Do Google’s Efforts in Removing Defamatory Content Solve the Issue of Fake News?

By: Zoe Lin & Ben Hobbs with Schillings

The first 10 links that appear when you search your name or business are often a searcher’s first introduction to your personal or organizational brand, meaning that they are often the makers or breakers of your digital reputation. When these search results are impacted by defamatory content, false information or leaked private details, it can spell disaster for public-facing individuals and organizations.‍

Google’s recent amendments to its algorithm represent a needed step in protecting individuals from the harmful manipulation of search results. The introduction of the “known victim” concept addresses the long-standing threat of bad actors spreading private or inaccurate information via search results. Victims are empowered to report unwanted explicit content or attacks on “pay-to-remove” sites..‍

Despite this step forward, false information and inflammatory content designed to influence public perception often fall outside of Google’s criteria for the removal of content.‍

At Legendary, resilience is at the heart of our approach to digital reputation. These algorithmic changes can help establish a more balanced and authoritative narrative online, enabling you or your company to own your online story.‍

Ben Hobbs, a partner and leading expert in reputation and privacy at our partner, Schillings, wrote more on this:

Originally published at



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Legendary is a reputation management company specializing in strategic communications and crisis management. Learn more: