I Was Once A Cartoon Dog! Interview with Jason Barnard

The guest today was a musician in the 1990s and once gave his voice to a blue cartoon dog. However he is not Dave McCormack from Custard. He is Jason Barnard, digital native and SERPS expert who now calls Paris his home.

This is is the show to share with your colleagues, in this episode Jason and Dave discuss why having a podcast can boost search rankings. Therefore a podcast forms an integral part of any search ranking.

Listen here >>

[00:00:00] Intro: You are listening to 12 Hats Radio, the marketing podcast with a difference.

Introducing the Guest, Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) for This Episode About His Life Journey and Brand SERPs

[00:00:13] Dave Monk: Good morning. It’s Monday the 15th of February 2021, and you’re listening to 12 Hats Radio. And today, it’s my birthday. That’s enough of me and my ego trip. Today, we’ve got a very special guest. And first and foremost, our guest today, Jason Barnard, was once a blue cartoon dog, was once a musician in the noughties, but he’s got nothing to do with Bluey. He’s on another show. 

[00:00:49] Dave Monk: And we can have a chat with him today about SERPs and how podcasting can benefit your search rankings. If you’ve got a friend out there who’s skeptical about the power of podcasting in their marketing mix, this will be the episode that you’ll need to share with them. Okay. Without further ado, let’s move on to the interview.

[00:01:50] Dave Monk: We’ve got a very special guest. Now, he was in a punk rock band in the noughties, he gave his voice to a blue cartoon dog, and he’s not Dave McCormack from Custard. He’s also been a digital nomad who’s lived in Mauritius, but now lives in Paris. And without further ado, I like to welcome my guest, Jason Barnard, who now lives in Paris, France. And Jason, welcome to the show. And as with all my guests, can you please just give us a quick rundown on what you are all about?

Jason Barnard was a Member of a Punk Folk Band, Who Actually Supported Other Famous Musicians

[00:02:27] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Thank you, Dave. You’ve given a very good rundown. And I’m disappointed that I can’t see 12 hats looking at the video. I can see one hat and it’s a very nice hat, but I was hoping for 12, which was intriguing for me, having 12 hats stacked up one on top of the other. Yeah. I was in a punk folk band, in fact. We played acoustic instruments, folk music, but punk styles. So if you imagine The Pogues, but more punk than The Pogues. 

[00:02:57] Dave Monk: Wow. 

[00:02:58] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): We actually supported The Pogues a couple of times, which was really interesting because you see how much Shane MacGowan brings to the table. He’s always drunk, and he can barely speak most of the time. But as soon as he goes off, basically what they had is they had a set with Shane MacGowan and another set without him. And when he was too drunk to sing anymore, he went offstage and they just did their set without him. And then he came back on when he sobered up a bit. And they were just rubbish when he wasn’t there. It was as simple as that. They were just boring.

According to Jason Barnard, Being a Lead Singer Means Having a Voice With Personality and Character

[00:03:28] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And so, you realise that being in a band isn’t all about being a great musician. It’s about having that, especially if you’re the lead singer, having that personality. And luckily, we had a singer who had an enormous personality. And when he sang, and that’s the other thing about singers, the first note they sing, you should know who it is. And he had one of those voices, where he would sing one note and you go, that’s you Hugo Scott or in Shane MacGowan’s case, you recognise these people right after. Sting is another one. 

[00:04:00] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): With these incredibly, not necessarily brilliant voices, I mean Bob Dylan. He can’t sing to save his socks. But as soon as he sings a note or a bad note, you know it’s him. And that’s what’s important. It isn’t the quality of the notes. It’s that you recognise the voice and that there’s a personality and a character to it.

Because of His Good Voice, Jason Barnard Then Became a Voice Actor for a Cartoon Blue Dog While Living in Mauritius

[00:04:21] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And now moving on from there, one of the problems I had is I didn’t have that. I had a very banal voice, very good, very in tune. I can sing wonderfully baritone, which is why I then became a blue dog. Because when you’re a blue dog in a children’s cartoon, singing in tune and in time without much character is a boon. It’s a really good thing. And my sidekick was a yellow koala. And she had loads of character, and she sang out of tune at that time. And that was brilliant. And it made this really nice pairing. So, I made the most of the boring voice I had, basically. 

