This whole month we are talking about managing reputation in Google SERPs: We’ll learn how to dominate search results for your name and how to expand your opportunities by creating good first impression with your branded SERPs.
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To understand what people see when they are searching for your name in Google and what you can affect and how, let’s first quickly go through the search results page and explain each section.
— Stephanie Langlet (@Haidaloup) June 2, 2016
Table of Contents:
Google SERPs, Put Simply
Google search results page usually consists of the following main sections:
(1) Paid ads: People paying Google to appear on top of your brand-name search results. In most cases, you have no choice but pay Google to appear in that section too
(2) Organic search results: Web pages that mention your name prominently and have enough authority to rank high in Google for your name:
(3) Universal search results: Most personal name search results have image section placed prominently within search results page. In some cases, these will be news (if your name generates enough news searches)
(4) Twitter-powered section: A newer addition to brand searches, this shows recent tweets from the associated account. It is not clear how Google makes sure the Twitter account belongs to the searched name: Twitter verification is not required for that.
(5) Knowledge graph: A separate box to the right showing basic information about a person or a company. It is usually powered by Wikipedia and it only appears for well-recognized public figures (Authors, founders, inventors, politicians, etc.) or highly-searched brands.
Let’s call everything except for organic results “position zero” emphasizing that you can’t move these sections or get rid of them completely.
They are there to stay, so we’ll have to deal with each of them separately.
Organic search results may look a bit differently as well:
They can be plain (traditional): Consisting of the clickable title, URL path and a couple-sentence description.
They can be “rich” showing some additional information like (1) ratings & reviews, (2) company & position, (3) video. Rich snippets certainly add overall trust and authority to your search results, so we’ll discuss them in more detail in the future.
We’ll review how to deal with each search result further into the course.