I get this question a lot from farmers: “I Googled my farm, and there’s an article about it that I don’t like. How do I get that not to come up?”
There are few things that Google and other search engines will remove from their indexes (search indexes are what Google searches — not the entire web). But in all reality, it’s only going to remove things that would reveal your personal financial and medical information. If you need those things removed, then ask Google here.
They will NOT erase negative stories or reviews no matter how much you contact them.
So, what do you do?
Do you just leave it alone because you can’t do anything about it? Of course not. If there are negative articles and reviews online, you can do your best to move them off the front page of your Google search engine results page.
How do you do that?
1. Buy the domain name for your farm through godaddy.com, 1and1.com, or NameCheap.com and set up a website with a blog. You can do this in an affordable way using WordPress.org, WordPress.com (free version), Wix, Square Space, or Weebly. There are many more website builders as well.
2. Add content to the website at least once or twice a month. Address questions you usually get from people who visit the farm.
3. Get social media pages and profiles on the major social media platforms. Start with Facebook and Instagram. Add Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Try to use the exact same farm name for all networks. Upload positive content (videos, photos and text) about your farm on these networks.
4. Take control of your business profile on Google with Google My Business. It’s your free listing on Google, and you should own it so you can monitor the reviews and photos that others place there.
5. Take control of your profile on Yelp, a service that provides reviews and information about local businesses. You can claim your profile for free and you will be contacted almost immediately about advertising, which you can ignore.
6. Ask friends and family to leave reviews about your farm on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. The stronger these reviews are, the more they will come up when someone searches for your farm name.
8. Invite reporters from your local newspapers and TV stations to visit your farm so they can see how you care for your animals and land. They may be interested in doing a story about you and your farm. .
If you take these steps, many times negative articles will lose their strength over time and start to fall to the second page of your Google search, which is helpful. Very few people look at the second page of results.
If you are looking for positive dairy stories to share on your social media and website, your national and local checkoffs have many to choose from. Within the Dairy Hub, our private dairy online community, we have the Dairy Hub Amplification Center, which allows you to share stories with just one click to your social media pages. If you are in the dairy industry, you can apply to join at dairyinfo.org.
If you have questions about the advice I’ve given here or if you need help in executing it, please reach out to your local dairy checkoff or to me directly at [email protected].