We suppressed a highly-optimized negative blog designed to damage the reputation of a US law firm.
Our client was a well-known regional law firm representing accident victims. It was nearly impossible not to see one of their billboards while driving in their region.
A negative blog post was destroying the firm's marketing conversion rate. People would see the billboards and other advertising, Google our client, and due to the negative blog, decide to look elsewhere instead. Our objective was to suppress or remove it.
Removing the negative blog
The ownership of the blog was hidden using WHOIS privacy. Nevertheless, we traced the ownership of the offending blog to a Northern California IP address by placing a tracking pixel in an email we sent to the owner of the blog. While the email was opened, there was no response. Had the owner of the blog responded, we would have requested removal of or changes to the blog post.
Since the owner of the blog refused on multiple occasions to respond, we came to the conclusion they didn't want to take advantage of the opportunity we offered. So we moved to Plan B - suppression.
Suppressing the negative
The negative blog post existed in the second position on page one of a branded search for our client. When someone typed this law firm's name into Google, they were greeted by the damaging blog post.
Our client's search results included Avvo.com, HG, BBB, LinkedIn, their main site and others. All but their main site were below the negative blog post. This meant the negative was "above the fold" and visible to all who searched them without having to scroll down the page. Our objective was to help the positive search results overwhelm the negative.
Building the law firm's reputation
We built a strategy that included a content plan, outreach, and a search engine marketing program, working to promote existing positive web content. Search results began to change after 90 days. The negative blog post moved first one, then two positions. Eventually it moved to the bottom of page one, hung there for two months, then dropped to page two where only about 5% of people searching would see it.