Cleaning up your online reputation: how to rebuild yourself after a viral legal problem


If you have any negative articles or court documents about your business, product, or personal life on the front page of Google, it will take time to remove them.


There is nothing worse than feeling publicly humiliated. Whether it’s a legal issue, a misunderstanding, an accident, or something you did on purpose, the feeling is usually the same: embarrassment and regret. Unfortunately, with the internet, it is not always easy to get public legal sites to delete your negative history or legal information. Most of the time, you can’t just ignore it and hope that your online reputation will improve on its own. Articles can live on the Web for years and years to come; you need to take proactive steps.

Cleaning up your online reputation after bad publicity goes viral is something every person or business needs to do. It is important to get the right information about what happened and how you are taking the necessary steps to address it. However, making sure that this message gets through can be difficult.

Don’t click on negative links!

First and foremost, when you see your name or legal file sprawled across the first page of the search engine, it will be very, very tempting to click on the links and read them over and over again. It is one of the worst things you can do.

The reason it’s bad for your online reputation

Anytime someone clicks on a negative link, Google takes it as an endorsement that these are relevant, good quality articles, which means they will likely rank higher in future searches. This also applies to other websites; whenever another site links to information about you or your court case from their website, again – Google views this in a positive light.

Can you legally have a negative article removed?

While most of us would love to have negative articles about us removed from the internet, this is nearly impossible. If you are considering this as a solution, it is recommended that you stop and think carefully before you act. You will need to contact the website directly to request removal; while some sites allow this type of action, other sites may not agree with your reasoning and not remove the article.

Even if you use lawyers, the success rate is very low for item deletions. It can also be costly, as many law firms require a retainer of around $ 5,000 just to get started. Another risk of attempting to delete an article is that the website with the negative article may write a new article or update the existing article with how you were trying to get them to delete the article. . With new or updated content, this could push the negative article closer to the top of Google search results.

The importance of good content

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

When trying to remove negative content, it is important that your own website and other websites have relevant and good quality content. If the only articles on the web about you are negative, you must have written positive articles about yourself to even have the ability to outperform and remove negative sites.

Quality and relative content will work with Google’s algorithms, which determine a site’s rank in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). When someone searches on Google for your name or the name of your business, if they click on an article about you from another source instead of clicking on your site – even if that article has been published years ago – it can still hurt your own website ranking.

How to get good content on the web

Articles are great because they are easy to find and link, that is, if you choose a suitable keyword rich anchor text. They also give reporters something new to write that helps promote yourself or your business without having negative or legal commentary attached.

You can do this by writing a press release and then distributing it through PRWeb or simply submitting articles to other websites under your own name as well as that of your company. You can also create social media profiles, which generally rank well in Google.

The more positive the content is about who you are, what you’ve done, etc., the less room there is for bad publicity on the Internet!

Reputation management companies

Creating articles and publishing content yourself can be time consuming, especially if you haven’t already established a relationship with major websites and news sources. This is why many people who have had viral legal issues choose to use white label reputation management companies.

While there is nothing wrong with using an online reputation management company, especially if your legal matter or negative publicity has gone viral and is starting to show up on major news sites, make sure you always know that the company is trustworthy.

Rebuilding After Negative Online Advertising Is A Marathon, Not A Race

If you have negative articles or court documents about your business, product, or personal life on the front page of Google, it will take time to remove them. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Even with great content on the web, it will often take more than 3 months to start seeing movement. If you’re just getting started with managing your reputation online, it’s important to prepare and set your expectations early on.


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