[00:04:58] Dave Monk: Oh, fantastic. 

[00:04:59] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Then from there, I moved to Mauritius. That was in 2000. And people in 2000 were saying, you can do the internet from anywhere. You can run an internet company from anywhere. And we were on the internet with this blue dog and yellow koala. And I thought, alright, let’s move to Mauritius then, which is just off of Madagascar, Southern Hemisphere. So, we joined you guys down in the south of the earth, which is a nice thing to say. 

[00:05:22] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And it’s different, isn’t it? The Southern Hemisphere is nothing like the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a really different mindset. I was surprised there were loads of Australians there. Australians, every time I say Australia, I always put that stupid accent on, which is rubbish. And I do apologise.

After His Cartoon Series Ended, Jason Barnard Became a Digital Marketer and Specialised in Brand SERPs 

[00:05:37] Dave Monk: It’s okay. 

[00:05:38] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I spent 12 years there, developing the website, developing the characters. Then that fell apart, and I became a digital marketer, which is why I’m here. And I spent the last 7 years specialising in Brand SERPs, which is what appears on Google when somebody searches your brand name or your personal brand name. And as far as I know, I’m the only person who’s really specialised in that and is focusing on that. 

[00:06:05] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And what’s interesting is when I talk to digital marketers about it, they go, yeah, that’s easy. What comes up when somebody googles my brand name, I might take care of that with all the SEO work I do anyway. And you say, well, look again. Is it accurate? Is it positive? Is it convincing? They go, yeah, it’s okay. You go, it’s okay, but it should be perfect.

The people searching your brand name, they’re the most important people to your business.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:06:22] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Because the people searching your brand name, they’re the most important people to your business. They’re clients, they’re prospects, they’re journalists, they’re investors. And usually I get people to turn around and say, yeah, actually I do need to take care of this. And it is easy SEO, but it’s incredibly important SEO.

Brand SERPs Are Your New Homepage in Local SEO or Your New Business Card in Non-Local SEO

[00:06:38] Dave Monk: Yeah. I think that’s probably the important part of SEO. And I have a good presence. I’ll say Google My Business. That’s the key. That’s the first port of call that most people see me. Social media is fantastic, but you’re not going to google a florist or you’re not going to search for a florist on Facebook, unless you want something in your local area. Google has got that power. It’s like the other pages that you have on whatever you want, wherever you want. And I think that’s really important. 

[00:07:15] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): The whole concept for me, if you’re in local search, Google is your new homepage. People like Mike Blumenthal will say it’s the new homepage. In local search, I agree with him. In the wider world of non-local SEO, it’s your business card.

Jason Barnard on Optimising and Controlling His Personal Brand SERP to Make It Show His Life Story

[00:07:30] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I used to go to clients, and I would pitch to them. And they would say, oh, wonderful. Isn’t Jason great? We’re going to have him, and we’re going to have him on board. We’re going to work with him because he’s so convincing. And then they would google my name. And what came up when they googled my name was the blue dog, the yellow koala, and the punk band. And so they thought, oh, but he’s a musician, so he’s not credible. 

[00:07:52] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, I then set about working to make this. Basically my Brand SERP, if you search my name, Jason Barnard, you’ll see my story. My life story is up there, and I control it. And the majority on the left hand side is all digital marketing. I look impressive. And I’ve worked to make sure those things rank and not the blue dog and the yellow koala. The blue dog and the yellow koala are in the Knowledge Panel.

Brand SERPs Should Tell Your Story and Communicate Your Brand Message to Your Clients and Prospects 

[00:08:14] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, basically, what it’s saying is he is now an expert in digital marketing, writes for Search Engine Journal, writes for Semrush, has all these videos that have loads and loads of views. And in the Knowledge Panel on the right hand side, it says, and here’s his story if you’re interested, which is absolutely perfect. I’ve been working on it for 7 years. 

