search engine optimization can fix this?

Like I said, I know this is completely off topic, but I figured it was wouldn't hurt to ask.

Rob Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
command-r.tumblr.com


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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Search Engine Optimization to defend a false arrest
on Jan 6, 2011 at 11:55:43 pm

Hey Rob,

You should also try and post this on the COW's Social Media forum.

Without knowing the specifics of the case it is difficult to give advice, so this is suggestive only. Once something is on the net, it normally stays on the net. So even if the publisher was to remove the story, it will still be stored on Google servers and elsewhere. If his name comes up top, I imagine that he has a fairly unique name?

However, he should try and get the newspaper to make a follow up on the story about charges being dropped. Alternatively get a lawyer to look over the story and see if he can address the issue of compensation from the publisher and also whoever released his name to the media in the first instance?

Don't know what your friend does for a job, but he should get himself any job that he can get for now and build up a good reference over say a minimum period of 6 months - I think that most employers will take that more into account, rather than internet hear-say.

In regards to your question of position on the search: Blog, Twitter, flickr, Creative Cow, Nice Facebook page and a LinkedIn profile with loads of contacts. Anything that can get him up in the rankings. Even his own website will do well. It is all about squeezing the "bad" story down to page 4 on Google. Unfortunately, if someone searches for "his name + crime" then he might still be done for - unless he tags all his posts with the word "crime" - which might just have the same undesired effect.

Bottom line is that if he has a good CV, with good references and build up a good network, then he'll always find a job. But the Net is like nature, you'll never be able to control it, but you can harness its power for something positive.

My 5 pence :-)

All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Please do visit our faceBook page here: http://www.facebook.com/MacMillionProductions

Mac Million Ltd. - Digital Media Production
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Chris Blair
Re: Search Engine Optimization to defend a false arrest
on Jan 7, 2011 at 4:38:06 am

Mads Nybo Jørgensen: Once something is on the net, it normally stays on the net. So even if the publisher was to remove the story, it will still be stored on Google servers and elsewhere.

I don't believe this is true. If something is taken off a website or a page is taken down or the links to the page are removed, as the search engines crawl the site, it will re-index the content. If you have a website you can actually test this by putting up a page with some specific content. Wait a few days until Google lists it...then take that page down or remove the link on your site to the page. Within a few weeks, it will be gone or will move way down the rankings. To stay highly ranked the algorithms have to see the content often and there has to be valid links to it...the more links the better. So if you remove the content and the links, it will die a slow death.

Even if Google still shows the content, if you can get the newspaper to take down the story, the link won't work, so people won't be able to link to the story that shows. If all content stayed on search engines forever, you'd constantly end up with search results filled with dead links.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com
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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Search Engine Optimization to defend a false arrest
on Jan 7, 2011 at 11:22:24 am

Hey Chris,

[Chris Blair] " If something is taken off a website or a page is taken down or the links to the page are removed, as the search engines crawl the site, it will re-index the content."

Yes, that is true, but it would ignorant to think that this would be the end of the matter. I've just done a test on a story that I dealt with in July last year where a big UK paper printed some unnecessary and personal details about a junior colleague. They did amend the story by removing the explicit details, but on Google search this morning, carrying the original text there is still 5 other aggregate websites ranked in the top 10.

As a side comment, despite the said newspaper being very big on human rights and doing the right thing (think Wikileaks publications), their legal department didn't feel that should apologise for the harm that they caused - we choose not to pursue it, because the concerns was for the individual person and that exposing the story would create a bigger problem for that person.

As I stated in the previous post, we don't know the specifics of Rob's story but there is a number of tools that can be used to reduce the effect of that web-page. Such as good CV, holding down a job and getting personal introductions to new jobs - these are all off-line, but has worked since the dawn of time. If he does find that he has made a loss as a result of the publication, then only a lawyer can redress that.

In regards to the online world, I'm of the opinion that the Google algorithms are programmed in such a way, that even if you delete the page it will still be cached (the small blue word at the end of the URL on your searches) for as long as someone searches on a string of words that brings that page into the top 10 or 20. Remember, that string doesn't even have to contain the name, it could as an example be "police false arrest ridiculous nude robbery water pistol & bull whip" - and you'll never fall of the searches :-)

All the Best
Mads
London, UK

Please do visit our faceBook page here: http://www.facebook.com/MacMillionProductions

Mac Million Ltd. - Digital Media Production
Blog: http://macmillionltd.blogspot.com


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Rob Grauert
Re: Search Engine Optimization to defend a false arrest
on Jan 7, 2011 at 2:06:29 pm

Hey thanks a lot, guys. I really appreciate the advice

Rob Grauert, Jr.
http://www.robgrauert.com
command-r.tumblr.com


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Patrick Ortman
Re: Search Engine Optimization to defend a false arrest
on Jan 10, 2011 at 9:08:25 pm

Rob,

I can't emphasize the need for your friend to get active online with his own pages, from Facebook to Twitter, and many many others. There's at least 20 sites where he can start building up his good reputation.

As a potential employer, if the ONLY thing I found online about a person was a crime thing I would probably not want to work with that person. But, like Mads said, if I found a dozen or two good things, then I'd be a lot more likely to at least talk with the guy. And maybe I wouldn't even see the silly article in question.

My brother had a similar situation, with the website Rip Off Report a few years back. The reality was my brother worked with a local TV station to expose a scam artist (a guy who had been ripping people off for 30 years). The scam artist fought back by making up stuff and posting it on Rip Off Report.

Until the local TV station video and reports came out, Google had that Rip Off Report as the #1 result when people googled him. It really hurt his business, even after he responded to the site.

Not fun, I feel for your friend.

P

---------------------
http://www.patrickortman.com
Web and Video Design


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