A gossipy story about Google CEO Eric Schmidt has been making the rounds on Twitter today. It’s old news — about his “break up” with Steve Jobs from a pay phone while he was on the lonely road to Burning Man in 2007.
Schmidt was also unsuccessful in getting his ex-girlfriend to permanently remove her tell all blog from Google’s own Blogger.
Google’s own FAQ states:
We run into a lot of people who think that Google runs the web and controls all the sites on it, but that’s really not the case. The sites in Google’s search results are controlled by those sites’ webmasters.
The moral of this imoral story? Even the CEO of Google can’t remove negative publicity from Google.
So if you don’t want unwanted attention to linger, forever, in the search engines and on the web, what can you do?
There’s a cheap PR trick I’ve used with clients that can help you bury news you don’t want people to find.
Flood the web with good news of your own by sending out tons of free press releases (and paid releases on PR Newswire or PR Web) filled with feel-good feature “stories” with the same keywords embedded in them that searchers will likely use to find the negative story. This turns the “needle in a haystack” factor of Google in your favor.
Eventually you’ll knock the bad review so far down the ranks in Google that only the most intrepid researcher will be able to find it.
The other technique? Ignore it, and eventually the fickle public will be twittering about the next scandal and it will be as stale as a Tiger Woods story.