[00:08:34] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And if you search your own name or your brand name, you’ll see that your Brand SERP or your personal Brand SERP probably doesn’t tell your story. And it probably doesn’t communicate your brand message that you want to communicate to your clients and your prospects. And I think that’s a big oversight for an awful lot of brands.

What Are Some Great Resources That Helped Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) in His Brand SERP Journey? 

[00:08:51] Dave Monk: Yeah, absolutely. What are some great resources out there that’s helped you along this journey? 

[00:08:57] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): In fact, because it’s Brand SERPs, there aren’t very many resources for that particular part of my work. I’ve done it all by trial and error, getting it wrong. I started looking into ORM, online reputation management, and realised very quickly that it’s not the same thing. This is proactively managing your brand, so that online reputation has been proactively managed.

Through His Experience With Managing His Cartoon Website, Jason Barnard Started to Collect, Track, and Analyse His Database of Brands and People

[00:09:26] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): But the experience I had with the blue dog and the yellow koala was actually very interesting for this, because we were Mauritius and I looked for employees to do the work, the PHP, the MySQL, the coding, the HTML, all of that stuff. And I couldn’t find anybody, because obviously Mauritius is a tiny country and there weren’t qualified people. 

[00:09:49] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, I actually had to learn it all myself. Which means that when I started doing Brand SERPs, I decided I was going to track 70,000 brands and people. So, I’ve got a MySQL database with 10 million Brand SERPs in it and Knowledge Panels and Knowledge Graph API data. And I code the PHP myself. So, I can store the data, collect the data, analyse the data myself without asking a technician to do it, which gives me great freedom and has allowed me to understand an awful lot of stuff.

The Importance of Investing in the Right Places and Properly Communicating to Google Your Brand Strategies  

[00:10:19] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): For example, if you look at the video boxes in Brand SERPs when you search a brand name, 25% of brands have got video boxes, but I’m sure more than 25% of brands have got video strategies. Now, if you have a video strategy and you’re investing money in video, but video boxes don’t appear on your Brand SERPs, that means you’re investing in the wrong places or you’re not communicating to Google. Google cannot see that your audience is interested in those videos. It’s engaging with those videos. So, you’ve got a problem with either investment or communication. 

[00:10:51] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And then you look at the domination of YouTube. Now it dominates obviously, but it’s only, in inverted commas, 80% of those videos are YouTube. And that’s an example of the kind of data I can pull out of my database in a couple of minutes. Just when I think, I wonder what the figure is for that.

Looking at Rich Sitelinks, Descriptions, and Filtering Data by Industry When Observing Brand SERPs

[00:11:12] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And if you look at the Rich Sitelinks, for example, that’s the blue links underneath the homepage. And I call them rich ones when they expand, and they become those really big ones with the blue link and the little description. The average number of those descriptions is 5, and they can go up to 8. You can get maybe even 9. I’ve had 8 on my Brand SERP at one point when I was working on it. 

[00:11:39] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the other thing is industry, coming back to video boxes. If you look in the news sector, YouTube barely gets a mention, which is logical. YouTube isn’t for news. So, Google pulls in other sources like the BBC or ABC News or even Facebook and Twitter. Twitter is very much more news based because it’s very quick and very recent. 

[00:12:03] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, you have to look at your industry, what you would expect. And my database is brilliant for that, because it pulls everything down into industries. So, I can actually pull out in your industry. YouTube will dominate. In your industry, you can expect to have Twitter boxes, for example. So, in fact, what helped me most along my route is this database.

What Are Some Myths About Brand SERPs That Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Wishes to Dispel? 

[00:12:23] Dave Monk: Fantastic. What is a myth about Brand SERPs that you wish to dispel right now? 

[00:12:30] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): That it’s not important. We touched on it earlier on. Once again, I talk to people about it and they say, yeah, okay. The typical response, and I won’t name the SEO who told me this when I mentioned it. He said to me, oh, that’ll take me a month to sort out. And I talked to him yesterday, and it’s taken him over a year. And he’s still trying, and he’s still working. And I sell Brand SERP courses, which teach everything I know, excluding all the errors I made, all the mistakes I made. 

