How to Remove a Ripoff Report

Ripoff Report Logo

Ripoff report is a place where anyone – and I do mean anyone – can post a “report” about an individual or a company. The report does not have to have any relation to the truth. It could be as far from or close to the truth as the poster cares to go. Once the poster hits send, that report is logged and usually will rank very high on Google’s search results page.

Like a bathroom stall in a seedy bar, anyone with a pen or a marker can go in and scrawl a message including names, business information, and even personal details with impunity.  To see it, one would just have to go to the bar, walk into the bathroom and read away. Unfortunately for those lavatory vandals, not much credibility is given to restroom rumor-mongers. And you can only reach a small audience, the people who come to that particular bar and visit that little stall.

Unlike the grafittied-up stall, Ripoff Report is easily searchable from anywhere in the world and ranks highly on Google and other search engines. To make matters worse, the site itself lends some credibility to whatever someone writes. Someone searching for your name who doesn’t know the real nature of Ripoff Report might just assume, because it is a website that looks halfway decent, there is some merit to whatever accusation appears. As if those two things weren’t enough, Ripoff Reports also last forever. The site never takes down content on its own. So, not only is it easily found, people tend to believe it, and it lasts forever!

So What?

Google yourself. Go ahead! You should do this every once in a while. What do you see?

If your results are all things that make your proud, awesome! You probably don’t need to keep reading (unless you know someone who might not have such great results!).

If, like a lot of us, there are some results that you are not so excited about but nothing as malicious or persistent as a Ripoff Report, BrandYourself offers a free service that you can use to help get content that you do like up instead. There is also an online reputation management guide that can get you up to speed if this is something you haven’t dabbled with before.

If, like too many, you find a result from Ripoff Report, you are going to need a little more firepower to take it down. Do not fear, however, there are ways to get these results taken down or at least pushed down to the second, third, fourth page of your result or even further. This is as effective as getting it taken down as 91% of searchers don’t even click through to the second page and only 1% ever venture to the third. Contact us immediately to get support! Otherwise, keep reading to see what you can do.

What Can I Do?

As we learned earlier, Ripoff Report doesn’t remove content on its own. They also make it very difficult for content to be removed by anyone else, even the user who wrote the original report can’t easily delete what he or she wrote. They argue that if they had a more lenient process for removing content, it would be easy for large corporations or wealthy individuals to move in and intimidate or use their influence and financial backing to get the content removed. This argument makes a surprising amount of sense.

Imagine you post a aggressively negative but truthful review of a product on Walmart’s website. You bought a toaster and the toaster exploded and seriously injured your significant other. How long before Walmart takes that down? Minutes? So where do you turn? Ripoff Report would allow you to post that review and warn others of the problem so they too don’t get injured. If they allowed content to be pulled down easily, Walmart would quickly move in and have the content stripped. Or Walmart would offer you a deal to remove the content yourself, leaving the public at a disadvantage.

The only problem is, those are not the kinds of things people post on Ripoff Report. The site is little more than a glorified gossip rag. Very few people use Ripoff Report to ensure that their grievance with a large entity is seen by the public. Most use it for petty jabs at friends or business partners who they perceive scorned them.

So, how can we remove the content from our results?

1. Arbitration

Ripoff Report offers it’s own arbitration process for those willing to wait (and pay). It costs $2,000 and necessitates your signature on several documents, many of which remind you that there is no guarantee the arbitration will end with the removal of the content. They also declare that the burden of proof rests squarely on your shoulders (no innocence until proven guilty here!).  You must submit evidence to prove the falsehood of the claim(s) no matter how outrageous or untruthful the claim may be. As anyone who has wrestled with liable law in the past can tell you, proving a hard truth, like whether or not a bill was paid, is easy. Proving a soft truth, like a claim about your character or an interaction with another individual, is false is another story.

Picture this, you are in the hallway at school opening your locker. The rest of the hallway is empty except for one other person, Trey. Trey turns to you and calls you a name. You know the drill so you do what adults have always told you and ignore him. Trey presses forward with the verbal attack and this time pushes you too. You tries to walk away but Trey pushes you again! It’s clear he is not going to stop so, to protect yourself, you turn and push Trey back. After a brief but intense stare-down, you part ways and go to your respective classrooms. The next thing you know, the intercom in buzzes to life and calls you to the office.

