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It’s been a couple of years or so when Google introduced the concept of universal search. This is organic search on steroids. OK, maybe not on steroids, but more diverse than ordinary organic search.

Universal search is the fusion of several verticals into the search results for any particular search query. For instance, type in “Elvis Costello” at Google and you get Internet radio results followed by organic search listings with links to websites (remember when you got 10 of those and that was it?) and some images results and videos thrown in at the bottom.

That’s universal search: Several verticals on the same search results page. This is good and bad. If you were among the top 10 organic listings then you may have fallen off the first page to be replaced by a video, image, or Internet podcast result. But if you have a video clip of Elvis Costello, an image of him on your website, or an audio clip then it’s a positive.

The news here is that there are more overall search results on the page with fewer organic listings. The verticals have captured some of that real estate. Here’s the reputation management lesson …

What if you were Elvis Costello? Or replace Elvis Costello’s name with your own. Will you see image, video and podcast results? Should you?

Well, if a searcher were to search for your name, that’s what they should see. And if they did see that then you’d be boosting your reputation much more than you are now. Imagine having an organic listing with a link to your website, a video, an audio listing, and an image all showing up on page 1 of the SERPs. That’s some powerful reputation management. Wouldn’t you agree?

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