Brand based SEO - How to outrank a negative article in Google
A few months ago I got a very sensitive project, something I never been able to achieve before even though I worked on at least one more similar cases over the years.
The assignment was simple: Push a certain negative article off the page one of Google into page two of the search results for a specific brand based keyword.
Now, this is a hell of a difficult task and if you ever get such a project make sure the client understands that such a deal is never sure and there is the possibility of zero results. Google can just decide that specific article makes sense on the first page and it doesn't matter how much authority you throw at other pages to push it down, Google will just keep it there in a fix position while you push your own articles and pages from page 1 to pages 2.
In the end, after a few months of implementing an SEO strategy, I finally saw some results and I believe I will be successful in the next three months.
So here is what you need to do to push a negative high authority article off the first page:
1. Social media profiles. When it comes to brand based keywords, Google will always put a lot of weight into social media profiles. Sore make sure you have optimized profiles on all major social networks! Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube all have the potential on ranking on the first page. If you can get all 7 of them to rank on the first page you already occupy 7 out of the 10 results.
Make sure you verify your social media profiles if you have that option and also link them everywhere, especially on the websites you control! Linking them will ensure higher authority score which Google will interpret as important, giving them a better position in the search results.
2. Main website. When it comes to your brand based keywords your main website is very important. You need to position yourself at least in the top three search results for your branded keywords. This can be achieved via building your website's authority by having keyword anchor backlinks that lead to your main website.
If your main website doesn't rank on the first page you got some serious problems! But on the other hand, it will be quite easy to reach the first page once a basic SEO strategy is implemented.
3. Other website profiles. Not only mainstream social network profiles tend to rank well in Google. Other more insignificant social networks can rank impressively good for brand based keywords. As long as you stay active on Q&A websites like Quora or blogging platforms like Tumblr - Google will take notice and rank you!
Even certain forum profiles can rank on the first page for brand based keywords (which have little or zero competition) - you just need to create a lot of them and track them. As soon as you see something with potential, like ranking on page two or three right from the start, invest time and effort into increasing the rank of the profile, build backlinks and create content around it!
I personally ensured at least 2 spots on the first page by implementing this strategy and one of them was the Quora profile (which took a lot of time and effort in growing).
4. Micro websites.
Depdning on how much authority the article you want to push down haves, you can try publishing at least 2 to 5 micro websites targeting your main brand based keywords.
Hire a few freelancers to create decent and different content for all of these sites and publish it. With some luck Google can rank some of them out of the bloom on very good positions, if not, you can still grow them manually with proper SEO and in time I assure you that at least one will reach the first page and maybe push down your negative article.
5. Youtube videos.
If you do everything right at least one spot on the first page can be occupied by a Youtube Video. Some make sure you upload multiple videos on youtube targeting your brand and main brand based keywords!
This is actually my last touch in terms of reaching my goal for this project. The negative article is on position 8 at the moment and all I need is to position a youtube video and another social media profile on the first page and it will be pushed on page 2.
Conclusion: Outranking a negative review or negative article inside Google search results is a very difficult job, especially if the page you want to outrank has a high domain authority. The client needs to understand that you may need to work for months without any visible results and there is a strong possibility that the outranking campaign will never be successful.
But if you have enough determination and you implement the right strategy, I believe anything is possible!