[00:13:04] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And what was interesting is I talked to him yesterday, and he didn’t want to take the courses because he thought I’m a great SEO. And he is. He’s a great SEO. And he said, it’s taken me a year and I’ve only realised recently how many mistakes I’ve made, because it takes quite a long time for all this to seep through, and now I wish I’d taken the course. Because basically, I’ve made all the mistakes you’re likely to make. And I can tell you how to avoid them, which will save you a lot of time. 

[00:13:31] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, the two biggest myths, one of it is it isn’t important. Three, sorry, I sound like Monty Python now. There are three myths. Second myth is that it’s easy or it’s simple and quick. And the third myth is that it doesn’t bring value to you as an SEO. And in fact, it does.

The Three Different Points of View When Looking at Brand SERPs: As Your Business Card, Your Content Strategy, and Your Digital Ecosystem

[00:13:55] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): There are three different points of view I have here. One is it’s your business card to the people who are searching your brand name. And those are the people who are most important to your business. It’s an insight into your content strategy, which I touched on earlier on. If you’re investing in video and you don’t have video boxes, your video strategy is rubbish and you need to look at that. So, you can look at your Brand SERP and say, my content strategy isn’t up to scratch or it is up to scratch, whichever one.

[00:14:16] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the third one is the digital ecosystem. Why pay a marketing agency or a research agency thousands of dollars to research on all these different platforms and try and pull information from Facebook and all the different social platforms and review sites? Why? Google already does it. Google reflects it in your Brand SERP.

Google is showing your audience what it thinks is most relevant and valuable to them.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:14:37] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): If you look at the first 3 or 4 pages, Google is showing your audience what it thinks is most relevant and valuable to them. Therefore, it’s what’s the most important, what’s coming through the most on the internet, and what they’re probably already seeing the most. So, it’s a really easy way to see how well the world perceives you, because it’s a reflection of Google’s opinion of the world’s opinion of you. Genius. Sorry. I get a bit overexcited.

What Are the Most Common Mistakes People Should Be Aware of When Optimising Their Brand SERPs? 

[00:15:06] Dave Monk: And what’s some of the more common mistakes that my listeners should be aware of when you develop a Brand SERP? 

[00:15:14] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): The single most common mistake I see is when you get something you don’t like on your Brand SERP, and it can be something negative. That’s the most common one, bad review site or bad article. It can be something that’s simply inaccurate, that says something about you that isn’t true. For example, you made $10 million last year when in fact it was $20 million or out of date. 

[00:15:36] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the third one is your competitor. And that’s the one people possibly get most annoyed about, because it hurts their pride that their competitors are hanging out on their Brand SERP. And it gives you the impression that your competitors are going to steal your business, which they probably are at some point, especially if your Brand SERP isn’t up to scratch. 

[00:15:53] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): If you imagine your clients navigate to your site potentially multiple times per day through your Brand SERP, so they see that multiple times a day. If your competitors keeps coming up in front of them, at some point, they’re going to go and have a look at what’s on offer. So, you got to be really careful about that.

The Common Mistake of Drowning Content With Loads of New Content, Whereas You Should Be Using the Leapfrogging Technique Instead

[00:16:08] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Now, the common mistake that I see there is they say, let’s drown it, let’s create loads of new content. And this is what agencies do, and it really annoys me. We’ll create loads of new content, get it to rank above that because it’s simple SEO. And it isn’t simple SEO, because Google isn’t looking for ranking factors that we all recognise. It’s looking for value and pertinence to your audience. And that’s a different point of view. The ranking factors that will get you up there are very different, so it’s much better. 

[00:16:36] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Rather than trying to create a new piece of content, unless you get an article in the Guardian or the Times or the Sydney Herald or a big paper like that, that’s going to rank because it’s so powerful and because it’s likely to be relevant and valuable and recognisable to your audience. Unless you can do that, you’re unlikely to ever rank something new in the short term. You have to work much harder to get it to rank than you would in normal SEO. 

[00:17:02] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And that’s already difficult enough as it stands. So, it’s much better to look down on page two and find content that’s already valuable and pertinent, but just Google hasn’t recognised yet how valuable and how pertinent and promote that content, so it leapfrogs. So, I use the technique of leapfrogging, not the technique of drowning.

What Are Some Failures and Lessons Learned by Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)? 

[00:17:24] Dave Monk: Fantastic. And on a more personal note, life is all about success. Have you had any failures or fuck-ups? And if so, what were the lessons learned? 

[00:17:34] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): In fact, the biggest fuck-up was 3 months ago. I’ve been experimenting on Wikipedia. I had a Wikipedia page for myself, a Wikipedia page for my punk folk group, and a Wikipedia page for the blue dog and yellow koala. And I kept going in and editing it myself, because I wanted to see how Google reacted to those edits with the Knowledge Graph. So, I was experimenting on the Knowledge Graph. And the Wikipedia editors ended up getting pretty annoyed with me and saying, you’ve been messing with it too much, so we’re going to delete your page. 

[00:18:12] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, they deleted my Wikipedia page. I’m notable. Wikipedia requires that you are notable. And that means being recognised by the press and having released an album. I’ve released 6 music albums in the shops, real ones that you can actually hold, and a TV series that’s aired in 25 countries, produced by ITV International. That’s notable. But the question wasn’t am I notable, the question was have I messed with it too much? And the answer is, oh, yes, I did.

Even With His Notable Careers and Experiences, Jason Barnard’s Three Wikipedia Pages Still Got Deleted 

[00:18:40] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And so, they turn around and say, okay, we’re deleting it. So, they deleted my page, which is fair enough. And then they said, well, actually you’ve been messing with the folk punk band as well, so we’ll delete that too. So, they deleted that. And then they looked at the blue dog and the yellow koala. And they said, you’ve been messing with that too, we’ll delete that. So, all 3 of them got deleted within the space of 2 weeks. 

[00:19:01] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Is it a failure? Yes, no. I’d learned loads about the Knowledge Graph before that, and now I know even more about it. Because what then happened is I thought, right, okay, I now have to see what happens. What happens to my presence in the Knowledge Graph? What happens to the presence of my group? What happens to the presence of the blue dog and yellow koala?

You Can Still Have Your Presence Retained in the Knowledge Graph Even Without a Wikipedia Page

[00:19:20] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And in fact, I messed up for myself. I moved the Schema Markup that I had on my homepage to another page in an attempt to consolidate it. It actually just ruined it. And my Knowledge Graph presence just went straight out the window, and the other two remained. So, the important thing that I learned from that is that getting a Wikipedia page will get you in the Knowledge Graph, but staying in the Knowledge Graph absolutely. Even if Wikipedia deletes you, it doesn’t matter. You’re going to stay there. 

[00:19:47] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And the other thing I learned is you definitely don’t need a Wikipedia page to get in the Knowledge Graph. That’s a real false idea people have. If you don’t deserve a Wikipedia page, don’t even try. You’re going to spend a lot of time and a lot of effort and a lot of resources trying to get your Wikipedia page, probably to end up getting deleted.

[00:20:04] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Ahrefs did it, and they were deleted within 12 hours. And they did it properly. Semrush just had theirs deleted. So, Wikipedia is now going through this process of deleting all these digital people or anyone related to digital people. It doesn’t seem to me to be very fair. I think Ahrefs and Semrush are notable within their industry, but that’s beside the point. They wasted resources. They wasted time doing that.

After His Wikipedia Pages Got Deleted, Jason Barnard Gain Control of His Brand Message and Became the Authority for Information About Himself  

[00:20:32] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I’m using a company called WordLift. If you know Nik Ranger, another SEO, she loves them too. Basically, it builds up the Schema Markup, and it pushes it all out into the Open Graph, which is basically the equivalent of the Knowledge Graph but open sourced. And Google feeds off that. So, you can actually push anything into the Knowledge Graph by using techniques that have nothing to do with Wikipedia, that use tools like WordLift, that use the Open Graph. 

