We all remember this event, in which policeman John Pike casually hoses down students at UC Davis with pepper spray. Not only is it memorable, but if you google “UC Davis” the story is going to pop up on the first page of results.
The administrators at UC Davis are a bit touchy about the whole incident and wanted to do something about it. So what did they do? They hired one of those shady ‘reputation management’ companies to somehow expunge the story and image from search results, at a cost of at least $175,000. Those things never work, and you’re a fool to try them.
Except…maybe they did accomplish something.
Now when you search for UC Davis, the first results are all about the university’s dodgy, clumsy, ill-planned, and wasteful attempt to whitewash their reputation.
The lesson you should learn is that trying to cover up your sins with worthless SEO is going to only change your search results to a) remind everyone of the bad thing you did, and b) let them know that you’re desperate to cover it up.
Good work, administrators at UC Davis! You’re working hard to further stain the reputation of a very good school.