Who do you see when you walk in? None other than Trey, doing his best impression of a wounded saint. “Trey here says you pushed him in the hallway, called him names and generally are just a plain old mean person,” says the principal with disdain, “What do you have to say for yourself?” What can you say? How can you prove (sadly the school doesn’t have video cameras) that you didn’t? That Trey started it all? The sad truth is, you can’t.

As that school house drama illustrates, proving you are not the kind of person someone else claims or even proving that you did or didn’t do a certain act can be impossible. Ripoff Report makes it very clear that they are going to side with the poster if the proof is not airtight. So, for many, going to arbitration is just not going to help. You’ll be out $2,000 and be right back where you started.

2. Respond to the Report (not recommended)

One option is to post a comment on the offending Ripoff Report and hope that it sways readers enough to ignore the post itself. This is not a good idea. Google ranks sites based on relevance of the content and authority of the page. If you reply to a report and refer to yourself or the company by name, that adds relevance. Adding a comment at all counts as social activity which adds authority. This all adds up to the post gaining traction rather than losing it.

Not only will the comment add authority to the post in Google’s eyes, making it rank even more highly, it will also discredit you further. When has it ever helped to say, “Nuh uh!” after someone made an outrageous claim? The answer is somewhere between not once and never.

People reading will either ignore the comment, not even read it, or think the original post is even more true because there you are denying it! It seems counterintuitive but, that is how the human mind operates. Readers will see you more as the criminal returning to the scene of the crime than the bearer of truth and wisdom.

Don’t add fuel to the poster’s fire; don’t comment.

3. Go To Court

You have the option of suing the poster or even Ripoff Report to get a negative report taken down. Just like in the arbitration process, this would require irrefutable proof and cost a ton of money and take a lot of time. And, just like in the arbitration, there would be no guarantee that you would win.

If you manage to have the case ruled in your favor, you can get a court order that states the content is false. From here, you can use this court order to try and leverage Ripoff Report or you can use it to convince Google itself to remove the result. This will not do anything to eliminate the report itself but it will stop it from showing up in your results.

If you live in the European Union, you have a few other options available to you thanks to the Right To Be Forgotten. To understand more about those options, visit this page. If you think the Right To Be Forgotten might apply to you, contact us immediately for help navigating this tricky law!

Even if you won the case and submitted the order, what would stop the poster from just going on the next day under a different name and posting the same thing? Or something worse?

4. Show Yourself!

Of course, we saved the best for last. In our opinion, this is the most effective and longest lasting way to put that Ripoff Report to bed. You surround it with positive content you create or have someone create for you. These web properties can be optimized to rank highly for your name and can be customized to show the real you, not what some online bully wants others to see. As these sites rank really well, they can even push the Ripoff Report down in the rankings. This is the ideal situation as once the Ripoff Report is on the second or third page or even further down in the rankings, no one will ever see it. It is as close as you can get to deleting a Ripoff Report.

If you think this option would be a good fit for you, contact us and we’ll help you build terrific web properties and get rid of that Ripoff Report.

Ripoff Reports can really ruin your results and affect businesses and personal lives. Don’t let that happen to you! There are a lot of ways you can try and get Ripoff Reports removed but the only one that really works is to show the true you online. Use BrandYourself’s free software to help you do it yourself, or reach out to let the experts help you remove a Ripoff Report.

Remove from Google: A Step By Step Guide

If you have something you want to remove from Google, you came to the right place! These are the exact steps we took when our Co-founder, Pete Kistler, was being mistaken for an ex-convict in Google. (Feel free to see what happens when you Google his name now, I think you’ll be impressed!)

Remove From Google Option 1: Get it Taken Down

While this option is the thing most people jump to initially, you’ll soon find out there are a lot of reasons why, often times, it just simply wont work:

1. The Person doesn’t have to remove it from Google: Unless you own the content (what are you waiting for, go take it down!) this is highly unlikely and not as ideal as it sounds. For one, the web is not governed by strict regulations and laws so it is very hard to have anything removed from Google due to legality. On top of that, chances are there’s a reason the other person put it up in the first place, and they have no intention of removing it.

