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How to Remove An Undesired Link From Google?

link building tips and strategies

Link-building Strategy – Removing An Undesired Link From Google?

Recently one of our existing clients came up with unique (not so unique for SEO professionals) question:

Is there a way I can remove the first link on Google when I search my own name?


Our esteemed client wanted to ensure that the first thing that comes up in a google search on his name was on NOT the grievance he had filed against his ex-lawyer. Interesting, right? Not just his business was suffering because his potential clients were skeptical about his business practices, but also his love life was getting hurt as his potential dates were looking at him with suspicious eyes, or at least what’s what we were told.

So when we Googled his name, this is what was coming up in the Google SERP:

#1:  A .gov page documenting a lawsuit between our client and his lawyer (

#2:  His LinkedIn Profile

#3: Local newspaper article covering the client

#4: His Business Website

#5: Facebook

#6) Another blog site promoting the business site

#7)-#10 Other Coverage/membership sites

Everything was fine and dandy other than the horrific first link because of which he was probably losing many clients and money on daily basis.

The request was to “get the undesired link removed”  from Google.

SEO Analysis

Wow. What a textbook situation. We were talking about “REMOVING” a .gov link from the 1st position of Google on a search term with “700,000” pages – It certainly seemed like there is a need of heavy Search Engine Optimization (SEO) (and ahem ahem tons of budget).

First of all, we had to explain to our client the reason why the .gov link was where it was at #1 and ruining his online reputation. The lesson here was that, a link from .gov (or .edu) is highly trustworthy for Google and they carry a lot more weight, certainly more than his company websites or even the LinkedIn url.

So anytime if anyone has an opportunity to get a link from a relevant .gov or .edu page, no stones should be unturned to get that invaluable back-link.

Challenge from Reputation  Management Perspective

This was a special case of reputation management from the perspective that we were not dealing with a rogue comment on Yelp or one of the review sites. We were dealing with a genuine government site that had a valid entry on the subject. While we specialize in Reputation Management by pushing such negative comments down off of the first page (sometimes to below 10th page), we could not claim that we were able to push a government link consistently and with great success.

Steps taken – Link Building

Next step was to tell our client, what we be done to restore his online reputation. We resorted to well tested weapon of Link building. As all SEO professionals would probably agree there is hardly a way to get a link (especially from a .gov) site out from Google SERP. Most plausible answer would try to not “remove” it, rather try to “bury” it by promoting other links.

Following steps were taken to begin to bury the undesired link from the most prominent position.

1) A Google Profile page was created and linked to all prominent existing webpages and blogs.

2) Since #2 link was LinkedIn – We focus on this.

On all the webpages the client controlled, we added a link to his linkedIn profile page, as well as requested his friends, and online partners to do the same.

3) Same step was done for Facebook – a lots of new links from existing pages were created pointing to the Client’s Facebook page

4) New blog posts were written and a link to prominent pages were added.

5) We searched if client had any access to university .edu domains. The idea was to have a link back to #2, #3 and #4 links to push down on #1 undesired link. The published article was relevant to our client’s business and a correct anchor text of his name was used for this purpose, wherever possible.

6) Wikipedia – In theory, we’d love a get a link from Wikipedia – however this was not possible at this juncture.

7) We bought a new relevant domain name, installed WordPress and quickly published few blogs with strategies outlined above.

8) Other 4/5 review sites: We added relevant links …  links and links. This was an war level link-building campaign.

I’m sure idea of link-building is clear now.

Result of LinkBuilding:

In about 2 weeks of completing above steps, the undesired .gov link dropped to #4 position with his LinkedIn and Twitter links taking #1 to #3 positions. The business website climbed up and a Google Profile page showed up in the first 10 results – the undesired .gov link fall down while the business website went up in SERP– making everyone happy.

Link-building with right anchor text from relevant authoratative sites made all the difference.
This certainly a great beginning, however , we are not done yet as we need to build few more inbound links to push it off the first page to complete the task.

Now, at least when our client goes out on a new date, the first piece of conversation won’t be around why he had to sue his ex-attorney.

Happy link-building, one of the most difficult tasks on Search Engine Optimization.

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About ujjwal

Ujjwal Bhattarai is's Director of Technology, responsible for developing strategy on Web Development, Search Engine Optimization(SEO), and Search Engine Marketing(SEM). His career includes Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing as well as use of Social Media for Business. He self-admits that he is hopelessly addicted to Internet and believes after fire, wheel, and decimal, the internet is the forth most important invention in human history. Catch up with him on Twitter at @mountport.

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