How to Remove Your Name from Google

Do you know what people are saying about you or your business online?

September 2015 is looking to be the biggest month ever for people looking for “How to Remove My Name from Google” and the like.

The graph above shows the spike in searches for this phrase.

One of the biggest reason is the aftermath of Ashley Madison, a Canadian based dating service and social media site that encourages married people to have affairs.  On the 15th of July 2015 hackers stole all of their customers personal details and threatened to publish online.

How are you managing your Online Reputation?

‘What people say about your company online has become the single most important reflection of your company’s quality, reliability, and skill.’

A post on Seroundtable here show how SEOs are being asked to remove the names off the Top 10 listings. This service is call Online Reputation Management, we have worked with clients in the past to solve issues were Google will rank negative content about a person/product/company etc. You have spent years building up your business online and all of this hard work can quickly be undone if someone publishes a negative review about your company.  Methods to fix the issue include getting the content removed and out ranking the content (pushing it down the results).

Regarding Ashley Madison many “big names” have already been outed which makes its a massive job.

If you need any help looking into getting content removed OR pushed down the results then let us know.

How to remove from Google Analytics referral data

Do you referral stats in google Analytics looks like this?


Semalt is a bot that will crawl your site for information about the page content and many other aspects of the website.

If you haven’t signed up for the service like me then the bot is gathering information for competitive analysis.

For me I have no problem with the bot or the business that semalt offer but its the fact is messes with my stats.

As the bot will not follow the rules of robots.txt according to all the WOT reports here then your can try requesting removal from them directly via this link.

So you are using Google Analytics and want to remove from your stats?

  • First log into your google Analytics account and click on the website property in question.
  • Next click on the admin link show here:


  • Now you should see 3 columns. Columns Account, Property and View.
  • In the middle column labelled Property click Tracking info as below:


  • The tracking info should now show in a drop down.
  • Now click on referral exclusion list as below:


Simply then add the domain to the exclusion list. You can do this with any domain you’d like.

Important notes

This will only working with ga.js or an analytics.js and not with doubleclick.

Other options for removal of semalt referrals

If you don’t want the bot slowing down your site and also messing with your stats then .htaccess is your best option.

.htaccess code:

# block
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} semalt\.com [NC]
RewriteRule .* – [F]

What about Google Analytics views?

You can follow the steps in the domain exclusion but select the 3rd column  “Views” then select “Filters” then click “New Filter” then select “custom filter”  next pick “exclude” and add the  “semalt”

A full guide to view filters which is well worth reading can be found here:

If you need any help setting up View filters and any other type of Google Analytics setup then let us know.




Eu goes all “Some results may have been removed”

Currently you can type in any name in the UK and about 50% of the time google will now show a warning!

Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe


After the EU ruling here google have started to display the above message on many name searches.

Try it on your own name and see if you get the message.. My name is very rare, My full name is only showing about 30 results and all are mine but I get the message that content “could” of been removed which is hasn’t.


Klout + Instagram

As a blogger myself, I have a love hate relationship with Klout, a measure of social influence, and am aware of its many flaws.  Klout has come under a lot of scrutiny over the last few years for its lack of transparency, dodgy privacy rules and questionable algorithm.  However, many Brands/PRs still use this as trusted measure of influence when deciding who to reach out to online. 

One of my biggest complaints was the exclusion of a number of platforms.  In my case, the fact that it doesn’t include self-hosted WordPress blogs.  However, I’ve done a bit of research and as far as I can tell, this hasn’t negatively impacted me that much.  I asked a few fellow friendly bloggers, to disconnect their Blogger blogs for a few days to see if it affected their scores and it didn’t.

Klout + Instagram

However, late last week I noticed that my Klout score had jumped 4 places.  After a quick Google search, I learned that Klout is now including Instagram, an online photo-sharing and social networking service, to its algorithm.

‘Over 77 percent of users who have connected their Instagram accounts will see a score increase between 1 and 5 points’

Is this an attempt to rebuild its reputation?  What does this mean for businesses?  Will it make the site more credible and relevant?  Is this a reaction to the increasing popularity of Kred?

Hopefully we will see more platforms being added to Klout in future so we can confidently use it as a trustworthy measure of online influence.

How to Build Relationships with Bloggers

Support Bloggers

When doing blogger outreach many companies focus in on the most powerful and influential bloggers, which makes perfect sense, but you have to bear in mind that they are inundated with requests and it may be difficult to persuade them to work with you even if you think your product/brand is awesome!

Why should we?

I went to an event a while back and for the life of me I can’t remember who briefly mentioned it, but SEO and Marketing peeps would really benefit from investing in their bloggers in the long run.  I don’t mean this in the monetary sense but in time and expertise.

As always, try to identify bloggers who are best matched to your product and build a relationship with them. They may not be the most influential or highest ranking, but if you share your expertise with them, you may have an in-house technical team that can help with this,  you can help them improve their blogs and thus increase their online influence; which will benefit you and your client in the long run.  Many bloggers are technically savvy but some are not and would be most grateful for the support.

How you can help

Take the time to audit their sites and offer them suggestions for improvement.  Are they self-hosted, if not can you help them make the transition?  Are they aware of Google Analytics and Webmaster tools.  Do they have lots of error pages? Do they have a custom 404 page or know how to set up redirects?  Are they familiar with key words? Have they setup Author Rel?  Could they add a favicon to their site?  Are they aware of Google and the ASAs rules?

If you have the facility and the right person, you could always bring a handful of bloggers in for a days workshop but don’t forget the cake, they love cake.

Now more than ever, with the clamp down by google, building positive relationships with bloggers is crucial.

