pr and seo

A high-profile successful business man we represent is and always has been single.  Yet, the new Infograph on Google when his name is searched shows him as married (with a spouses’ name) and it bothers him. We prepared and submitted to Google a notarized letter saying he’s never been married, attached multiple media clippings attesting to him being single, and provided tax returns showing that he tells the IRS he is single.

Google’s reply came: “The data appearing in search results is derived from an algorithm that indexes content available on the Web and evaluates it based on hundreds of variables. Manual edits to search results are extremely rare. Google isn’t publishing information; we’re facilitating access to information that’s already on the Web. The problem is there is a news source who lists your client as having a spouse. I suggest contacting those publications and asking them to issue a correction. If they make a correction or remove the references, the right information should eventually get picked-up by our algorithms.”

We discovered that many years ago a newspaper listed a girlfriend at the time as his wife.  The man is mentioned in hundreds of articles a year and has never been married.  He doesn’t read every story he’s mentioned in, and somehow a search algorithm picked this up.

We have not been successful tracking down the Reporter who wrote the article seven years ago, and the Publication stands by the article.  Now what to do? File a lawsuit which would cause more media on this issue?

Hope as Google said “If they make a correction or remove the references, the right information should eventually get picked-up by our algorithms.” If… and eventually.  A scary catch 22.

In today’s world, even someone who pays a Public Relations Agency can’t get the truth reflected online. Scary times indeed.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.