[00:21:02] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And it’s actually two things. One is more interesting, less restrictive, and you get control of your brand message. Now, what has now happened is that the description in the Knowledge Panel for all these three entities, myself, my group, and my blue dog and yellow koala, is now no longer Wikipedia. It’s my own site. I’m the authority, so I’m writing the content. So, I can say what I want about myself in my own Knowledge Panel.

The Important Concepts of Authority, Entity-Based Search, Links, and Mentions

[00:21:31] Dave Monk: Fantastic. Do you think this is just the beginning of the internet, trying to clean up its act? Really, because now we’re all fake news and all this. Because it has spread, do you think this is just the beginning of it? What do you reckon? 

[00:21:45] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. Google has to be really careful about what’s true and what isn’t. And it needs to find an authority for the entity. Entity based search, you hear about it. It’s a thing, and it’s real, and it’s now, and it’s incredibly important. We’re not looking at domain authority anymore. We’re looking at entity authority. Who is an authority for this entity? Who does Google trust?

The Authority for Your Entity Should Be Your Own Site or Sites in the Same Niche Market You Are In 

[00:22:09] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And so, the authority for an entity is either going to be my site, which is the best thing, or a site I write for, like Search Engine Journal or Search Engine Land or Semrush. But all of those sites that I just mentioned, because they’re in the same niche market that I’m in, i.e. digital marketing, they’re all authoritative about. Whereas the pet shop from down the road, Dog Store, let’s call it, if they wrote an article about me, that is not authoritative because it’s not in the same niche as me.

[00:22:40] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, authority, much more than links, comes from relevancy. So, you’re looking to build up this relevance. And Google has to do that. Because if it starts trusting, you gave the idea of fake news. There’s a woman called Luna Dong, who used to work at Google, who now works at Amazon, who created the concept of trust based knowledge, because she started trying to build the Knowledge Graph at Google, and now she’s gone to Amazon to do the same thing. And she was saying, basically, links are popularity. If you take something like a gossip rag in Australia, what would a gossip rag be on Australia?

The Idea of Link Building, Which Should Be Authoritative and Relevant and Which Is Still More Important and More Powerful Than Mentions 

[00:23:22] Dave Monk: It would be like Women’s Day, New Idea. 

[00:23:26] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): New Idea, let’s take New Idea. New Idea is going to have boatloads of links, but you don’t trust what they write. And that’s an important distinction. Getting links isn’t enough anymore. Getting links is great, but it needs to be authoritative in your area and relevant. And mentions are also incredibly important. Because Google now recognises entities within texts, it can recognise a mention of your brand or of your person in a text without a link, what we call linkless links.

[00:23:59] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): So, the nice thing about link building is it’s not dead because links are still more important and more powerful than a mention, but you don’t have to bully people to give you links. A mention will do, and then you link out from your site to the mention to indicate that it is in fact talking about you, to confirm to Google that it’s talking about you. And either way, you might need more, but at least you don’t have to bully people for links. And they hate that. But a newspaper will mention your brand, if you’re worthy of it. They won’t link to your brand, but they will mention it. And that is enough.

What Is Driving the Curiosity of Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Right Now? 

[00:24:29] Dave Monk: Fantastic. And from a more personal note, Jason, what’s driving your curiosity right now?

[00:24:36] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): It’s going to have to be Brand SERPs. In fact, I woke up this morning. In fact, I woke up yesterday morning and search through my database again, because I was actually doing an upgrade of something. And I happened to come across a number that I’d never seen before. And it was the number of unique sighted sources in the US in Knowledge Panels. And it literally doubled between September and October, so there’s some big update going on. And so, that’s my curiosity right now.

