We see evidence of it almost everyday that some unseen hand is forcefully manipulating common search results for controversial issues or other topics of the hour. Unfortunately there is now an article out that actually confirms that this problem is something that we should all be aware of.
From politics to big business, there are reputations and brands out to defend their own. Whether or not it’s fair for either of these two groups to protect their online reputations is up for debate. But the general rule of thumb is to not prevent the free flow of opinion, while keeping libel at bay.
There can be no question that there are firms for hire that help the above described groups to “protect their reputations” online by manipulating the search results of big search engines. And while I understand the desire to protect oneself, that is not the ethical way to do so. Better to post a rebuttal to any negative comments than try to hide them.