Would you de-index topic from google upon request from advertiser?

Discussion in 'Managing an Online Community' started by jair101, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. jair101

    jair101 Aspirant

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    Here is an interesting situation.

    One of my advertisers requests that I de-index certain topic from Search Console, because the title does not put them in the best light. The title itself is fairly benign and the thread is well detailed and explained by the user - nothing aggressive or insulting about it, although it is critical of the provided services. The advertiser agrees that the topic should stay in their sponsored forum and they have no issue with that, however they kindly request that I de-index the thread from google.

    I decided that for me, I won't do it. It is a slippery slope that I do not wish to entertain and from the beginning we have agreed that well presented criticism won't be moderated in anyway. I think that removing the thread from google is definitely moderation even though it is actually moderating google search results. I will offer them the option to delist their entire subforum from google or not do anything, but I don't want to cherry pick only the topics that are favorable to them.

    Still, I am rather interested in your opinion. By denying this request it is quite possible that I will lose this advertiser and even though it won't be critical to the survival of my community, it will definitely have an effect. Do you think denying the request is the correct decision?
     
  2. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    It's a really tough decision to have to make but in this case I think your decision is the right decision. If it's practical you could suggest to the advertiser that they reach out to the member and attempt to address the complaint. A thread with a happy ending may even lead to more sales
     
  3. haqzore

    haqzore Habitué

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    I agree with your decision for the same reason as yourself.

    That slope gets slippery quick. Not only that, but yours is the reputation hurt when (not if) your community finds out you complied.

    I don't know the details, but a strong company should see the thread as an opportunity. No company is perfect. What separates the good from the not-as-good is how they handle these exact situations. Trying to hide them is the wrong strategy.
     
  4. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    No, and to hell with their 'link juice' if necessary. When you start accepting this kind of requests, advertisers end dictating policy.

    It's one thing to hide embarassing topics by moving them to less active, defensibly more appropriate sections (sometimes feedback flows more freely when done in member-only sections). What's ridiculous here is advertisers being fine with embarassing topics being discussed on your site, as long as visitors dont stumble upon it. You're not part of their SEO team and definitely not supposed yo bow to such unreasonable demands.
     
  5. jair101

    jair101 Aspirant

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    I actually tried to mediate and approached the member. The title is "Be careful wtih Company name", I suggested something more neutral "My experience with company name", but only if he explicitly approves. He denied and I agree with him.The topic is addressed by the company, they are happy with the way both sides are presented in the discussion, they are just not happy with the title, because according to them many google users will not read their explanation and just the title.
     
  6. Joeychgo

    Joeychgo TAZ Administrator

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    Only way I would do it is if the OP agreed --
     
  7. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    I don't know why, but advertisors seem to be getting difficult as of late in some ways, I don't know if it's part of a bigger trend.
     
  8. Wes of StarArmy

    Wes of StarArmy Adherent

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    Screenshot the advertiser's email and start a new thread on your forum, "COMPANY NAME Tried To Censor USERNAME."
     
  9. Kevin

    Kevin Oooh, something shiny!

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    If the thread contains any type of update that counters the thread title I'd take the lead of some news sites by just appending something like "[** UPDATED **]" to the end of the title, that way the original title is preserved but visitors would know that there's been an update to the situation.
     
  10. Casmic

    Casmic Software Developer

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    Odds are they aren't paying enough money to get that kind of control. If they're a major sponsor maybe, you're running a business and the business has to make money. But you're likely in a position to just let them take a hike. Unless you're not... in that case, that's why I prefer donation based models to ad based models. Advertisers do this all the time and often want more than just SEO delisting.
     
  11. we_are_borg

    we_are_borg Administrator

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    I would not do it advertising and running a forum should not matter in this case. Just like news outlets advertising and news are separate.
     
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