[00:25:09] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I’m writing an article for Search Engine Land about that and what it’s going to do, because there are so many now. I’ve got 1,600 unique cited sources in Knowledge Panels. Wikipedia is cited in less than 50% of Brand SERPs and Knowledge Panels. Whereas before, it was 100% 16 months ago. So, we’re looking at this situation now where you’re saying, I now have enough data, 1,600, to be able to figure or I hope or at least get a decent theory about where is Google getting these from. Obviously, it’s the blue link results, but why is it choosing this one over that one? What are your best options? What are the best opportunities for you?

Using Kalicube Pro, You Can Find the Cited and Relevant Sources in Your Knowledge Panel and Brand SERP by Country and Industry   

[00:25:53] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And I actually have a page on Kalicube.Pro, which is my site, that will list all the cited sources I’ve found. So, you can go in there, and you can actually go and look which is going to be the most likely for your industry, because you can dig down by industry and by country. I’m actually tracking Australia too. And you can find which are the relevant sources, which are the cited sources in Knowledge Panels for your country and your industry.

That’s what Knowledge Panels and Brand SERPs are all about. It’s about control.

Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)

[00:26:18] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Obviously, it’s not an exhaustive list, but it gives you a very good pointer as to which sites, which pages are liable to get that citation in the Knowledge Panel. And that allows you to start controlling. And that’s what Knowledge Panels and Brand SERPs are all about. It’s about control, control your brand message, control your brand reputation, in inverted commas. But do it proactively. Don’t wait till there’s a problem.

Jason Barnard’s Article About the Budapest Update and His Observations With Confidence Scores in the Knowledge Graph

[00:26:44] Dave Monk: I need those links in the article for the show, especially the one in Search Engine Journal. I think that’s the best one. 

[00:26:54] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. I wrote one last year, 16 months ago, called the Budapest Update, which was about the Knowledge Graph. Actually the Knowledge Graph, not Knowledge Panels, what’s in the Knowledge Graph. The confidence scores went absolutely through the roof. There was a really big update 16 months ago. An awful number of entities suddenly appeared in the Knowledge Graph that weren’t there before, and the confidence scores of the Knowledge Graph went right up. 

[00:27:15] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): To give you an example, the confidence score for Facebook, the entity Facebook, went from, I can’t remember what it was exactly, 300 or 400 to 100,000. What that measures, we don’t really know. But from 300 to 100,000 is mind blowing, as a change. Because my confidence score, for me, my entity went up zero. So, you can see that some entities were pushed very, very hard in the Knowledge Graph.

[00:27:44] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I actually analysed Homer Simpson against Dan Castellaneta, who’s the guy who plays Homer Simpson. And Homer Simpson’s confidence score multiplied by 5, but Dan’s only went up by about 50%. And the reason for that I think is because Homer Simpson is mentioned much, much more in recent news than Dan. And so, there you go. That’s another reason why mentions are just as important, if not more so in certain circumstances, than links.

A Lighthearted Story by Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) Based On His Experience as a Cartoon Blue Dog 

[00:28:15] Dave Monk: Great stuff. Have you got a lighthearted story to tell my listeners? 

[00:28:21] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Oh, that’s a tough one. I’ve got lots of lighthearted stories. It depends what kind of lighthearted stories you want. I’ll tell you one about the blue dog and the yellow koala. In Mauritius, I couldn’t find coders. I couldn’t find people to write the code, but I could find people to do the animations. And I got this guy who came out of school at 16 with no qualifications. And he learned to animate using Macromedia Flash, then Adobe Flash.

[00:28:52] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): And one day I walked past his desk. I played the role of the blue dog, and he animated the blue dog. And I was his boss, and he worked for me for 8 years. And I walked past. I looked at this dog. The dog walked across the screen, and it was walking across the screen as such a realistic manner. And it looked so happy. There was no sound. It was just walking across the room. And I said, that is the best animation you’ve ever done. It’s one of the best animations I can remember seeing, because it’s got so much soul.

Jason Barnard on Absorbing His Character as the Blue Dog and Becoming the Blue Dog in His Mind 

[00:29:24] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): How did you manage to do it? How did you learn to do that? Obviously, I’ve seen you learning. And he said, well, I just watch you all day. So, all he had done is animated how I walk across the room. And so, now I look at this blue dog. And because he watched me every day for eight years, the blue dog, the way the blue dog acts, the gestures of the blue dog, and the way it walks is me. 