Flickr Photo Credit andjohan


Treat Bloggers with Respect

Don't break the law

I found this post a bit awkward to write as a blogger and the person who is responsible for all our blogger outreach.  I’d be lying if I said we weren’t hoping for a few follow links when we embark on a Blogger Outreach Campaign.  However, we would never try to deceive a blogger to get one.

As a blogger, I receive approximately 10-12 requests a day from SEOs and PR companies to review products or to host sponsored posts.  My standard response is:

‘thank you for getting in touch, I currently do not accept paid for sponsored posts as they are against Google’s Terms and Conditions unless it is a no-follow link.  If this is of interest please do get in touch’ 

‘You are more than welcome to send a product for review, however, to comply with the ASA and google, the post will contain a full disclosure and the links will need to be no-follow’

Unscrupulous Marketers

Nine times out of ten I never hear back from them.  However, a few of the Black Hat’s will try it on. On one occasion the PR/SEO came back and said ‘we work with bloggers all the time and it’s okay not to include a disclosure we do it all the time or sorry my client won’t go for that.’   It seems they will stop at nothing to get a link.

Non-disclosure is breaking the law

It clearly states in ISBA Guidelines on the Payment for Editorial Content to Promote Brands within Social Media, July 2012 that this is not the case.  If you haven’t already do make yourself aware of this document.

‘The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) specifically prohibits “using editorial content in the media to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear in the content or by images or sounds clearly identifiable by the consumer (advertorial).”

And it also goes on to say:

Google’s webmaster guidelines explicitly state that paid-for links should have the ‘nofollow’ attribute, and brands found breaking these guidelines are routinely de-indexed by Google.

So what do we do?

Don't PanicTo keep on the right side of Google and the law encourage your bloggers to fully disclose in the body of the blog post when payment has been received and to make any links no follow.

In terms of SEO this isn’t brilliant but just remember that every time you get a link, even if it’s no-follow, you’re putting the business/brand in front of people and the no-follow helps you build the trust factor.

It’s only a matter of time before Google notices unnatural link building and implements a manual penalty.  Are you prepared to take the risk?

Pinterest Now Has Analytics – adds reach, impressions and more

Today Pinterest has launched Analytics for business accounts.

The Analytics breaks down in the following areas:

  • Pins – Pins are the daily average number of pins from your website.      
  • Pinners – Pinners are the daily average number of people who pinned from your website.
  • Repins – Repins are the daily average number of times pins from your website were repinned on Pinterest.
  • Repinners – Repinners are the daily average number of people who repinned your pins.
  • Impressions – Impressions are the daily average number of times your pins appeared on Pinterest in the main feed, in search results, or on on boards.
  • Reach – Reach are the daily average number of people who saw your pins on Pinterest.
  • Clicks – Clicks are the daily average number of clicks to your website that came from Pinterest.
  • Visitors – Visitors are the daily average number of people who visited your website from Pinterest.

Here is an example of one of my accounts [click image to enlarge if needed]:


Pinterest  adds Analytics

Pinterest adds Analytics


The big thing is to note is the Analytics is only for the Account and NOT for the domain  

You can see here the same time period for the same site in Google Analytics:



My pins on my account only drove around 10% of the total referrals from Pinterest. So it’s key to remember your need to multi up the reach by this factor. Hence in theory the reach on pinterest during that time period would be 10×123,000 = 1.2million.. Which is much more in-line with other social networks like Facebook and twitter.

Bad Google Merchants Could See A Drop In Organic Ranking

This story goes back to 2010 when a feature in the New York Times wrote about bad customer service from a glasses / sun glasses online store.  The key to the story was the organic rankings came from people writing, blogging  and basically linking to the site because of the poor customer experience.

This then opened the debate regarding can google tell good from bad? A link is a link?

In short Google in 2010 ended up downgraded the site manually. You can read all about it in the following blog post:

Back to 2013

Matt Cutts of google brought the topic back up at SXSW conference last week suggesting google are going to look at the issue again and downgrade organic ranking of merchants with poor customer experiences:

“because we don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results”

Credit for the quote and conference coverage to searchengineroundtable

This of course all ties in with google’s “trusted stores”

When will google trusted stores come to the uk?

Currently you still have to be based in the US and price in USD to be a trusted store. Google haven’t mention anything about other countries as yet. If you or your client is in the US then check out how to become a Trusted store merchant here.

I’ve worked with google Merchant Center (froogle, google base) from the start. I’ve even had chance to help Clay, the product manager at google, out back in 2006 with all the problems it had with the crazy data feeds and delays back in the day.

Creativity and Fun Count….Big Time! #danceponydance

I have a small confession to make and I’m not proud of it, but I found myself spending a good hour or two on Saturday night creating a Bollywood film featuring a Shetland Pony.  I know I’m not the only one as the Youtube sensation Dance Pony Dance, created by Wieden and Kennedy for has already had 1.3 million hits at the time of writing this post.

Camera Roll, Action….Cut!

And what’s more, once you watch the video you can then pop over to The Pony Mixer and make your own music video.  Who doesn’t find a Shetland Pony wearing a disco ball and grooving to Wild Cherry’s Play that Funky Music hilarious?

What’s so funny?

The campaign is genius and appeals because we all need some silliness in our lives with all the modern day pressures of commuting, finances, work, family and crap weather.  People are more likely to share things that make them laugh, not things that bring them down.  I found myself instantly sharing it across all of my social networks and now I’m writing about it.

I hate to think what this campaign cost, but with a bit of imagination I think even the smallest of budgets can come up with something that could go viral.

What other campaigns have you seen that compare to this one?