2. The Result is always archived: Secondly, even if they do remove it, that doesn’t necessarily remove it from search engines. Search engines archive (or cache) search results, meaning many times the result still shows up. That being said, in some cases it is worth it to try and have the content removed, in which case:

  • Submit a legal complaint to Google : Only do this if the content is clearly slanderous or illegal in some other way that can be proven in a court of law. For the vast majority of cases you’ll have to use our other tactics below.

Remove From Google Option 2: Bury It

Raising positive content higher in search engines and essentially burying content farther down the page is the most effective thing to do if you have something you want to remove from Google. While this doesn’t technically remove it from Google, it does drastically decrease the chance that someone searching for you will find it. In fact, 96% of people don’t even go past the first page of Google, and even if they do, they’ve just gone through an entire page of positive content that lets them know who you really are.

Basic Tactics

To bury something off the first page, you’ll need at least 10 other pieces of content, here is a list of the best places to get started:

  • Buying your domain name: The domain name is the first thing Google looks at when determining where to rank a piece of content. It’s pretty cheap, usually around $9.99 a year, so it’s well worth the investment even if you dont have the time to make a site on that domain right away.
  • Building a personal website: Not all websites are created equal! At BrandYourself we crunched the data on our 150,000+ users and found that the following site builders rank highest, so your best off starting with these:
  • Create Social Profiles: Not all social profiles are created equal in the eyes of Google either, here are the top ranking social profiles:
  • Make sure that content is search engine optimized: There are certain things you can do with your content to make sure it’s as search engine friendly as possible. This part can be tough if you aren’t an expert in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but that’s why we created BrandYourself, which makes the process dead simple. (for more info on SEO, check out Google’s SEO starter guide or our FAQ page which has some great answers to all of your basic SEO questions)

Remove From Google Option 3: Bump it off

While entirely possible, it’s obvious that burying something off the first page requires a lot of time. There is a little known, but very valuable piece of information when you find yourself in this situation that could save you a lot of time: Google only likes to rank one result on the first page per domain.

What does that mean? Let’s pretend someone wrote an op-ed bashing you in the HuffingtonPost, and it shows up as your number one result. It’s going to be a lot of work and a lot of time to remove it from Google by getting ten other results to rank higher than the Huffington Post.

It would be easier if you simply bumped it off by replacing it with another result on the Huffington Post. While this may seem like a tall order, you’d be surprised how easy it is to create a well optimized result on almost any domain. You just need to figure out how you can publish something on the site.

For example, poking around the Huffington post you would realize they allow you to create your own profile on the site (huffingtonpost.com/myname). All you need to do is create a profile that is more relevant to your name than the bad article.

  • Make sure you use your name in the profile. This will be included in the URL and the title-tags, which is a must if you want to beat the article.
  • Fill it out with as much information as they let you. The more information you can include about yourself, the more relevant it will seem to Google. Remember, talk in the third person. You want your name everywhere.
  • Link to as many other profiles as possible. The more places that a profile links to about a certain keyword the higher it will rank. Link to other definitive sources about you — your website, your Facebook, etc–and Google will value it more. Remember, use your name in the link text.
  • Keep that profile active: Eventually the negative article will get old, which will give your profile an edge. Keep commenting on the article and doing anything else that keeps your profile updated.
  • Link to it and share it everywhere: If you’ve followed the steps above for creating your basic online presence, you now have a bunch of online profiles that you can link — personal website, Facebook, Google+, etc. The more links this profile has, the better chance it will outrank the negative article and remove it from Google. Share it on Facebook and Twitter. The more social traction it gets, the better your chances.

Conclusion:

If you follow these steps you should be able to remove from Google just about anything and at the very least improve your search presence no matter what your situation is. If you found this info helpful, you might be interested in signing up for BrandYourself’s free online reputation management tool. It simplifies the entire process and makes it easy to get your best content on the first page of Google and monitor your progress. You can try it here  or call 315-565-1799.