[00:29:49] Dave Monk: Great stuff. 

[00:29:52] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Isn’t that mad?

[00:29:52] Dave Monk: It’s so realistic.

[00:29:55] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. And it actually sent me a bit nuts. Because after 8 or 9 years of doing this, I actually thought I was the blue dog. I became in my mind to some extent, obviously, the blue dog. My voice changed to become more like the blue dog’s. I walk like the blue dog, and the blue dog walks like me. And then after 8 years, I went mad. Being a blue dog in public society is possibly not ideal.

More About Jason Barnard’s Experience With Cartoon Characters, Doing Videos and Writing Scripts 

[00:30:22] Dave Monk: Yeah. But there’s more room for musicians to become cartoon characters?

[00:30:28] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I’d love to do more cartoon characters, but right now what I’m doing is a lot of video on YouTube. If you go on to YouTube and search my name, I do boatloads of videos. So, I’m learning a new skill and I’m enjoying that. But doing video is very different, because when it’s cartoons, you’re just doing the voice and then somebody else animates the characters. Obviously, I have to write the stories, but now I have to write the stories. It’s not stories. I have to write the scripts, which are intellectually, in inverted commas, and then speak and act them at the same time. Yeah. It’s a new skill. I’m enjoying it.

Some Final Thoughts From Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy) to Wrap Things Up 

[00:31:01] Dave Monk: And finally, Jason, to wrap things up, is there anything I didn’t ask but should?

[00:31:08] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Is there anything, sorry?

[00:31:09] Dave Monk: I didn’t ask that I should. 

[00:31:11] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): I think you’ve actually asked all the best questions. I can’t think of anything that I haven’t talked about that I really, really, really wanted to talk about. What I would just say to end, and this is just my experience, is the Brand SERP story. I came back to France, and I didn’t have any money because the blue dog experience collapsed my entire universe. And I came back to France with no money, and I was pitching for clients. And I would go into meetings, and I would convert about 50%. And when I realised they were all searching my brand name, my personal name, as soon as I walked out of the room, and I improved that Brand SERP, that conversion rate went up to 80%.

[00:31:54] Dave Monk: Wow. 

[00:31:55] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Yeah. And nobody argues about my prices anymore.

Where Can You Find Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy)? 

[00:32:00] Dave Monk: Great stuff. And where else can we find you, to wrap things up? 

[00:32:06] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): You can find me on Kalicube.Pro, which is my project, which is where I collect all this data. And you can look at the data, and you can learn about Brand SERPs. You can learn what I’m doing. You can find the courses, if you want to take the courses. You can connect with me on Twitter. I love Twitter. Twitter is a good laugh, jasonmbarnard, all joined together. LinkedIn, I use a lot as well, Jason M Barnard too. I don’t use Facebook much. So, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Kalicube.Pro, or just look my name up on Google, Jason Barnard. It’s a really good laugh, and you can see my life story. And you can probably avoid listening to this entire program. Oh, it’s too late. 

[00:32:40] Dave Monk: Too late.

[00:32:40] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): That was a joke, by the way. That’s called humour.

[00:32:47] Dave Monk: Anyhow, it’s been an absolute pleasure and privilege to talk to you, Jason. Listen out, for everyone, find the blue dog or find his previous work wherever you are. And I hope we can give him as much support and love as we can get. 

[00:33:00] Jason Barnard (The Brand SERP Guy): Thank you very much, Dave.

[00:33:45] Dave Monk: This has been a Podcast Wests production. And if you love this show, please do me a favour. Give us a five star review on your favourite podcasting app. And in that way, you can help me get the word out, and we can grow this movement together. Join me on Friday with another guest, more laughs, more stories. And until next time, it’s the Cat with the 12 Hats, signing out.

Published by 12 Hats Radio February 14, 2021. Host: Dave Monk. Guest: Jason Barnard, founder and CEO at Kalicube.

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